Activism

Allow Me to Disprove Watchtower’s “Two Witness” Policy Using Jesus, Some Grain, and a Withered Hand

Jehovah’s Witnesses adhere to what is called a “two witness” rule when it comes to handling allegations of child sex abuse in their religion. This rule demands that there be a second witness to this abuse, if the accused person does not confess, in order for elders to remove the abuser from the congregation. No other evidence is enough to disfellowship (excommunicate) this person; not the overall credibility of the child’s statement, not the attitude of the accused, not if the accused has child porn on his computer, etc. The only exception is another accusation by a second victim.

Jehovah’s Witnesses base this policy on Matthew 18:16, where Jesus did say that two witnesses were needed to establish matters. The religion emphasized their adherence to this policy in a recent video that was released on their broadcasting channel, and you can watch the 9-minute snippet here:

 

 

Jesus, Some Grain, and a Withered Hand

Being an atheist, I don’t adhere to the bible as an authority, but since Jehovah’s Witnesses do, I’d like to show them, from the bible itself, that they are not following the commands or example of Jesus in this matter:

Luke 6:1-11 “1 Now on a sabbath he was passing through grainfields, and his disciples were plucking and eating the heads of grain, rubbing them with their hands. 2 At this some of the Pharisees said: “Why are you doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 3 But in reply Jesus said to them: “Have you never read what David did when he and the men with him were hungry? 4 How he entered into the house of God and received the loaves of presentation and ate and gave some to the men with him, which it is not lawful for anyone to eat but for the priests only?” 5 Then he said to them: “The Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath.” 6 On another sabbath he entered the synagogue and began teaching. And a man was there whose right hand was withered. 7 The scribes and the Pharisees were now watching Jesus closely to see whether he would cure on the Sabbath, in order to find some way to accuse him. 8 He, however, knew their reasoning, so he said to the man with the withered hand: “Get up and stand in the center.” And he rose and stood there. 9 Then Jesus said to them: “I ask you men, Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save a life or to destroy it?” 10 After looking around at them all, he said to the man: “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was restored. 11 But they flew into a senseless rage, and they began to talk over with one another what they might do to Jesus.” ¹

For those unfamiliar with the bible, Jesus was obligated to follow the law of the Jews at the time, including observing the Sabbath, which didn’t allow any work on that day. These pharisees were religious leaders, dictating this law.

According to this law, rubbing grain between the hands was considered threshing, or work, forbidden on the Sabbath. Performing any medical treatment that wasn’t necessary to save a life, such as healing a withered hand, was considered unnecessary work, so this also would have been forbidden on the Sabbath.

Here’s an important point to note, however; Jesus did not argue with the pharisees that rubbing grain between the hands or healing a man was not actually working, or violating the law. In fact, Jesus brought up the example of David and his men eating bread in the temple that was reserved for the priests; in other words, David and his men did break the law, as did Jesus.

Jesus justified setting aside the letter of the law when it was necessary to feed a hungry belly, and when it was a question of doing something good and helpful to someone. According to Jesus’ own words and actions, strict adherence to the letter of the law was to be set aside when there was a conflict between obeying the law and providing for someone’s welfare.

Point of the Law

This is only logical, as this law given by Moses was supposed to, among other things, ensure justice against crimes. If one purpose of the law was to protect people and ensure they would get justice, why would you adhere to the letter of the law if doing so meant failing to protect people, or worse yet, actually doing harm to them?

Jehovah’s Witnesses themselves have criticized those who miss this very point; the book, “Come Be My Follower,” page 105, paragraph 12 says:

“Jesus often defended the Holy Scriptures against misuse, misinterpretation, and misrepresentation. The religious teachers of his day represented God’s Word in an unbalanced way. They put a lot of emphasis on observing the smallest particulars of the Mosaic Law but very little on applying the principles on which the laws were based. They thus encouraged a superficial form of worship, one concerned with outward appearances rather than with weightier matters—such as justice, mercy, and faithfulness.”

Yet, despite criticizing religious teachers who observed “the smallest particulars” of the law while ignoring justice, Jehovah’s Witnesses do exactly the same thing. Yes, the letter of the law says that there should be two witnesses to establish a matter, but this is obviously impossible in cases of child molestation. Demanding the observance of this “particular” of the law denies a child justice and protection from further abuses.

In doing this, elders are ignoring Jesus’ example in setting aside the law when necessary to protect someone, and ignoring his overt instructions to overrule the letter of the law if someone’s health, safety, and welfare were at stake. He outright said that a person should “do good” and “save a life,” even if it meant not obeying the strict letter of the law, but this is not what Jehovah’s Witnesses do in these cases.

The Power of Reason

In that video above, Jehovah’s Witnesses lecture their viewers to use their “power of reason” about the need for this two-witness rule. Well, a person’s “power of reason” should first ask, why were these stories of Jesus’ actions and his confrontation with the pharisees included in the bible? Everything in the bible is there for a reason, so people will learn something, so what is the lesson being taught in these stories?

Using the power of reason, a person should be able to see that Jesus was purposely teaching his followers that the letter of the law doesn’t overrule a person’s welfare. In fact, Jesus chastised and rebuked those who demanded that the letter of the law be adhered to, if it was done at the expense of the persons living under that law:

Matthew 23:23-24 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you give the tenth of the mint and the dill and the cumin, but you have disregarded the weightier matters of the Law, namely, justice and mercy and faithfulness. These things it was necessary to do, yet not to disregard the other things. Blind guides, who strain out the gnat but gulp down the camel!”

That video above refers to critics of this two-witness rule as “apostates,” and the implication is that these apostates are ignorant of the correct application of scriptures. Ironically, the pharisees did this same thing, claiming that their critics did not know the law and were “accursed.” (John 7:49)

“Apostates” are actually following the instructions and example of Jesus more so than the governing body, and any elders in the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses, when they criticize this misplaced endorsement of the two-witness rule. Like Jesus fiercely and boldly criticizing the pharisees, these “apostates” criticize self-righteous, snarling tyrants who put a strict, nonsensical, authoritarian application of the law above the welfare and safety of those who are supposed to be protected by that same law.

On the other hand, the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and elders in the congregations, are modern-day pharisees, outright ignoring the example and clear instructions from Jesus himself. They’re doing exactly what Jesus rebuked the pharisees for doing, and, most importantly, they do this at the expense of children who are being raped and molested in their congregations. As Jesus said in that scripture above, these ones have a choice, but rather than save a life, they choose instead to destroy, literally, tens of thousands of them, by ignoring the need for justice for their most helpless victims.

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¹Editor’s note: An original post of this blog referred to Luke 11:1-11, but the verses are actually found at Luke 6:1-11.

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22 replies »

  1. The Watchtower’s view of this text is UNBALANCED at LEAST! Read Matt 18:15-17 over and you will see that Jesus took the side of the one who was WRONGED and NOT the person who committed the wrong.

    As per usual, WT twists scripture to suit its diabolical ends. The witnesses are are produced to prove the victim’s case but Jesus said “IF he will not listen to them, then take it (complaint/charge) to the church.” The Two witness rule has nothing…. NOTHING to do with trying to DISPROVE a victim’s charge. And who in their right mind has two witnesses to prove they were sexually molested? “Hey, I’m gonna be sexually abused! Wanna watch?” The WT messes with scripture royally. All a lawyer has to do is read that text and there’s a case AGAINST the WT.

  2. Oh my…. Another athiest using reason…Who do you atheists think you are? How dare you make sense, how dare you use common sense!

    I’m a witness… A witness to the inexorable demise of a family destroying cult…

    Thanx. AJ…

  3. Hello Shirley Dorsey, Hi from Australia, amazing how we completely agree with your words. I refuse to blame Yahweh for all the evils of religion. I support AJ’s site too, she’s awesome. I’m not sure whether to write a letter of resignation or even give them that respect at all. They show no respect to people who have been loyal to them for years and decades, so I’m not sure they even deserve a letter. We respect the Bible since it has never lied to anyone and addresses most if not all human needs and questions. Jesus was never an asshole and never agreed with religious leaders, in fact he condemned them. Jesus and Yahweh support individuals as abundantly clear and obvious in the Bible. All the minor prophets were individuals, the major prophets were individuals and the Christian Scriptures show that Jesus associated with individuals his entire life. We are also very thankful that our eyes have been opened. It’s marvelous !!! Just this year..! About time !

    • According to the Pharisees, yup. He’d at LEAST get df’d for NOT shunning tax collectors and harlots. Matter of fact, He got in the faces of the ‘elders’ or GoBo of His day. “Tax collectors and harlots will get into heaven before you do!” said He to those who were SOOOO sure that the were IN. OUCH! But that statement very much applies to the GoBo (forgive me, if you happen to be a FRAGGLE reading this!) Ha, ha.

  4. a few things.
    Yes they are sticking to the’rules’
    yes they are there by hiding all the paedophiles in their ranks
    yes they have dug themselves so damn deeply into a pit they cant get out of it!
    I remind people the gb member who appeared at the ARC did not appear voluntarily.
    When the Russian govt closed on WT in that country the gb rushed to Russia to defend their properties there and rushed out again.
    Yet, not one would appear at the ARC when asked by the commission.

    • Hi ZEB… are you the same ZEB who was part of the protest earlier this month? Bravo!

      Interestingly, the WT are hemoraging money that is going to pay for contempt of court fines (4 grand a day!) for refusing to turn over files. HOW, exactly, does that fit in with their supposed stand AGAINST child abuse when they would sooner lose money than turn over names of those who committed the crimes? The mind boggles!

  5. Replacing the word ‘impossible’ with ‘rare’ would make the sentence more accurate, as their might be some witnesses to the crime.

    ‘Yes, the letter of the law says that there should be two witnesses to establish a matter, but this is obviously impossible in cases of child molestation.’

    • Hi dave; the verse the WT uses (Matt 18:15-17) actually takes the side of the person wronged, but the WT twists it. Quelle surprise! That they do this, with NO CONSCIENCE is TERRIFYING never mind nauseating!

      I wish SOMEONE with more love for their child than fear for the elders and the BORG would take a gun to the business end of the organization (If you catch my drift) and put a decided stop to the child molesting once and for all. Heck, if I had a kid who’d been molested by one of those beasts, I’d GLADLY do the time if it meant putting the creep out of commission.

      And OH what an irony if he got DF’d for taking a BLOOD TRANSFUSION when he wouldn’t be touched for molesting a kid!

  6. That is very good reasoning and I agree. But, what the organization does is it puts the welfare of the adult before the welfare of the child. So, for having to prove the adult should be removed and therefore in serious danger of losing his or her everlasting life they call on the two witness rule. They ignore the need for mercy on the child who was abused, his or her family who knows about the abuse, and future children and their families who might be impacted by more abuse.
    Their stance is mercy but it is mercy for the accused and not for the accusers.
    They are trading the souls of all the individuals who are affected by a real abuser for the soul of the one man just in case he didn’t do it. Maybe they believe that the one man will do more for their [god-damn] task of bringing more people in to be “saved” than will the others who will have to become disillusioned with the organization by the [awful] way they perform their so-called god-given duties. In Jesus Christ name. [AMEN]

  7. AJ you have just given them an excellent “out” of their 2 witness rule. But I doubt these bastards will change their minds as it goes against their real agenda. Now if something this logical could be learned to stop disfellowshipping and the tearing apart of families. Thank you for sharing. love and hugs.

      • Hello

        May I ask, what is your story with the JW ? Why are you now an atheist? I read your site and I support it completely. I too will be writing my letter to the organization requesting to be removed as one of JW. I hate that organization and all the people in it are on that broad road of destruction Jesus spoke about in Matthew. How chocked they will be when they think they are this great crowd that Yahweh will protect and they find out they are not and are killed. I pray for them to start questioning what they are taught. I thank Yahweh for opening my eyes. I now study my bible more deeply then ever and feel very close to him and Jesus Christ. I refuse to allow the bad experience I had with that organization to pull me away from the true God. He is not to blame. I don’t believe God is with any religion on earth since this world as we know it is in satans hands, so are his religion. I do believe Yahweh is with individual people who are doing the will of the father.

        Shirley

      • Hi Alexandra! You’re a star, girl! Keep up the good work. As for the GoBo waving the Bible in anyone’s face, it’s a laugh. If a person wants to get creative, you can make the Bible (or ANY book) say what you want. Ex JW Lorrie McGregor joked about this;

        “Judas went out and hanged himself. Go, thou, and do likewise.”

        I just created a suicide clause in the Bible by grouping together two unrelated verses. The WT is INFAMOUS for this by reading into a verse what the GoBo says it means. Flippin’ unreal! And they are using GOD to get away with it! For people who don’t believe in HELL, they are in for a nasty shock, if that doctrine turns out to be the OPPOSITE of what they teach.

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