THE ISSUE OF BLOOD
After the emotion comes the careful reflection. One Jehovah's Witness has died and it might be that refusing blood was a contributing factor. However, is one possible life necessary? Are others going to play 'Russian Roulette' with their lives?
However, there are those who work with former Jehovah Witnesses who urge us not to be hard on the rank and file members of the group. Doug Harris is Director of Reachout Trust, an Evangelical Christian group that has worked with these people for the past 26 years. Doug said:
"We should show nothing but love and compassion for the rank and file members, they are only following what they believe are God's directions to them. Having faith is a food thing; wanting to serve our Creator is something we should applaud. The problem is not with them but with the Leadership."
Doug added, "This family will be feeling really sad and our hearts should go out to them and we should put no further pressures on them because the Society does that enough."
The teaching of the Governing Body of Jehovah Witnesses is that God forbids blood transfusions. That is blasphemy because God does not; indeed the Scriptures they quote having nothing to do with a medical procedure that was not even invented at the time.
The leadership then teachers that they are the only true Christians, disobey them and disobey God; leave the Organisation and you leave behind the only hope of Salvation. This is the pressure that is pout upon each Witness that faces this issue.
Putting words into God's mouth is bad enough but the Organisation itself has double standards. When they wanted to register as a church in Bulgaria they agreed, with a signed document at the Court of Human Rights, with the Government there that they would not teach that its members should not take blood. In that instance they were prepared to compromise on what is said to be God's clear directive.
Double-standards, deceit and cover up are unfortunately the order of the day. Pressure and demands are placed upon its members. Whereas true Christianity is to consist of love, understanding and a clear openness and desire for the best life for its people.
Doug Harris of Reachout Trust finally urged, "Please help these ones as they come to the door to see that they are not in God's Organisation and they are not laying down their lives for Jehovah but rather for men in the Brooklyn Headquarters."