A new video has been published on the JWStruggle YouTube channel entitled, “Sins of Omission and Taking Responsibility For Our Actions”. It will be linked to later in this article, but first I wanted to expand on this title and why it seems relevant to me.
I have been thinking lately about the Nazis, and how their principle defense at Nuremberg was to blame Hitler. They claimed that they were just following orders. They said they had to do what he told them to do, and so shifted all the blame onto him for the atrocities they committed.
That court, as well as history and people’s sense of right and wrong ruled against them. You cannot blame someone else for your own actions. Even under duress we have a choice. For those of us that were congregation members, regularly attending the Kingdom Hall and practicing the Jehovah’s Witness religion we can relate to this. Those of us that still are Witnesses and are waking up to TTATT also feel this burden. How long can we say that we are “just following orders”? At what point do we become culpable for our own actions?
Many go to the Kingdom Hall grudgingly and miss as many meetings as they feel they are able to without arousing too much suspicion. This has to happen for some of us, and is necessary for a certain amount of time. But for how long? Can we in good conscience keep going out in field service, offering Watchtower and Awake magazines? Could we conduct a Bible study, and assist in directing an interested one to “Come to Jehovah’s Organization for salvation”? (The Watchtower 1981 Nov 15 p.212)
It is human nature to blame someone else for our missteps. It dates all the way back to the story of Adam, who blamed Eve for his sin against God. Have we succumbed to that? If so, what can we do about it?
What is a “sin of omission“? (James 4:17) And how can we take responsibility for our actions when we are another cog in the machinery of the Watchtower? I have thought long and hard about the people I personally disfellowshipped and the pain I caused during the years I was an elder. I have prayed to God for forgiveness and tried my best to repent for what I did while acting under the mind-control of the Watchtower Organization. I thought I was doing what was right at the time. But now I know that does not excuse me for the injustices I perpetrated. I didn’t lead the friends to Christ- I led them to worship a man-made organization.
But the love of God teaches us that he does not hold our sins against us. His judge Christ Jesus does not do to us what we deserve, and loves us beyond our ability to even understand it. That is grace. That is a large part of the reason we serve Him, because his love and forgiveness is so great.
The YouTube video is embedded below, as well as the description text.
Many that are or were Jehovah’s Witnesses are coming to grips with a hard truth. This fact is that they were or are a part of and in some small (or not so small) way supporting the “Watchtower machine”.
This false prophet is misleading millions of people away from the “truth”, which is only Christ Jesus and not a man-made organization.(John 14:6) It can cause us pain and cognitive dissonance if we are still caught up in it, and also guilt even if we are no longer associated. Is there anything we can do? How can we personally take responsibility for our actions in this regard?
The mind can easily allow sins of omission to slip into our lives. The reasoning can be used that we aren’t the ones making the bombs so we can’t be held responsible for what happens to others that are flattened by them. This is human nature and we all at times must use rationalizations to get through the day. Many Jehovah’s Witnesses are on medications to combat mood swings and anxiety and nervous conditions as a result of the culture in which the find themselves. These thoughts lie below the surface upon learning TTATT and can cause pain to the emotions just as unshielded sunlight burns a person’s eyes when they stare directly at it.
So how culpable is the Watchtower Organization and its leadership? How much responsibility should current Governing Body members take for what their predecessors did? Are they simply caught up in the inertia of the harsh policies that currently enslave and degrade the quality of life for the rank-and-file Witness?
Jesus said that the religious leaders of his day “shut up the Kingdom of the Heavens” before men, in effect, blocking them from entering. The leadership then expelled Jesus from their church, spiritually exectuing him, and then ultimately physically killed himn as well. Would we have gone along with the crowd if we were alive and on the scene back then?
It is hard to consider that some of us may be doing that today, right now. In practice, are “just following orders” and in so doing still a cog in the Watchtower machinery? This is an apparatus that chews up and spits out approximately 60,000 people every year, discarding them as collateral damage, as mentally diseased worldly ones that have returned to their vomit. Others suffer in silence, trapped by social and family pressure.
Individual Jehovah’s Witnesses are not evil and should not be judged by me or anyone. On the contrary, they are trying their best to serve God as they operate under a false belief that the men of the Governing Body and New York Bethel have been authorized and empowered by Jehovah to be his exclusive spokesmen. But what of those that are no longer under such illusions and have learned TTATT? I had a Bible Study that once clapped his hands over his ears and said “I don’t want to hear anymore!” as some of his cherished beliefs were being destroyed by Biblical truth. Have we become that same kind of person?
Let us bow our heads together, or better yet kneel, and talk to God in prayer thus:
“Father we pray that we can be guided through this darkness and into the light that comes from your Word, and from your Son our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus. Give us strength to do what we know is right, and to let our light shine before men. Protect our loved ones and lift the veil from their eyes as well as we extract the rafter from our eye and follow the Christian path that you have set before us. Our Lord did not waver nor turn from his destiny and may we never waver in doing the same.
Bless our sincere efforts Father as we pray for your will to be done, in the precious name of Jesus,