Faith & the Family Unit
(Part 4 of 4)
The Firpo Files
February 23-29, 2012)
In this final installment, I'll address further criticisms leveled against Jehovah's
Witnesses by lady preacher Charlo Crossley Fortier of the Bread of Life Foursquare Church here in the
City of the Angels.
She asserts that untrained Witness elders break up
families as these overseers follow organizational protocol.
She says the Witnesses
eschew the gifts of the spirit, and that yours truly should answer when Jesus comes knocking.
My response is presented forthwith, and, surprisingly, Whitney Houston weighs
Fractured Families?: The Russian
Orthodox Church used the Russian government to crack down on Jehovah's Witnesses.
Witnesses were charged with breaking up families, printing dangerous literature, and having mental
illnesses, among other charges.
Consequently, the government
moved against the Witnesses. This prompted a long, protracted legal battle that ultimately led to the chambers of the European
Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.
This court "is
made up of 47 judges--a number equal to the number of countries that signed the European Convention on Human Rights,"
says the July 15, 2011, Watchtower.
"The Court's judgments are
binding. Countries that signed the treaty must comply with the judgments." What did a panel of
court-appointed experts say about Witness literature and its effect on the family?
"On February 17, 2004, the trial resumed to review the results of the panel's
study," notes The Watchtower. "The experts found that our publications encourage
readers to ‘preserve the family and the marriage arrangement' and that the claim that our literature promotes
hatred was ‘unsupported.' Other scholars agreed."
Here's a sampling
of Witness publications (mostly books) written in hundreds of languages with millions of copies distributed
My Book of Bible Stories, The Secret
of Family Happiness, Making Your Family Life Happy, Learn From the Great Teacher, Questions Young People
Ask--Answers That Work, (Vols. 1 & 2), Your Youth--Getting the Best out of It, Jehovah's Witnesses
and Education, and School and Jehovah's Witnesses. (Visit www.watchtower.org for more info.)
But what about the very real internal family conflict in the cases
where a family member begins studying with the Witnesses?
the resistance and unwillingness of non-religious family members to accept and to respect their religious
relative's freedom to manifest and practise his or her religion that is the source of conflict,'"
the Court concluded.
Are the Witnesses a bunch of crazies with mental problems?
A "professor of psychiatry testified in court that he had studied more than 100 Witnesses in Moscow.
"He found that the group possessed normal mental health, adding that the
members of the group had grown more tolerant of other religions since they had become Witnesses."
Uneducated Elders?: Witness elders are constantly receiving training.
This training has been ratcheted up in recent years.
And when some have either
strayed from instructions given them by the representative Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, or
who--for self-serving purposes--manipulated these directives to their own advantage, eventually they
are dealt with.
Realizing that elders are imperfect (as are we all), the Governing
Body has a multi-level appeal apparatus in place to help determine if a congregant has been erroneously
Gifts of the spirit: "Prophecy
and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless." (1 Corinthians 13:8, New Living Translation)
When did this occur? When the first-century Christian Congregation matured.
why Paul wrote contextually: "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child,
and reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I no longer used childish ways."--1 Corinthians
13:11, God's Word Translation.
Indeed, the Bible says legitimate gifts
of the spirit are now both "useless" and "childish."
"Won't You Let Him In?": When a wealthy young politician approached
Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good must I do in order to get everlasting life?", instead of confiscating the
young man's riches or soliciting a generous donation from him, the Lord instructed him to keep long-lasting
commands from God, make certain sacrifices, and follow the Lord.--Matthew 19:16-24, New World Translation.
Fortier: Become born again! Jesus Christ is knocking on the door of your heart. Won't
you let Him in?
Carr: Not if he has a collection
Whitney Wails "Jehovah":
In 1990 Whitney Houston appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show with Stevie Wonder.
When asked what the first song she sang in church was she broke out singing, "Guide
me oh thou Great Jehovah," emphasizing "Jehovah" for at least five seconds.
What a witness from Whitney.
and blessings to all. Amen.