There has never been a financial scandal among Jehovah’s Witnesses. Yet, to their enemies, a gargantuan one is always looming on the horizon. Pushing back at similar charges leveled in Russia by popular media, journalist Katerina Chernova [as related in I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses: Searching for the Why] pushes back at “money-pumping” allegations. Yes, they are heard all the time, she acknowledges, but “when [people] are asked to name just one victim from whom money, apartments, or something else was taken by the Witnesses, NOBODY was able to remember A SINGLE case in fact!” [Caps hers]
Vic Vomodog pummels me regularly that he wants to see SEC-style detailed public accounting laid out for him, such as is habitual with publicly-owned companies, but not private. He just wants a line-item list that he can attach a line-item veto to each one—with bellyaching! Believe me, he knows how to do it. “Honest men entrusted with large sums of money give an accounting to those who entrusted them, as a matter of courtesy, appreciation, respect and honor!” he fires at me.
Apparently, he shouldn’t have. From the weekly Bible reading when it was centered on Josiah:
“Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, and let him collect all the money that is being brought into the house of Jehovah, which the doorkeepers have collected from the people. Have them give it to those appointed over the work in the house of Jehovah who, in turn, will give it to the workers in the house of Jehovah who are to repair the damage to the house, that is, to the craftsmen, the builders, and the masons; and they are to use it to buy timbers and hewn stones to repair the house. But no accounting should be required of them for the money that they are given, because they are trustworthy.” [bolding mine, of course] (2 Kings 22:4-7)
I had no idea that was there. I was surprised to see it. I have never heard the verse used as justification for not submitting detailed stock-market like quarterly financial reports. I don’t expect an appeal to it. Hitting on the Research Guide brings up nothing. Apparently, the verse has never been cited.
But if there’s one thing I know, it’s that a group of people whose mission statement is to follow Bible principles come heck or high water is not going to be shoved into ‘Trust—but verify’ public accounting by ever-accusing or suspicious people when the Bible says it is not to be done.
The round-figure reports that we do get as to how much was spent here and there—this much for disaster relief, that much for missionaries, this much for a Branch build, appear to be in excess of what is scripturally required.
Every so often I come across some unexpected thing to buttress my high level of confidence in the Governing Body. Every so often I come across some unexpected thing to withstand all these Vomodog-like critics who complain they are “arrogant.” If they were arrogant they would make this scripture their year text. They would say, ‘We don’t have to answer to no one. The Bible says so.’ They have divine authorization to say just that. They have never made use of it.
Probably humility enters into it, as well as a desire not to expose themselves to temptation. Obviously, they know of the scripture. Even though they can use it, they may feel it comes across as just too cocky to put it out there. They may feel it presents too much of a ‘Let he who thinks he is standing beware he does not fall’ challenge. It may even represent a rare sense of being PR sensitive.
And don’t bellyache over this, you mutt! You know I am but inches away from discovering hidden manuscripts detailing the interaction between Josiah and the unusual Israelite named Vomodogiah.
****Burns me up, he does—even if we were once BFFs.
And Truetom said to Vomodog, “Where you been?”
‘Oh, from roaming around the earth and going anywhere I please,’ Vomodog replied. ‘What’s it to you?’
At that Truetom said, ‘Have you beheld the servants at Bethel? How they fear God and turn away from dishonest gain?’
Vomodog shot back, “Is it for nothing they turn away? Do not we mollycoddle them all (except for the ones we gave walking papers to on Rightsize Day)? But just lean into them a little and see if they don’t steal you blind!”
At this Truetom threw away his new personality to kingdom come, wondered whatever became of his Bethel application, and replied:
(Photo from IMBd of Jack Luden—an American actor of 1930-40 Westerns, nephew of the Luden’s Cough Drops inventor)
*** Back to Katerina Chernova, as related in Don’t Know Why:
“She goes on to relate a small fact that is actually huge and that says it all: with Jehovah’s Witnesses, baptisms and weddings and funerals are conducted ‘on a cost-free basis.’ With the Orthodox Church? “We have heard many complaints against it regarding the impossibility of performing any ritual in the event that a person does not have money. That is, you want to be ‘baptized,’—some ‘donation;’ you want to be ‘married,’—it takes so much cash; a ‘funeral,’—it is also not for free.”
An avaricious organization is not going to cut off these most dependable of all generators of cash.”
****** The bookstore