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The Truth Brings, “Not Peace, But a Sword” ?

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The Truth Brings, “Not Peace, But a Sword”
Do not think I came to bring peace to the earth; I came to bring, not peace, but a sword.”—MATT. 10:34.

Above is the title and theme text of an article beginning on page 12 of the Watchtower Study Articles for November 27-December 24, 2017 which you can view here: w_E_201710.  In recent times more Jehovah’s Witnesses have been distancing themselves from the tight control of the JW Organization.  In response the Empire Strikes Back against brothers and sisters breaking free!  Yet as Princess Leia said in the original Star Wars movie, “The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”

On page 12, the article states, “… the greatest threat to our peace may come from unbelieving relatives.  Some might ridicule our beliefs, accuse us of dividing the family or threaten to disown us unless we give up our faith.”  Really?  Isn’t this the pot calling the kettle black?  Criticizing someone for a fault you yourself possess?  If a thinking brother claims to place more faith in the scriptures themselves than in the organization’s interpretation today, then isn’t the JW Organization asking them to give up their faith?  As a matter of fact, let’s say that hypothetically a JW embraced the Watchtower views exactly as believed in 1919 when, as they say, Jesus inspected and chose the organization.  If Jesus accepted them with those doctrinal views in 1919, do you believe Jesus rejects people with those same views today as apostates?  Oh, you say that the light grows brighter?  Do you really believe that means that yesterdays truth is today’s error?

Reports are flooding in now of the persecution of former or inactive JWs.  In many cases their JW family members, loyal to the organization, are cutting off all communication and family relations, even with those who have quietly left without any bad words against the JW Organization.  The JW Organization is incorrectly applying Jesus words.  

Matthew 10:34 (NWT) “Do not think I came to bring peace to the earth; I came to bring, not peace, but a sword.”

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Jesus did not mean that were were to persecute or cast off our relatives and friends, but rather he meant that we would be the ones persecuted.  The same was true in the Dark Ages when the true followers of Christ were labeled as heretics and therefore excommunicated, tortured, imprisoned and/or executed.   Today’s laws limit the power and reach of church organizations, however, one wonders how far they would go if all restraints were removed as in centuries past.

Luke 21:16 (NKJV) “You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.”

Here we see that it is the unbelievers who do the persecuting, not the believers.  Notice how in the context, Jesus tells his disciples how they should respond to the persecution.

Luke 21:12-15 (NKJV) “12 “…they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons.  You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. 13 “But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.  14 “Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer;  15 “for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.”

Mark also agrees…

Mark 13:10-12 (NKJV) “10 And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.  11 “But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak.  But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.  12 “Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.”

Jesus explains what our response should be.  We should present the clear testimony of scriptures.  We should be so well studied that the holy spirit will help us to recall what we have learned and present the Gospel message of a clarity and logic that will confound those who oppose, because they cannot come up with answers that makes sense.  This is how the Christian defeats the enemy with the armor of God.  Our only offensive weapon is the Sword of Truth (Hebrews 4:12), not persecution.

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This is in line with the scriptural admonitions to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) and to “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39).  Is not going on the offensive and cutting off family members evidence of insecurity on our part and on the part of the organization?  Can’t the Truth stand for itself?  Should we punish those who reject the Truth?

Romans 14:4 (NWT) “Who are you to judge the house servant of another?  To his own master he stands or falls.  Indeed, he will be made to stand, for Jehovah can make him stand.”

2 Corinthians 3:17 (NWT) “…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

Ephesians 6:2 says to “Honor your father and mother.”  How can we do this if we have cut off communication with them?  If they become sick and in need of care, have we turned our back on them?  Is this how we set an example of Christian love and become a light to the world (Matthew 5:16)?

In John 9, after Jesus healed the blind man the the religious rulers were furious because this gave Jesus influence with the people and they were not willing to share their control.  Notice how the blind man reasoned with the religious leaders and how theses leaders could not logically answer him.  Rather they just called him a sinner and cast him out.  Read below and tell us how this is different from the JW Organiztion (and so many other church organizations)?

jesus-heals-blind-man_4John 9:26-34 (NKJV)  “26 Then they [the religious rulers] said to him again [the man who had been blind], “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?”  27 He answered them, “I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?”  28 Then they reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples.  29 “We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.”  30 The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes!  31 “Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.  32 “Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind.  33 “If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.”  34 They answered and said to him, “You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?” And they cast him out.”

49 comments to The Truth Brings, “Not Peace, But a Sword” ?

  • Marjo

    I found this video from youtube. Leaked stuff for convention 2018.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFfmf6Z_Npc

    My opinion of that video is, that they are trying to make their members to behave rude to others. What do you think. Like you are going to die soon and I will stay alive. It is horrible that they teach to their kids too. How can they be at school when they think all the time that God will destroy his class mates…….doesnt make any sense.

    • Anon CJ

      I don’t think so. The video is really accurate regarding the way LGBT people interact with Christians.

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Marjo, I have to rely on people’s critique of the video. I saw the governingbody members faces and just couldn’t listen to or read anything they produce. I don’t have interest in how they view things. But I am glad you posted this so others can see it. I sincerely hope they don’t think this group produces anything out of good will there is a hook, a benefit to the organization in every word they put out. This is my opinion.
      BTW, Were you on the internet testimony meeting this morning? I slept thru everything. I was in the hospital with a patient for 5 hours and the doctor for 2 plus travel so I just fell out last night and woke up at 10:45. I will be on tonight for the North America session.

    • greg (Bible Student)

      Marjo,

      In my work as a peer-supporter for persons who have been sexually abused as children, I have worked with and made friends with persons who are LGBTQ and most are very tolerant and friendly IF they find me tolerant and friendly. Of course, I present as myself as a concerned and equal human being, rather than coming across as superior and more righteous everyone else. They know I’m “Christian” but it matters little to them when they know I’m not judgemental but caring.

      I didn’t like the way the video presented either party. In my experience, LBGTQs are way more friendly and gentle than was depicted, and Witness responses to LBGTQs are typically WAY worse than was depicted. And even the depiction was atrocious and disgusting in my estimation.

      I know of a JW who, many years ago, provoked the woman he called on so much that she tried to burn his Bible with her cigarette. He was so arrogant and evasive and outwardly condemnatory towards her that is was shameful and yes, he told her point blank God was going to kill her.

      -greg

    • I saw the JW video too on how we would respond to the LGBT lifestyle.

      We as Christians cant judge anyone for their chosen lifestyle. We have to look at what we ourselves are doing.

      The JW videos judge the entire world usually. I don’t like watching them at all. If I do its just so I can help someone wake up.

      If a LGBT person approaches me to part take in anything to help support their lifestyle I just simply say I support all people and I am friends with all people of all backgrounds. I love everyone.

      However, I can’t support any set lifestyle because I do not believe in labels. I eat a vegan lifestyle but I do not call myself a vegan. I don’t get all crazy and support all vegans because I know other people in the world may only have meat to eat in their land. I respect all things because God made all things. Everything including humans need love and respect because that is what Jesus taught us to do here on earth.

      If I support a certain set lifestyle than what about all the other lifestyles on earth. We are each born with a choice and what path we each wants to take. We can not tell anyone they are wrong, we each need to find our own paths in life.

      I would say I am actually shunned for my own beliefs and so I don’t get involved in what everyone is doing with their own personal lives because that is not up to me to do.

      I need to support my own life and love all people for who they are. Their lifestyle is only between them and God, not having to do with me and my own lifestyle.

      If we are not suppose to judge one another then I simply don’t do it.

      If I choose to just stay away from a person because they are evil to me then that is my own choice too, I am not going to bring everyone on my side. But if anyone asks my option and wants to know how I feel I will let them know. Just like I would accept and hear their own opinion too.

      I have LGBT friends who struggle daily with their own lifestyles. You just never know what any one person is going through in their own life.

      I have friends who are gay that wish they were not even gay but they just can’t fight it. I know God loves them and knows what their struggles are because he knows what every single persons struggles are on earth!
      Some people are even born with male and female parts! We do not judge them for it!

      God knows what we need before we ourselves know what we each need.

      It is not our place to tel others what they need to do. We need to know just what we ourselves are doing.

      This site helps us all to come at our own choice. We are not made to do it. If we need to vent, we can do it here at anytime. If we don’t understand something we each share what we feel and help each other with answers. I love it, its very helpful.

      We do not ever need to agree exactly on all the same things either because its just not human to do so!

      We each have a brain and we each need to use it as we know how and we can only go on what our own experiences are and what we see happening in our own life or what is happening around us.

      When a LGBT person tells me to wear a rainbow; I simply tell them well a rainbow means something different to me than it does to you.

      I wear a rainbow for my own faith, and they ask me what on earth are you talking about??

      This is usually where I take the conversation. They usually have no idea how the rainbow even started and its roots.

      I wear a rainbow every single day in my mind and heart.

      When I see a rainbow in the sky I thank God for it and for its beauty. Every time anyone sees a rainbow in the sky they smile!

      A rainbow to me is a reminder of Gods promise as to how much he loves every single human on earth and its a reminder of a promise of his power, beauty, love, and all his creations for all of humankind and the entire earth including the animals.

      I tell them I am already wearing my rainbow and it includes love for every single person on earth!

      The rainbow is symbolic between God, humans, and the entire earth.

      Genesis 9:13
      I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

      I wear my rainbow for my God. But I don’t wear it as a symbol on my body. I wear it in my lifestyle and within my heart.

      Ezekiel 1:28
      As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory and brilliance of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell face downward and I heard a voice of One speaking.

      Christians also know the rainbow as the reminder God will not flood the earth again. But the first and only world Flood did need to happen, otherwise we all wouldn’t be here right now.

      ————–
      The Jewish community uses the rainbow too:
      https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-rainbow-in-jewish-symbolism/

      “A rainbow is not just a rainbow, according to Rabbi Joseph Bechor Shor (12th-century France). Rather, it’s God showing God’s self.

      A more modern approach from Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (19th-century Germany) suggests that each of the different colors of the rainbow represents a different kind of person. In this reading, red, the outermost ring of the rainbow, is closest to the heavens and related to Adam — the person who was created most directly and immediately in God’s image. (Adam and the Hebrew word for “red” [adom] share the same root: the letters aleph, daled and mem.) The other colors represent people and other life forms that are further and further from God’s image, but the entire spectrum together is pure white light, representing God’s purity. Thus, the rainbow becomes a symbol of unity for all life.

      The rainbow is a half-picture, lacking a second half to complete the circle of wholeness. God can pledge not to destroy humanity, but since God created humanity with freedom of choice, God cannot guarantee that humanity will not destroy itself. This is to say that God will take care of God’s part of the rainbow, but we have to do our part, to be God’s partners in caring for the world. I love this interpretation, because it gives us an important job, and computes with my own sense of reality, of us having freedom of choice with which God will not interfere.”

      —————
      The Rainbow for the LGBT community started like this:

      The rainbow flag was created in 1978 by artist, designer, Vietnam War veteran and then-drag performer, Gilbert Baker. He was commissioned to create a flag by another gay icon, politician Harvey Milk, for San Francisco’s annual pride parade. At the time, the most commonly used image for the burgeoning gay rights movement was the pink triangle, a symbol used by the Nazis to identify homosexuals. Using a symbol with such a dark and painful past was never an option for Gilbert Baker. He instead opted to use a rainbow as his inspiration. The different colors within the flag were meant to represent togetherness, since LGBT people come in all races, ages and genders, and rainbows are both natural and beautiful. The original flag featured eight colors, each having a different meaning. At the top was hot pink, which represented sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow signifying sunlight, green for nature, turquoise to represent art, indigo for harmony, and finally violet at the bottom for spirit.
      http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/how-did-the-rainbow-flag-become-an-lgbt-symbol

    • TedR Bible Stusent

      This video is so slanted and disgusting I couldn’t even finish it. They constantly portray “worldly people “ as intolerant, angry,and immoral and themselves as mild mannered victims. I have never had anyone from the gay community act like this. The video is unrealistic propaganda in my opinion. And then to tie this in to government and religion is far fetched. When the religious systems go down it will be because Christ millennial reign will replace the false with the true knowledge of God. Those live on earth will finally be free of satanic influence and the true Church will be reigning from heaven. Only then can people be judged in righteousness. Until then we must be tolerant and understanding of others beliefs and lifestyles. We don’t have to agree but as Christ said, we should love even our enemies.

      • Marjo

        Ewww…..I can hear in my mind them giving applauses to that video. We know what they are for real so I think too it is not good to pay too much attention to them. We need to help those whom are leaving/left the society. Somehow try to make others see whom are still in it.

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