Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Watchtower and bloodguilt

THE WATCHTOWER has a lot to say about bloodguilt.  In their publications, a lot has been said about others who are guilty of shedding innocent blood.  But what are the standards by which we can judge other organizations as bloodguilty?  And if one organization refers to another as bloodguilty, would it not be fair to use the same standard against the one making the charge?

*** w67 8/15 p. 500 par. 7 The Way to Security ***
7 The fact that religious leaders in all the world gave their blessing and support to such organized, mass spilling of human blood has led many persons to believe that it was indeed God’s will and even compatible with Christianity. So it can be presumed that many have done wrong while believing their course was right. The support of organized shedding of blood by the numerous churches and religions inside and outside Christendom reveals one thing very clearly: the immense bloodguilt that attaches to false religion throughout the entire world.
As we can see, if one sheds blood (directly or indirectly), even if they believe it was God's will, they are bloodguilty.  This article goes so far as to say that if one supports the bloodguilty organization, they themselves are bloodguilty.

*** w95 11/15 p. 16 par. 5 Stay in the “City of Refuge” and Live! ***
5 Some people have caused human death willfully or through carelessness. Others have taken part in collective killing, perhaps persuaded by religious leaders that this was God’s will. Still others have persecuted and killed servants of God. Even if we have not done such things, though, we share community responsibility for the loss of human life because we did not know God’s law and will. We are like the unintentional manslayer ‘who killed his fellowman without knowing it and who did not hate him formerly.’ (Deuteronomy 19:4) Such individuals ought to implore God for mercy and should run into the antitypical city of refuge. Otherwise they will have a fatal meeting with the Avenger of blood.

What if an organization persuades their dedicated followers to take the lives of others (or even their own for that matter)?  Would this make the organization bloodguilty?  According to this quote, it would seem so.  This is why some law systems have differing degrees of murder.

*** g85 6/22 p. 27 Female Circumcision—Why? ***
According to the Bible, when we deliberately put someone’s life unnecessarily in danger, we could become bloodguilty. (Compare 1 Chronicles 11:17-19.)

In this article (please EMAIL ME if you'd like the article in full), the Watchtower explains how a dangerous procedure (female circumcision) can result in bloodguilt for the one influencing the practice.  But what if the one performing or influencing is convinced that the practice is a biblical command from God?  Would such an excuse make one innocent?  Not according to this article, for the practice is condemned as unbiblical and results in bloodguilt,

*** g85 6/22 p. 26 Female Circumcision—Why? ***
Parents must weigh all these views when determining their own feelings about female circumcision. For Christian parents, there is another question: Is female circumcision in harmony with Bible principles?
According to Scripture, every male Israelite had to be circumcised as a sign of the covenant between Jehovah and the children of Abraham. (Genesis 17:10-14; Leviticus 12:2, 3) However, the sons of Christian parents are not required to be circumcised. (Galatians 5:6) Hence, daughters of Christians are certainly not required to undergo either excision or infibulation. Is female circumcision, then, merely a matter of conscience?
Because the practice is unbiblical (regardless of the sincerity of the believer), this would lend accusation to the one who influenced the "unnecessary death" as bloodguilty.

What if an organization, who demands uncritical acceptance of everything they teach, is responsible for the death of their followers per the Watchtower's standards?  What should the remaining followers do?

*** w78 6/15 p. 25 Firmly Resolved About Life And Blood ***
Avoid Bloodguilt from (1) eating blood, (2) sharing in bloodguilty organizations
*** uw chap. 20 p. 155 par. 4 Life and Blood—Do You Treat Them as Sacred? ***
4 As regards human blood, we cannot assume that simply refraining from murder keeps us guiltless. The Scriptures show that if we are part of any organization that is bloodguilty before God, we must sever our ties with it if we do not want to share in its sins. (Rev. 18:4, 24; Mic. 4:3) Such action deserves urgent attention.
The articles where these quotes are found make no qualifications for those organizations that are bloodguilty.  That is, regardless of how highly you view the organization, you should leave.  It wouldn't matter if you had previously viewed this organization as God's only true organization on earth; at this point, it would be loyalty to God vs. loyalty to man.

The last issue under consideration is the Watchtower themselves.  Do they qualify as "bloodguilty" according to the standards set forth thus far?  Decide for yourself,

*** w67 11/15 p. 702 Questions From Readers ***
When there is a diseased or defective organ, the usual way health is restored is by taking in nutrients. The body uses the food eaten to repair or heal the organ, gradually replacing the cells. When men of science conclude that this normal process will no longer work and they suggest removing the organ and replacing it directly with an organ from another human, this is simply a shortcut. Those who submit to such operations are thus living off the flesh of another human. That is cannibalistic. However, in allowing man to eat animal flesh Jehovah God did not grant permission for humans to try to perpetuate their lives by cannibalistically taking into their bodies human flesh, whether chewed or in the form of whole organs or body parts taken from others.


Mark Hunter said...

Yeah, but they weren't speaking for God when they said that about organ transplants cos it turned out not to be true.

Sorry if your kid died, btw! LOLZ Whoops.

Anonymous said...

Once again nice job Mike.