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When My Favorite Circuit Overseer Died

To the Coarse People I Became Coarse, so as to Pull Their Bacon From the Fire

Just after Christmas comes the rush to return gifts that didn’t hit the bullseye—or even missed it by a mile. It’s like when someone gave me a tee-shirt (though not for Christmas) emblazoned with, “Where’s My Senior Discount?” Trust me on this: It will be a cold day in you-know-where before you see me wearing a shirt that says ‘Where’s My Senior Discount?’ And yet the giver is a great guy who meant well. 

So it is when this giver (me) regifts Bill Shatner’s song to Witness HQ. He means well. They won’t like it for its language. But he means well.

Will one put HQ under a microscope, like the malcontents do? Look for flaws among humans and you will always find some. It is a fool’s game to base judgments on the flaws of those taking the lead anywhere, but it is also the oldest trick in the book. Honing in on the imperfections of the doers will allow you to discredit anything. The only ones not making mistakes are the ones not doing anything (as though that itself is not a mistake).

The Word itself says, ‘we have this treasure [the ministry] in earthen vessels [us—impaired, error-prone humans]. (2 Corinthians 4:7) And since it is the critics, not the friends, who hone in on faults, you know they will multiply several-fold whatever they think they find. It is in the nature of critics.

We’re in weak position to say what ‘should be done’ in directing the Lord’s work. To those who think they do know, consider how Jesus said something that, if any of the Governing Body had said it, they would be blisteringly condemned as irresponsible and wrong.

Why did Jesus say as he did about eating his flesh and drinking his blood? (John 6:53) No clue here. Enemies of the truth would later seize upon it to spread the ill rumor that Christians practiced cannibalism. Early Christians were persecuted and killed, their enemies spurred on by this abominable report that could be traced to Jesus himself. Who would not, if they didn’t know it was Jesus, not quickly condemn whoever said the inflammatory words?

Another reason ‘Has Been’ might not fly as a gift, apart from its courseness, is that being a William Shatner song, one gets sidetracked musing over just how insufferable the guy was supposed to have been. The costars of Star Trek often say that about him, to the point that the modern-day Shatner complains, ‘You’re still obsessing over that?! It was 60 years ago!’ Even if he was insufferable, that doesn’t mean he still is. Many a person learns modesty with passing years. Besides, the guy can make fun of himself. I know that because of a Colombo episode in which he played a mogul whose favorite painting—an oversized portrait of himself, hung prominently on the wall.

Critical factions tend to be topheavy with people who haven’t done squat. The Witness support organization, in contrast, has. You’re supposed to do things if you are a follower of Christ, since ‘faith without works is dead.’ Nothing more multiplies getting things done than organizing for that purpose.

Shortly after my chum entered Bethel in the mid-70s, he reported that whereas Bethel had once been a family where everyone knew each other, its growth made that no longer possible, and that it was becoming more “corporate” [his word] in nature. Most would agree with that assessment. Just how are you going to deal with a ‘family’ consisting of thousands? Who else undertakes the experiment they do.

Who else has coupled the detailed points of religious truth with a worldwide unity—keeping everyone on the same page? How many are in that league? The unity of many religious groups begins and ends at believing in God, and there are some which don’t even get that far. So it’s refreshing to think of the brother in our congregation who related to me how his non-Witness family is nonetheless intrigued that he can go anywhere in the world, as he has in several countries, and instantly find himself among friends. Isn’t that what holds people back from freely traveling—the fear they may find themselves friendless in uncooperative places?

You think I’ll be thanked for dedicating the Shatner song to them? What! Are you nuts? A ‘Put up your dukes’ song that begins, “You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me?You calling me ‘Has been’? I don’t think so. It’s not exactly the mild-tempered spirit, is it? But parts of it fit. The only ones who make no missteps are those who do nothing. So click here if you are bold enough.

Riding on their armchairs,they dream of wealth and fame.Fear is their companion,Nintendo is their game.Never Done Jack and Two-Thumbs Donand side-kick Don't Say Dickwill laugh at others failuresthough they have not done sh*t.

I admit I get fed up with those who are intensely critical yet offer nothing positive themselves. You may never again think of ‘Has Been’ in the same way realigned to its new cause, and maybe you will never agains see the Witness HQ in the same way. No, they will not thank me. They don’t know just what congregation Bill Shatner attends and they’ll frown at the language. But when they call me on the carpet I will reply that I am just imitating Paul: 

To the Jews I became as a Jew in order to gain Jews; to those under law I became as under law . . . To those without law I became as without law . . . To the weak I became weak, in order to gain the weak. . . . to the course people I became course, so as to pull their bacon out of the fire.” (1 Corinthians 9:20–sort of)

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(Photo by Pixabay)

******  The bookstore

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'

Comments

JP

"And since it is the critics, not the friends, who hone in on faults, you know they will multiply several-fold whatever they think they find."

Yes, I concur. Once a critic(s) opens one door–without having the totality of the facts–it inevitably leads to countless other doors and endless speculations, a field day of sorts.

[reply: appreciate your feedback. Thank you]

JP

You're welcome, my brother. :)

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