What are some of the results of following the Watchtower organization in all things and “keeping up with Jehovah’s celestial chariot”?
The Watchtower society feels it has the right to establish rules on conscience and decide on matters which the bible is silent. One of these matters is blood transfusions. When the Society decided to make blood transfusions a disfellowshipping offense in 1961, all blood, blood components, and blood fractions were prohibited. Notice this cite from the publication Blood, Medicine, and The Law of God (1961):
Is it wrong to sustain life by administering a transfusion of blood or 14 plasma or red cells or others of the component parts of the blood? Yes! The law God gave to Noah made it unlawful for anyone to eat blood, that is, to use it for nourishment or to sustain life. Since this is wrong in the case of animal blood, it is even more reprehensible in the case of human blood. The prohibition includes “any blood at all.” (Leviticus 3:17)
Whatever our personal decision would be regarding a blood transfusion, I firmly believe this should be a personal decision that each person must make without reprisal from the organization. The organization no longer prohibits all blood fractions, but how many JWs died as a result of not taking any blood fractions because the society didn’t allow it?
What about organ transplants?
*** w67 11/15 p. 702 Questions From Readers ***
. 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.
This policy of not permitting organ transplants was not rescinded until 1980. How many JWs died as a result of this man-made policy?
What about vaccinations?
Golden Age 1931 February 4 p.293
“Vaccination is a direct violation of the everlasting covenant that God made with Noah after the flood.”
How many JWs suffered or died because of this viewpoint of the organization?
As covered in recent articles on this site, following the Watchtower’s policy on total shunning of even family members who are DFed has resulted in thousands of shattered families. It has contributed to depression, alcoholism, even suicide. All because of a man-made policy. Those who refuse to follow this unbiblical and unloving policy are either DFed themselves or made to feel they are rebelling against God.
Notice another harmful policy:
***w38 11/1 p.323-324 Fill The Earth***
If in obedience to the divine command the Jonadabs or great multitude will marry and rear children after Armageddon, would it not be Scripturally proper for them to begin doing so immediately before Armageddon? and should the Jonadabs now be encouraged to marry and rear children? No, is the answer, supported by the Scriptures.
Face The Facts p.46 (1938)
Would it be Scripturally proper for them to now marry and to begin to rear children? No, is the answer, which is supported by the Scriptures.
Because the Society since it’s very inception has always pointed to the very near future as being the time for Armageddon, the standard of excellence for a JW has been remain single or else if married have no children. Many married JWs who normally would have had children have remained childless believing Armageddon was at most a few years away. Now they bitterly realize how much they have missed. They have no children or grandchildren all because of the Society’s recommendations. Children and grandchildren have traditionally given care to their older parents and grandparents. These childless JWs realize they may face a difficult time in their “golden years”.
Another harmful policy is the organization’s stance against higher education. I personally have been affected by this.
***Awake! 1969 May 22 p.15***
“If you are a young person, you also need to face the fact that you will never grow old in this present system of things. Why not? Because all the evidence in fulfillment of Bible prophecy indicates that this corrupt system is due to end in a few years. Of the generation that observed the beginning of the “last days” in 1914, Jesus foretold: “This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.”
Not seeking higher education either because (1) bad association or (2) Armageddon was right around the corner, has resulted in many economic hardships for many JWs. Many JWs are having to work in manual jobs as their bodies are physically breaking down because they never got a higher education because of the Society’s recommendations.
The setting of dates such as 1975 has also wreaked financial destruction on trusting JWs. Many obtained loans they thought they wouldn’t have to pay back, or pioneered when they couldn’t afford to thinking that 1975 would see the end of this system of things. Many suffered financial ruin. Many other JWs have not saved for retirement thinking the end would come before they would retire. They are now facing bleak prospects.
Another harmful “fruit” of the Watchtower society’s policies is the unhealthful mental state of many JWs. The unrelenting pressure to do more, to toil more in field service exacts a tremendous toll in JW’s mental health. There exists a pressure to put on the appearance of always being a spiritually mature, strong JW. The society also subtly or not so subtly makes JWs experience guilt trips of thinking they should always do more. If you are a publisher, you should be a pioneer. If you are a baptized brother you should be a MS. If you are a MS, you should be an elder. If an elder and pioneer, you better be working to go to a special school or become a Gilead graduate. You need to attend all meetings, comment several times at each, have your publication underlined, keep your children silent, be on time for all meetings and field service, not miss one day at an assembly, volunteer at the assemblies, sign up to feed the speaker on Sunday etc. The expectations that COs, elders, and the organization place on the friends just goes on and on and on. The elders even have a much longer list they must follow. This never-ending pressure logically leads to high levels of depression, panic attacks, and other mental breakdowns. My opinion is that use of anti-depressants and other medication is abnormally high among JWs.
We could mention other harmful fruits of the Society’s policies such as imprisonment of many JWs because the society told them they couldn’t accept alternative service instead of military service. The employment that JWs have had to turn down because the Watchtower society said it violated Christian neutrality. Marriages were broken apart for a few years because the Watchtower society said that oral sex in a marriage constituted porneia and could result in a biblical divorce. Those JWs that obtained a divorce on these grounds and later remarried were unknowingly committing adultery in God’s eyes all because of the organization’s policies. I won’t even mention the travesty of justice and decency that took place in the country of Malawi that resulted in the murder, rape, and beatings of countless innocent JWs because of the Watchtower societies ruling.
When the Watchtower society concentrates on teaching what the bible actually teaches the results are good. The organization encourages honesty, being faithful to one’s marriage mate, not losing one’s temper, maintaining strong family bonds etc. But with alarming frequency it “goes beyond the things that are written” (1 Cor. 4:6) If we are still attending meetings we will have to decide when we hear counsel what is biblical and what is only man’s opinion, and act accordingly.