Critical Review of

Preparing For Child Custody Cases

by Randall Watters

In this file you will find the Watchtower's "sample" responses for the parent to give under cross-examination. The text of the booklet is always represented in black type font, and my comments are made in red. Quotes from Watchtower publications are in green type, and are taken directly from the Watchtower's CD-ROM.

Certain words throughout the booklet will be highlighted in blue and underlined, and is my way of conveying to you some counter points or hyperlinks related to what the Watchtower is saying. Just click once on the blue text, then use your "back" button in your browser to return afterwards.

Since almost all my references in challenging their stated position are taken out of recent Watchtowers from the last 15 years or so, and since every Jehovah's Witness can obtain the entire text of the Watchtower and Awake! magazines for the last 20 years or so, there is no need to photodocument their statements, for they can be verified by any Jehovah's Witness who has a library or their 1993 or 1995 CD-ROM of Watchtower publications. Quotes are reproduced (green type) for the benefit of the reader in order to see what they have said on the issue. Page numbers are indicated in green, after each page, for the sake of reference. If a paragraph is split by a page break, the page number indicator falls after the end of said paragraph, rather than in the midst of it, to facilitate reading.

Randall Watters

 

SAMPLE APPROACH BY WITNESS PARENT TO CROSS-EXAMlNATlON 

11

Do you believe you have the only right religion?

Of course I do. If I didn't think so I would join another.  

"A third requirement is that we be associated with God’s channel, his organization. God has always used an organization. For example, only those in the ark in Noah’s day survived the Flood, and only those associated with the Christian congregation in the first century had God’s favor. (Acts 4:12) Similarly, Jehovah is using only one organization today to accomplish his will. To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it." - WT 2/15/83, p. 12

18 We can expect a similar expansion of our preaching activity now, at this climax of the ages. No doubt, before the "great tribulation" is finished, we will see the greatest witness to God’s name and kingdom in the history of this world. And while now the witness yet includes the invitation to come to Jehovah’s organization for salvation, the time no doubt will come when the message takes on a harder tone, like a "great war cry." - WT 11/15/81, p. 21

Do you believe the Catholic (or other) Church is true or false?

I believe its teachings are in error.  

"If religion and politics are part of Satan’s system, is it not foolish to believe that the entertainment promoted by the world is free of his influence?" - WT 8/1/86, p. 14

"In this series of articles we have considered several aspects of the world’s religions. On the one hand, we have seen that although there are so many religions today, they have developed from the same source of false Babylonish religion and thus are producing fruitage that is disappointing. On the other hand, we have investigated the alternatives, namely, disbelief, agnosticism and atheism, and found that these and other substitute "religions" cannot truly satisfy man’s needs.

"Being confronted by this situation in world religion, what will you do? Will you be like the person described in Psalm 10:4, who "makes no search" because "all his ideas are: ‘There is no God’"? Or will you be willing to accept the invitation extended to you by Jehovah’s Witnesses and search for the true God and the religion that he approves?" - Awake! 1/8/84, p. 14

Will all Catholics (or others) be destroyed?

Jehovah makes those judgements, not we.  

Nonsense. When Jehovah's Witnesses indicate that others might be "saved" who are not Jehovah's Witnesses, they leave the impression that you do not have to be a part of their organization to be saved, but this is not true:

"A third requirement is that we be associated with God’s channel, his organization. God has always used an organization. For example, only those in the ark in Noah’s day survived the Flood, and only those associated with the Christian congregation in the first century had God’s favor. (Acts 4:12) Similarly, Jehovah is using only one organization today to accomplish his will. To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it." - WT 2/15/83, p. 12

18 We can expect a similar expansion of our preaching activity now, at this climax of the ages. No doubt, before the "great tribulation" is finished, we will see the greatest witness to God’s name and kingdom in the history of this world. And while now the witness yet includes the invitation to come to Jehovah’s organization for salvation, the time no doubt will come when the message takes on a harder tone, like a "great war cry." - WT 11/15/81, p. 21

Note the dark and deadly language aimed at those who will not join up, while giving the blissful, paradisaic images as rewards to those who strive hard to make it:

It is the satanic "air" breathed by the world today, the spirit, or general mental inclination, that characterizes his whole wicked system of things, the satanic thinking that permeates every aspect of life outside Jehovah’s organization. So in pouring out his bowl upon the air, the seventh angel expresses God’s wrath against Satan, his organization, and everything that motivates mankind to support Satan in defying Jehovah’s sovereignty. - Revelation-Climax, 1988, p. 234

29 If you are one of that great crowd, your good condition of heart will make you "cry out joyfully," no matter what you have to endure in the way of privations and pressures during the twilight years of Satan’s system. (Isaiah 65:14) In that sense, even now, the Lamb can ‘wipe out every tear from your eyes.’ No longer does God’s torrid "sun" of adverse judgment threaten you, and when the four winds of destruction are unleashed, you may be spared the "scorching heat" of Jehovah’s displeasure. After that destruction is over, the Lamb will guide you to benefit fully from the revitalizing "fountains of waters of life," these representing all the provisions that Jehovah makes for your gaining everlasting life. Your faith in the blood of the Lamb will be vindicated in that you will gradually be raised to human perfection. You of the great crowd will be unique among mankind as the "millions" that did not even have to die! In the fullest sense, every tear will have been wiped from your eyes.—Revelation 21:4. - Revelation-Climax, 1988, p. 127-128

Do Jehovah's Witnesses celebrate Christmas?

The celebration of the winter solstice on December 25 goes back to the ancient Roman practices of the Saturnalia. It is part of pagan sun worship. We do not celebrate pagan festivals. The Bible directs that we celebrate Jesus' death, not birth. 

They are taught to make it appear their position is "neutral" in this matter, yet they describe the observance of it in very dark terminology! Note:

It is clear, therefore, that Jesus was not born on December 25. Rather, the available evidence points to about October 1 of 2 B.C.E. Hence, celebrating his birthday through Christmas observance on December 25 is totally inappropriate for those guided by the Holy Scriptures. - WT, 12/15/79, p. 5

We all need to face up to the fact that Christmas and its music are not from Jehovah, the God of truth. Then what is their source? Reason should suggest that they are from someone whose sole aim now is to mislead as many people as possible. The Bible tells us that this is the goal of Satan the Devil. So you can appreciate why Christmas and its trappings can be perfect tools for his efforts. They tickle the senses while blinding the mind to Bible-based truth. (2 Corinthians 4:4) Satan knows the powerful effect music has on humans. In diverse churches and temples around the earth he cunningly camouflages his God-dishonoring teachings and customs with sweet melodies and lovely lyrics. So why should it be different with Christmas music? - WT 12/15/83, p. 7

Are not your children deprived of the Christmas spirit?

Jehovah's Witnesses encourage love, familial association and charity throughout the year. Gift-giving and family association are not restricted to one day or time of year. 

The main point to note is that they are not allowed to participate with other non-Witness children in any of their Christmas or holiday-related activities. So while the parents may or may not give gifts equivalent to the Christmas spirit during other times of the year, the child is being deprived of learning social and mechanical skills among his peers. It is one thing to dislike or make light of a holiday; it is quite another to ban it's observance in any form under pain of shunning, which is spiritual death.

Do you respect other religions? If so, why do you go from house to house trying to convert people?

The Bible has good news for people of all religions and backgrounds- - the good news that God will soon bring peace to earth through his Kingdom. We want to share this with our neighbors.

Hardly a happy message! If they don't accept the interpretations of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, they will suffer destruction at the hands of an angry God, who will save only the Witnesses in the end:

29 If you are one of that great crowd, your good condition of heart will make you "cry out joyfully," no matter what you have to endure in the way of privations and pressures during the twilight years of Satan’s system. (Isaiah 65:14) In that sense, even now, the Lamb can ‘wipe out every tear from your eyes.’ No longer does God’s torrid "sun" of adverse judgment threaten you, and when the four winds of destruction are unleashed, you may be spared the "scorching heat" of Jehovah’s displeasure. After that destruction is over, the Lamb will guide you to benefit fully from the revitalizing "fountains of waters of life," these representing all the provisions that Jehovah makes for your gaining everlasting life. Your faith in the blood of the Lamb will be vindicated in that you will gradually be raised to human perfection. You of the great crowd will be unique among mankind as the "millions" that did not even have to die! In the fullest sense, every tear will have been wiped from your eyes.—Revelation 21:4. - Revelation-Climax, 1988, p. 127-128

 

12

Do you teach that it is better to die than take a blood transfusion?

I do not want myself or my children to die. I want the best medical treatment I can get for my child. Blood transfusions carry many death-dealing side effects such as AIDS. We prefer to accept safer medical alternatives. 

Like most loving parents, Witnesses will do whatever it takes to heal their child, but will fall short of disobeying the Watchtower in their rulings on blood (with frequent exceptions). Exceptions usually involve a scenario whhere the doctor arranges to "force" a transfusion on them, supposedly to relieve the Witness of the painful decision. Yet, to even allow the doctor to "force" his will upon them will possibly get them disfellowshipped, so they face an agonizing decision no matter which decision they make.

They know that if they violate God's law on blood and the child dies in the process, they have endangered that child's opportunity for everlasting life in God's new world. - Blood, Medicine and the Law of God, 1961, p. 54

It may result in the immediate and very temporary prologation of life, but that at the cost of eternal life for a dedicated Christian. - Blood, Medicine and the Law of God, 1961, p. 55

How do you know there are alternatives?

Our church regularly reproduces medical information that points out alternatives. Besides, I have discussed this with my doctor who is willing to use the alternatives. 

The Watchtower has been quite arbitrary on the issue of "alternatives," not to speak of changing their stance on organ transplants, vaccines, etc. over the years. The current teachings are described in Revisions on the Blood Issue, from the Jan/Feb 1997 issue of the Free Minds Journal.

It is also interesting to note that several elders in good standing with the Watchtower Society have decided on a class-action suit against the Watchtower involving wrongful death, when certain deaths could have been avoided (where no alternatives would work). They even have a web site regarding this matter.

There is also a review of the "bloodless surgery" video sent out free of charge by the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, by Marlene Mercado, a former Witness who works in the field of blood medicine.

What if a doctor said there are no alternatives?

That is only one opinion. Jehovah's Witnesses know from experience that there are many different medical opinions. Also we know of many cases where the same thing was said but the patient still recovered without blood transfusion. Jehovah's Witnesses are being treated successfully without blood by doctors and hospitals throughout North America.

Make sure the court knows that in some cases there really are no alternatives, when the cell count drops below a certain level. Then using the "Watchtower-approved alternatives" becomes a much higher health risk than taking a blood transfusion!

It could also be noted that there are "alternative" ways to look at what the Bible really says about blood, that it was to be poured out in respect for the loss of life that resulted in killing an animal in biblical times! Hardly an appropriate model when the blood would represent the SAVING of a life! This is the most obvious descrepancy in the Witness doctrine, in misrepresenting the point of the Old Testament ban on blood. Precisely why even orthodox Jews today will accept a blood transfusion but will refuse to drink blood! That blood was given back to God as a partial "offering" in respect for the fact that the animal had to be killed so that they might eat and live. To "offer" the blood to God by not granting a blood transfusion to a dying Witness is a mockery of God's love and compassion as represented in the Bible.

** This is a good point to remember when talking to a Witness about this subject: "It is not that we are ignoring God's law on blood, but rather that YOU as a Jehovah's Witnesses are committing the same type of crime as described in Mark 7:11:

9 Further, he went on to say to them: "Adroitly YOU set aside the commandment of God in order to retain YOUR tradition. 10 For example, Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Let him that reviles father or mother end up in death.’ 11 But YOU men say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother: "Whatever I have by which you may get benefit from me is corban, (that is, a gift dedicated to God,)"’— 12 YOU men no longer let him do a single thing for his father or his mother, 13 and thus YOU make the word of God invalid by YOUR tradition which YOU handed down. And many things similar to this YOU do." (New World Translation, Ref. edition)

The "religious leaders" and pious people of the day would deny the needs of life to their own relatives while "offering" such material possessions up to God as a sacrifice: An appropriate parallel to the Watchtower position. The point can be made that they are mocking God by their stance, not honoring him.

Also, it must be noted that recent statements regarding "alternatives" to blood come with mixed and somewhat confusing rules, as shown in the article, Revisions on the Blood Issue, as mentioned above.

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