what do you think about having a paper to "sign up" for aux pioneering or to full time pioneer. do you think it's proper?
As with most questions I am asked, my answer to your question has a few considerations.
First, the signing up...
In signing up, what we do in our service to follow, is partly done to fulfill an agreement we have made with an organization of men.
Our vow is to meet their expectations and commands. If we are making a sacrifice according to their specifications,
are we still sacrificing to God? Who does God think the sacrifice of our heart is for? This warrants a self-examination.
In signing up, the candidate is also asked to swear to a condition stated on the application. See if you agree that this
requirement has no place in our being slaves of God...
On the application, we are asked, "Are you in harmony with all the teachings of the 'faithful and discreet slave?'".
Can anyone, even with the best of intentions to conform, claim this perfection, without lying? In God's eyes,
is swearing an oath while lying, really a good thing...just so that we can conform to the expectations of men?
We should remember God's opinion..."he who is unfaithful in least, is unfaithful in much".
I would like to tell you of my own experience concerning this:
I am currently a full-time pioneer. I too, had to fill out this application. I did not answer this question to the satisfaction
of one of the elders on the review board. He said he was very uncomfortable about my refusing to sign to this condition.
I am sure that if he were asked, he would sign instantly. He apparently puts stock in falsifying such appearances.
Let me explain...
This is the same elder who came to my house to "offer counsel" when I was going through a very difficult time due to
finding out about my husband's ten years of adultery.
The elder arrived at my home, by himself. He started asking me personal questions about my marriage's sex life;
and then began to confide in me about how his wife deprived him of sexual relations. When I saw where this was leading,
I stood up and asked him to leave immediately.
He was also the elder that told me that I was forbidden to study with my 3 daughters, because it showed disrespect to
my adulterous husband, who was my head.
I happen to know that the society's stand on these subject, differs greatly from the "counsel" from this elder.
This is the same elder that found it disturbing that I did not sign my name in a sworn oath, to do everything in
harmony with the society. He even wanted to prevent me from serving Jehovah more fully, unless I signed.
So I ask you...was he willing to lie? He also expected me to...just for appearances.
What does Jehovah think of that?
Our ministry to Jehovah (according to Jehovah), has nothing to do with whether or not we agree with everything
imperfect men say. Jehovah's requirement to serve him, is that we agree with all that He and Jesus say.
Why should the "price" of obedience to imperfect men, be laid upon those who have a desire to give more
time and service to Jehovah? Any who have the audacity to require such for themselves, should be in terror of
the Universal Sovereign!
Was this requirement placed upon Christ and his disciples, before they could serve God? Were they ever expected
to conform every thought and action to imperfect men, before their sacrifice could be acceptable?
According to the Pharisees...yes!
Even if we were to do all in our power to research the bound volumes to be sure all our actions conformed
to these printed doctrines...it is impossible to fulfill this pledge. Why? Not only are we imperfect, but the doctrines
themselves do not agree with themselves! There are conflicting doctrines throughout these publications.
How can one's thoughts be in harmony with all of them?
It is also true, that in demanding this price of allegiance, it is an improper buying and selling.
For the price of a lie that bolsters the power of men, they will give you prestige and position.
None of these things belong in one's slaving for God!
Jesus said regarding our deeds, "Do not let your left hand, know what your right hand is doing" Matt.6:3.
How does pioneering fit into this? Does not everyone know who is on the Pioneer list?
Does not everyone know the hour requirement of Pioneering?
Pioneers go to special meetings and are shown special consideration as part of how men bolster the esteem given this position.
Is this so esteemed in Jehovah's eyes? He despises titles that cause class distinctions!(James 2:4; 3:17; Matt.23:8-12)
Yet, the dangling temptation of such prideful titles, serves to bolster the power and control of Leaders who give them;
as well as the pride of those who strive for and attain them. (see "Are you chasing a carrot on a stick?" )
Jehovah puts the same value on "two coins of very little value"(Luke 21:2). God's feelings about this are "honored"
with the organization's lips, "but their heart is far removed" (Matt.15:8). Do you think the struggling low-hour publisher,
receives the same Organizational respect as a Pioneer? The answer is obvious, and should teach us why Jehovah has
decreed that we do not make these distinctions.
I think it is good (in our service to Jehovah) to have personal goals. We should strive to increase our offering to Him,
as we are able. According to the Bible, this is not to be made public(Matt.6:1,2). Nor should public comparisons be made.
"But let each one prove what his own work is, and then he will have cause for exultation in regard to himself alone,
and not in comparison with the other person."
How does this compare to the man-made institution, "Pioneering"?
We are all nothing. Without Jehovah's spirit, we can accomplish nothing at all (Psalm 127:1).
The preaching is God's will (Rom.10:13-15). He will use men to fulfill his purpose, as he used the Jews.
He can use stones to preach (Luke 19:40), showing that those who do it are nothing (Luke 17:10).
But for those who defy Jehovah's expressed counsel and mislead his people to follow them in this;
there will be an accounting (Hebrews 4:13)
You may wonder then, why am I a Pioneer?
Since Jehovah had directed me to pioneer, I imagine that he may want a witness given in the only terms of esteem
these men understand;
before they expel me for my faithfulness to Christ and the truth.
Since I wrote the above, I have had a change in stance concerning my own "pioneering"........
Here are an additional three questions concerning this subject.....
Pledge of Allegiance on Regular Pioneer Letter
QUESTION: Hello Pearl.
My wife was a regular pioneer as a Jehovahs Witness several years ago.
I read your Experience in your profile. I was looking for a Expert to answer a question
and your profile seems you can answer it. But I asked her about a Pledge of Allegiance
on the back of the letter she signed when she became a Regular Pioneer.
I think she might not remember, so I want to ask you.
ANSWER: Hello Charles,
I had been hoping to get another copy of the application so that I could give you
a word for word quote of the statement that one must sign. I don't trust my memory
that much. But the applications are not distributed freely. The atmosphere of the
elders/leaders in the Congregations has become suspicious and controlling, so
I am not able to request another application. To do so would raise suspicion and
provoke another formal inquiry, because being a pioneer myself, I do not need
(Sidepoint: When I realized that accepting this unscriptural title of "pioneer"
caused "class distinction" and therefore, displeases God (due to Bible verses I read),
I requested removal from the rank. I no longer report all my volunteered hours,
in order to facilitate disqualification. Still, the elders will not remove me.)
So I will have to do the best I can to remember the "pledge" from memory,
to forward the statement to you. I will also include the rationale behind my reasoning
that this statement is in reality, a "pledge of allegiance". It will help my explanation,
if we first cover the meaning of allegiance, and the meaning of signature...
the loyalty of a citizen to his or her government or of a subject to his or her sovereign.
loyalty or devotion to some person, group, cause, or the like.
From Meriam Webster:
Definition of ALLEGIANCE
a : the obligation of a feudal vassal to his liege lord
b (1) : the fidelity owed by a subject or citizen to a sovereign or government
(2) : the obligation of an alien to the government under which the alien resides
:devotion or loyalty to a person, group, or cause
Some statements from Wikipedia's definition:
"A legal obedience, where a particular law requires the taking of an oath of allegiance
by subject or alien alike."
Main article: Oath of allegiance
The oath of allegiance is an oath of fidelity to the sovereign taken by
all persons holding important public office and as a condition of naturalization.
This was thought to favour the doctrine of absolute non-resistance,
and accordingly the convention parliament enacted the form that has
been in use since that time – "I do sincerely promise and swear that I will
be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty ..."
It will also help our discussion, to cover the meaning of "signature",
according to Wikipedia:
Function and types of signatures:
The traditional function of a signature is evidential: it is to give evidence of:
The provenance of the document (identity)
The intention (will) of an individual with regard to that document
For example, the role of a signature in many consumer contracts is not solely
to provide evidence of the identity of the contracting party, but also
to provide evidence of deliberation and informed consent."
I would like to highlight these clarifications about the definitions of "signature"....
"to give evidence of" "the intention (will) of an individual with regard to that document"
"to provide evidence of deliberation and informed consent."
Does not giving one's signature convey "intention", "deliberation" and "consent"?
Would you agree that giving one's signature, is evidence of a pledge?
Hopefully you concur with me, by also perceiving that a signature constitutes a
voluntary binding intention, or, a pledge.
To my best recollection, the statement on the back of the Pioneer application states:
"I AM IN HARMONY WITH ALL THE TEACHINGS COMING FROM
THE 'FAITHFUL AND DISCREET SLAVE'".
One is expected to complete the application, by signing their name under this statement.
Although there are many things wrong with this expectation, I will narrow those
down to your point of interest...the fact that this constitutes a "pledge of allegiance".
"I AM IN HARMONY WITH..."
I will compare this segment with the definitions given for "allegiance"...
"the loyalty of a citizen to his or her government"
"devotion or loyalty to a person, group, or cause"
"the fidelity owed by a subject or citizen to a sovereign or government"
"an oath of fidelity to the sovereign taken by all persons holding important public office"
"absolute non-resistance" "promise and swear that I will be faithful"
To be in "harmony" denotes full compliance and alignment.....allegiance, yes?
"ALL THE TEACHINGS"
Here is where the subject of allegiance is stated. One must pledge that they are in
full accord ("non-resistance") with whatever instruction, interpretation,
or direction that comes from this entity.
"COMING FROM THE "FAITHFUL AND DISCREET SLAVE"
This fulfills the source and identity of one's compliance...
according the definition of allegiance:
"government", "person, group, or cause", "sovereign".
We see that the statement on the back of the application is one of allegiance.
To sign one's name below it, is to take that pledge. Do you not agree?
Although Jehovah's Witnesses are aware of the Bible's directive that
God's worshipers are forbidden to give a pledge of "devotion
(or loyalty to a person, group, or cause") to anyone or anything other than Jehovah God;
they lose sight of this divine requirement when it comes to the organization that they
believe represents God. Yet God never made allowance or concession for there
to be any substitute or representative of him, when it comes to the "allegiance",
EXCLUSIVE devotion, or obedience that He alone is owed.
The so-called "faithful and discreet slave", simply stated, IS NOT JEHOVAH GOD.
For those loyal to God and the guidance found in his Word, no pledge of allegiance
to men is necessary. For these men to require a devotion to themselves in excess
to one's baptism to God, is forbidden by the first commandment, and constitutes idolatry.
How shocking and regrettable, that the very application which represents increased
service to God, is the very means and act of rejecting Him, in favor of devotion to men.
Men, who through their pressing this very requirement, prove themselves apostate.
Seeing through this cleverly disguised subterfuge, I refused to sign that statement.
My allegiance belongs to none other than God...
whether governing men in power serve him, or not.
Such men do not rightly share in the worship due God's station.
Of course, the statement is not even POSSIBLE to comply with in reality. How so?
"all the teachings coming from the 'faithful and discreet slave'"
are not even in harmony with themselves.
Many of these "teachings" conflict!
Also, can anyone honestly claim that they even KNOW "all the teachings"
in order to pledge harmony with them all?
No. The actuality of this pledge, is not that one examines, weighs, agrees with,
and complies to all previously published printed material....
It is a pledge that one complies unquestioningly, with one's entire life.
One is expected, in reality, to become a slave of the Organization, obeying it's every command.
This present and future compliance is unconditional and assumed.
Men are imperfect and subject to unfaithfulness. To pledge one's Faith and Obedience
unconditionally to men, is to reject the supremacy and authority of God and the Bible.
For a true Christian, God's Word is peerless and supreme. For those loyal to God,
no doctrines of men are permitted equal authority with that of the Bible.
No loyal Christian Leader would press such an abominable requirement, in order
to serve God more fully.
He would only value that a representative of God be in harmony with God's Word
and it's moral standards.
Yet the reality is, that no pledge of allegiance to men, nor an application,
nor a signature, nor a title,
is found in the scriptures,
in order to preach the truth of the Bible fully.
In fact, such things are disapproved of in the scriptures.
When we subject ourselves to this corruption of truth, who are we serving?....God?
Although I never signed the pledge, my application was approved after much
deliberation and dissension among the elders. Despite my loyalty to this test,
I have decided to cast off the unscriptural title of pioneer. I have made this decision
based upon many scriptural commands and requirements for Christians, so I have
done what I could to correct this sin of mine. That sin now rests with the elders,
who refuse to remove me from that public designation.
Thank you for your question. I hope I gave a satisfactory answer.
If it is deficient (or if you desire the actual scriptures upon which my conviction is founded), please follow up with an additional question.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Aren't the Faithful and Discrete Slave also part of the Anointed?
My wife says they are. If so, don't you owe great respect to them since they work
with Holy Spirit of God? What other things do your elders/leaders ask you to do
that you disagree to? Was the Apostle John one of the anointed?
John says of Diotrephes at 3rd John 9-11 "I wrote something to the congregation,
but Diotrephes, who likes to have the first place among them, does not receive
anything from us with respect. That is why, if I come, I will call to remembrance
his works which he goes on doing, chattering about us with wicked words.
Also, not being content with these things, neither does he himself receive
the brothers with respect,and those who are wanting to receive them he tries
to hinder and to throw out of the congregation."
Please also read 2nd Peter Chapter 3 ( especially verses 14-18).
Is this what you say the elders/leaders are doing to you?
Or Is this what you are trying to do to me with your answer
you apply to 'filling out a Regular Pioneer Form'? Charles
ANSWER: Hello again Charles,
Yes, the Governing Body claims to be anointed.
But none of the anointed have the right to refer to themselves as
"the faithful and discreet slave", because Jesus spoke of identifying these ones,
after he returns...(which he has not yet done) (1Cor.11:26; Luke17:10).
In reference to the scriptures you sent me.....
As to whether an anointed one "works with Holy Spirit of God" or not,
is evident by the signs Jesus gave us in order to distinguish these.
( http://pearl-finetrees.blogspot.com/ )
Many anointed who are trying to be found faithful BY CHRIST,
write letters to the men who have taken the lead above the other anointed.
(1John2:20,27) The anointed body of Christ is dependant upon all it's members.
The parts are supposed to work together in order to please God. (1Cor.12:20,21)
Nothing these anointed write and send to the steward in charge, is received with
respect by those in power. These men at the top, most especially and certainly,
"have first place among them".
There is abundant unfounded slander in the Congregations, or,
"chattering about us with wicked words", against any anointed
who do not worship the ones with power.
Those NOT at the top certainly can not "hinder" or "throw out of the Congregation"
a Governing Body member.
But every day, the anointed who are trying to stick to the truth of God's Word
above allegiance to these leaders, are themselves thrown out....
cut off from their families and friends because of their loyalty to Truth.
Remember, Jesus said that "only one is your Leader, the Christ."
The Bible makes clear that the anointed are to be as brothers...
with none of them "lording it over" another. (see Matt.23:10; Mark10:42-45)
(see http://holyspiritorgoverningbody-obadiah.blogspot.com/ )
Since these leaders violate the teachings of Christ flagrantly,
why is it you assume that they "work with holy Spirit of God"?
Just because they have more power, does not make them more
faithful or more like Christ. Jesus refused to accept such power in this world.
One thing Jesus taught his followers, is that respect is earned.
Take a look at how He himself spoke to the religious leaders of his day,
for their similar acts of disloyalty to God.
(Matthew, chapter 23)
I'm sorry, but I don't understand your last comment...
"Is this what you say the elders/leaders are doing to you?
Or Is this what you are trying to do to me with your answer you
apply to 'filling out a Regular Pioneer Form'? Charles
I'm not sure what you say I am "trying to do to you" because of my answer I
"apply to filling out the pioneer form".
Perhaps I could answer this if you clarify what you mean.
If you are interested in what JESUS taught about how to recognize the
true faithful anointed, from the ones he said would prove false;
you are welcome to read an article about it. It is full of scriptures that contain Jesus' words.
( http://pearl-finetrees.blogspot.com )
Those truly working with Holy Spirit, are doing the will of God and not their own.
Neither do they try to prevent other anointed from being faithful to God's will.
We can consult the Bible's words of Christ, or we can assume that consulting
proud powerful men, is better. This is the choice facing all today, who claim to worship
God in spirit and truth. (John4:24)
This is the period of test, prophesied to occur in the time of the end...the Great Tribulation.
Few, will pass it.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hello Pearl.
My last three questions. What congregation are you a member of ? and,
Is what you are trying to convince me of only an act of apostate teaching?
Why are you doing this? Whoever reads your ramblings here are only looking
to do the same as you. Hope you learn and return to the teachings Jesus Christ
began and the avenue HE uses today. Nothing more to say. Charles
You can go with the channel Jesus said he is using,
or go with the channel that makes the claim for itself.
The scriptures make plain who Christ is using today.
It is whichever anointed slaves are proving faithful...not whoever has
the most money, prestige, and power.
"Apostate" is defined in the scriptures. That definition does not resemble men's definition today.
I am doing all I can to teach the truth Jesus is giving me, because my standing with my
Lord and Head, depends upon it. That's why I am "doing this".
These deeds are easy to find in the Bible's commands for all anointed.
But don't expect to find these commands in the societies literature.
They teach that all the anointed need do, (in order to follow the entire course of Christ),
is to blindly follow them (instead of Christ).
Searching for truth has always been a hallmark of those favored by God.
Since these men have gained influence, that value has been lost.
If others are moved to search today, due to the corruption they also perceive (Matt.24:15),
it is a comfort to me to be able to be here to provide for those honest-hearted sheep.
Those who found and put faith in Jesus, were also disturbed with the tyranny and doctrines of men.
They would not have found Jesus and put faith in him, if they were satisfied with the glory of men.
I will pray for you to have Holy Spirit, that you might prove loyal to Jehovah and His Son.
LINK TO MAIN HOMEPAGE
LINK TO MAIN HOMEPAGE
Hello Sister Pearl,
I know that JW's don't use the title of Rev. when addressing each other while other church's do. What are your thoughts on this? Are there scriptural reasons for one not to be addressed as Rev.?
I think it likely that you would agree, that the definition of being a "Christian", is to be a person who follows the example and teachings of Jesus Christ.
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. You love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call you ‘Rabbi.’ (Matt.23:8-13,7)
Can you discern the principle here? What does Jesus teach us about titles?
Who should determine if we deserve to be "revered"?
This is what the title "Reverend" means. It means that we believe that person to be worthy of being revered.
Here is the definition of revered...
hallowed, revered, reverend, sacred, venerated
honorable, reputable, respectable; considered, esteemed, honored, respected, reverenced; admirable, distinguished, estimable, redoubtable, worthy; good, moral, noble, righteous
Is it really up to us to take or bestow such a title?
"He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him."
"For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted."
"When Jesus noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
God and Christ are the only ones who deserves our "veneration".
Even Jesus said:
"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone." Mark10:18
He also said:
"So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty." Luke17:10
Because of Matt.22:36-38, which reads:
"“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.".....
....It would seem that after we give all that we are, and all that we have, to God;
there is nothing left to give to men.
Is that not righteous and true...that we give all honor, glory, admiration, AND veneration,
to God, and not to men? (Even less so, to ourselves)
Genuine Christians look to Christ and his teachings to guide them in their practices.
"To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow his steps closely."
How can we follow in Jesus' steps when it comes to the bestowing of Titles?
The Bible tells us:
"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the torture stake, scornful shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." (Heb.12:2,3) (see also John13:14-17 and Gal.3:13)
Did Jesus seek honor for himself?
Or did he rather bear the shame of sin, though a sinless man?
We are told to bear the same injustice, rather than to seek glory in this world.
"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
We see clearly here, that it is not those who receive honor from men that will be rewarded....
but those who unjustly suffer the same indignities that Christ did.
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time."
Yes....IN DUE TIME....not now.
For now, we are to "humble ourselves" under the only hand that deserves all honor and glory.
When Jesus describes which slaves are rewarded in the life to come, he portrays them...
NOT as men who have already honored themselves or one another....
but as men that wait for Jesus himself to judge and honor them...when he returns.
Now I must tell you, that although Jesus taught us to lower ourselves and not to accept glorifying titles.....
"Jehovah's Witnesses" ARE GUILTY OF THIS.
They may not use the title "Reverend", but they do use the titles of "elder", "overseer", Pioneer", etc.
all of which bestow undeserved honor. To learn FROM THE BIBLE who deserves to be called an "older man" and "overseer", means to realize that those who carry these titles, do so without scriptural backing. They may believe that they fulfill the scriptural qualifications (1Tim.3:1-9) for these titles, but they believe so in their ignorance. They do not dig deep enough into the Bible, to see who these really are. The word "pioneer" is not in the Bible, nor it's designation or position.
I hope I have clearly and fully answered your question, addressing it solidly, through the scriptures.
Thank you for it, because the scriptures cited are good for us all to remember.
I wish you the best in your search for truth,
and an accurate knowledge, leading to life (John17:3,17)