Sunday, December 14, 2008

Still No Answer

People are busy. Organizations are busy. But many are not too busy to keep publishing things about what others should believe where it concerns belief in God and in what he requires of us. Though many things published about God and the Bible are not true, people believe them anyway without first evaluating what is taught to the extent needed in order to "make sure."--1 Thessalonians 5:21.

The result is that too many today are surrendering their lives to men and to organizations who do not teach what is true because of the best available reasons. Of course, people can publish what they want (most of the time, at least in the United States), but that does not mean people have to believe what is taught, and so ultimately the burden of 'making sure' falls to each of us, individually.--Compare Revelation 2:23.

Therefore, we should all have good (the best) reasons for our beliefs, and those good reasons should not disappear or no longer mean anything to us simply because we also think a person or a group of people 'seem good,' or because they talk about "God" or "Jesus." Appearances are deceiving, and that is why one is said to use them very well to his own end (2 Corinthians 11:14-15), while another looks beyond such things and to what matters most.--Isaiah 11:3.

Similarly, we should approach our beliefs, not by looking at the appearance of a belief based on how someone else presents it, but because of the reasons put forth which we can then make our own after checking the evidence no matter who presents it.--Acts 17:10-11; Galatians 1:7-9.

Jehovah's Witnesses who are Christian Witnesses of Jah believe what can be shown to be most likely true based on the best available reasons. When people 'demand reasons from us for our hope' (1 Peter 3:15), we try to give them the best reasons we have and if they are shown to be less convincing in comparison to other good reasons, then we adjust to what the best available reasons reveal. Because of this, we try never to unduly burden people with beliefs that are not convincing, or that the best available reasons show are between each person and God.--Compare Matthew 11:30; Romans 14:4.

As is true for other religions, sometimes beliefs are put forth as "Christian" but they are not supported by any evidence that associates the belief credibly with Jesus or with his early followers. Other times the reasons offered for a particular belief are unconvincing or even contradicted plainly by other, better reasons so that doubt and even resistance to the beliefs are appropriate, even expected (compare Galatians 2:11-21).

Christians who are told that God and Jesus want people to believe certain things and to act in certain ways should be given good reasons for what is claimed, for no on wants to be "tossed about as by waves and carried hither and thither by every wind of teaching by means of the trickery of men, by means of cunning in contriving error"; rather, we try to 'speak the truth' based on the evidence available to us (Ephesians 4:14-15). That's the Christian way, the way Jehovah's Witnesses who are Christian Witnesses of Jah try to follow.

But Jehovah's Witnesses who are loyal to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and to its governors no matter what they publish are left without any good reasons at all for many of their beliefs. This makes it impossible not only to answer for their teachings, but it instills in followers of the Watchtower Society a readiness or mindset that is willing to accept critical and important beliefs without good reasons. For example, in “Be Guided by the Living God,” The Watchtower, June 15, 2004, pages 21-22, par. 11, we read (with underlining added):

Decades ago Jehovah’s Witnesses made their stand clear. For example, they supplied an article to The Journal of the American Medical Association (November 27, 1981; reprinted in How Can Blood Save Your Life? pages 27-9). That article quoted from Genesis, Leviticus, and Acts. It said: “While these verses are not stated in medical terms, Witnesses view them as ruling out transfusion of whole blood, packed RBCs [red blood cells], and plasma, as well as WBC [white blood cell] and platelet administration.” The 2001 textbook Emergency Care, under “Composition of the Blood,” stated: “The blood is made up of several components: plasma, red and white blood cells, and platelets.” Thus, in line with medical facts, Witnesses refuse transfusions of whole blood or of any of its four primary components.

Twice in 2007 I wrote to the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses associated with the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in a constructive manner that, in part, asked what "medical facts" from their quotation from the "2001 textbook Emergency Care" they believe they are "in line with" when "refusing transfusions of whole blood or of any of its four primary components." Those letters, along with some other related correspondence concerning this issue, can be read at the end of this article.

However, to date, the Governing Body has not responded to this question and no Watchtower Witness loyal to the Governing Body has stepped forward to answer this question, either. Yet, what you read above is still taught as legitimate support for the organization's position that people should refuse transfusions of the four primary components of blood, none of which are actually blood!

As anyone who reads the above can see, there is nothing in the definition of "blood" found in the quoted 2001 textbook that provides any basis whatsoever for the Watchtower's teaching that blood's four primary components should be refused as part of a medical transfusion. Indeed, there is nothing anywhere in any medical textbook that equates blood's four primary components with blood, as if any one component of blood is blood. In fact, even the definition of "blood" that is given in the quoted textbook (and, thus, in The Watchtower article itself!) shows that these four primary components are not blood, but components of blood.

If the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses associated with the Watchtower Society, or those Witnesses loyal to them, choose to explain why the subject textbook is quoted and used in The Watchtower in this way, please send me an email ( But, so far, there is still no answer from those responsible for the use of the 2001 medical textbook that is in question.--1 Peter 3:15.