Congregation Activity and Memorial Attendance

Contents

  1. Being Active In the Congregation
  2. The Memorial

Being Active In the Congregation

Many people are beginning to question the Organization; and those who come across ours’ or King’s work often question whether they should continue in the congregation. In his latest podcast (#71), a caller mentioned that they would not continue going door to door along with the organization knowing they will have to spread false information. King has always encouraged his readers to continue in the Organization, stating that it is still God’s organization that using Matthew 24:15, 16 as evidence that people should not leave the organization until the disgusting thing appears. But is this reasoning sound?

King’s response to the questioner just mentioned was essentially, “would you lie if Jehovah asked you to?” A reasoning person might respond, “How could Jehovah, who himself cannot lie, ask his children to lie in his behalf.” King cites that Jehovah has allowed a “deluding influence” among his people (2 Thessalonians 2:11). However, as anyone who has even a very basic knowledge of JW doctrine can tell you, there is a huge difference between allowing something to happen, and actually doing it. Jehovah has never caused, or even perpetuated, a deluding influence, nor has he ever asked his followers to do so. It is true that when on earth, Jesus often spoke in riddles that confused people or because of which others drew wrong conclusions, but that was a result of faulty logic on the part of the individual, not because Jesus purposely promoted a lie. So what is the solution?

It is true that the congregation has served as a protection for people, and continues to do so. There are people out there who still need that protection, and until such time as Jehovah deems it necessary to move all his people away from the Organization, the Organization will continue to function in that capacity. Does that mean it’s necessary for all Jehovah’s servants to stay with the Organization until the UN comes to the man of lawlessness and asks to unite? Take a closer look at what Matthew 45:15, 16 says:

Therefore, when you catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken about by Daniel the prophet (let the reader use discernment), then let those in Judea begin fleeing to the mountains.

Notice that this scripture only refers to those who are still in Judea when the disgusting thing appears. What about those who have left “Judea” before the disgusting thing appears? Obviously they will not need to flee when the disgusting thing arrive, and so the scripture is silent on them because it’s not the purpose of this portion of the scripture to address that issue. So can we draw any conclusions on whether to leave before then or not based on the scriptures?

In the podcast mentioned previously, King uses the example of Jesus’ and his disciples, and this is always the way to go, for Jesus is our Leader. But did King weigh the accounts and thus come to the right conclusion? King concludes that because Jesus and his apostles kept annual Jewish observances and continued to go to the synagogue up until the disgusting thing appeared, that we should stick with the organization and not make waves. But is this the example Jesus set? No, it is not. Jesus went to the synagogues during his youth to get a religious education, and it is true that he kept the annual Jewish observances, but did his actions serve another purpose, or was it purely to uphold the Jewish system until it was overturned?

The Bible contains several accounts of Jesus confronting the leadership of the Jewish establishment for their hypocrisy, not to mention overturning the tables of the money changers and continually cleaning his Father’s house. No, Jesus was not simply a passive observer of the Jewish traditions. Where those traditions conflicted with his Father’s will or intention, he spoke out against it. The Jews did not consider Jesus or his disciples to be innocent members of the synagogues, they were known as apostates by the Jews in their time.

So, does this mean we should go to meetings and make a scene at Kingdom Halls? No, it is not yet time for a witness to be given to Jehovah’s Witnesses, but that time will soon come. So what is a person who is learning the truth behind the Watchtower’s lies supposed to do? This is a questions that only you can answer. It is something you need to work out with Jehovah.

Some people still have learning to do, or they may feel they still need a certain amount of protection or upbuilding that the congregation provides. In those cases, if you are a publisher, you can try focusing on things that don’t have to do with prophecy. Much of what Jehovah’s Witnesses teach are still true. Focus on those things if you are determined to continue in the formal door-to-door ministry.

For some people, the Society may be acting as a barrier to providing a full witness to people. If that’s the case, then you may want to try becoming inactive and doing what JWs refer to as “informal witnessing.” This would be a great opportunity to really hone your skills as you “make the truth your own.” In these cases, the crutch of reliance on Watchtower scripts may actually be hindering a person’s spiritual growth.

Then there are some who have been given specific assignments by Jehovah that require them to separate themselves from the Society. There is Biblical precedence for this…many of the prophets and watchmen of old were required to alienate themselves from God’s people in order to provide a witness to them. That has proven to be the case for the writer and editor of this website. We have been commanded by Jehovah not to return to the Society, and Jehovah himself acts as our protection. Because of that, both of us have chosen to engage in “informal witnessing.”

One important thing to note is that even if you do come to the prayerful conclusion that it is time for you to leave the Society, your obligation as a minister is not relinquished. Indeed, as a person who has come to understand truths that are beyond the Society and who has chosen to go out on their own, your obligation as a minister actually increases. As the Bible states, “everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him.” (Luke 12:48) This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to have your own website or anything like that. It simply means that you need to continue witnessing, in truth, despite any opposition you may face. That also doesn’t mean your witnessing needs to be intrusive, if you’re in a situation where providing a witness would be inappropriate or clearly unwanted, then respect that. What it does mean, however, is that witnessing without the guidance of the Watchtower’s crutch will require more diligence on your part in knowing and understanding Biblical principles so you can explain them when the appropriate situation arises.

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The Memorial

For those who are unaware of what the Memorial is, it is an annual observance instituted by Jesus the night before his death. Jehovah’s Witnesses refer to it as the Lord’s Evening Meal. It is a gathering of people in observation of the sacrifice made by Jesus on our behalf. At the Memorial held by the Witnesses, a prayer is said over the unfermented bread, which, when broken, symbolizes Jesus’ sinless body, broken at his death. The unleavened bread is then passed around, and those who are anointed, partake of the bread as the apostles did in the first century. The same is then done with a glass of red, unfortified wine, in symbol of Jesus’ shed blood.

Lillie, an anointed sister, has partaken once at the Witness’ Memorial, and once during a private ceremony. She expressed to Tara that it never felt right to her to have the memorial open to the public for everyone to gawk at. After all, when Jesus held the memorial with his apostles, it was a private observance; there were no onlookers, it was just Jesus and the twelve.

That being said, should one attend the memorial observance held by Jehovah’s Witnesses? That is a personal decision you need to make for yourself. And the decision will be influenced by several factors, including whether or not you are a Witness in good standing or associating with the Witnesses, and whether or not you are anointed and if you are anointed, what your role is going to be during the Memorial (in other words, whether or not you have decided to partake).

Even if you are not associated with the Witnesses and not anointed, you may feel the need or desire to attend the Witnesses’ Memorial observance. That is really a matter of conscience. If you are not anointed and decide not to attend the Witness’ event, then there is no real need to observe it in private, as it is really meant for the bride class.

If, however, you are anointed and do not feel comfortable attending the Witness’ event, then you have two options, hold a private ceremony with another spiritual brother or sister (a family relation is probably preferable). If there are multiple anointed who want to attend a private ceremony together, that may be reasonable, but at least one non-anointed brother or sister will be needed to conduct the ceremony. The person who conducts the private ceremony preferably should be someone who is already familiar with the format of the event conducted by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

If you are anointed, another option, is to choose not to partake, either in the emblems (the bread and wine) or the observance itself. I mentioned earlier that Lillie partook at a private ceremony. It was a ceremony that Tara conducted. After that, Lillie expressed that she no longer felt it was necessary to continue the Memorial observance. One thing of note is that Robert King has expressed a similar sentiment in his experience of being anointed. He partook once and did not feel the need to partake again afterwards. It appears now as if the partaking is really about the public declaration of one’s calling, and once that public declaration has been made, the need to continue the observance is no longer present. This is a departure from what Jesus told his disciples, which was to “keep doing this in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:25). This appears to be an indication of the closeness of the time of the end.

What is right for you in terms of Memorial attendance and partaking? That is something you must decide after taking the matter to Jehovah in prayer.