I was shocked ( though I probably shouldn't have been ) when reading the new elders manual concerning whether elders have to confess up about former sins from a few years earlier. Notice this on pg. 38 of the new book, paragraph 19 : It states, " If it comes to light or an appointed brother confesses that he has committed a disfellowshipping offense years in the past : The body of elders may determine HE CAN CONTINUE TO SERVE if the following is true : The immorality or other serious wrongdoing occured more than a few years ago, and he is genuinely repentant, recognizing that he SHOULD HAVE come forward immediately when he sinned. ( Perhaps he has even confessed to his sin, seeking help with his guilty conscience . ) He has been serving faithfully for many years, HAS EVIDENCE of God's blessing, and has the respect of the congregation. "
Wait a minute, wait a minute. Time out here. What's all that talk about stifling Jehovah's holy spirit then about ? If an elder DID NOT confess or hid his sin and dishonestly continued as an elder while he knowingly committed sin - how in the HELL would he have EVIDENCE OF GOD"S BLESSING ? As the Watchtower society has mentioned before - if holy spirit is appointing these elders - wouldn't holy spirit have NOT BLESSED him and had him removed if he had been sinning ?
The information continues in paragraph 20 : " If the sin occured BEFORE he was appointed as an elder or a ministerial servant, the elders will need to take into consideration the fact that he should have mentioned this possible IMPEDIMENT to his being qualified when elders interviewed him just prior to announcing his appointment. ( duh, yeah- you think ? ) Moreover, the nature of the sin MAY REFLECT greatly on his qualifications to serve. (No, really ?) For example, the sin may involve past child abuse, and this would LIKELY disqualify him for many years. " ( how about forever Watchtower society ? )
The fact the WT society even states a child molester would LIKELY be disqualified leaves an opening that maybe in SOME circumstances a former child molester MAY serve again as an elder or MS. Disgusting.
Paragraph 21 continues : " If the wrongdoing occurred WITHIN THE PAST FEW YEARS WHILE HE WAS SERVING as an elder or a ministerial servant, he is disqualified from serving as such, not being " free from accusation ". Depending on the circumstances, the situation MAY also need to be handled by a judicial committee. " O.K. then. So if it is a RECENT offense by an elder he is not " free from accusation " , but if it hapened a long time ago - oh well, let's bury the hatchet boys and girls. Once again this shows that the WT society is only concerned about how things appear outwardly RIGHT NOW - and that they tend to get amnesia regarding travesty's of justice in the past, elders committing them or otherwise.
I ask you, if a rank & file publisher came out and confessed a disfellowshipping offense they committed years ago - would THEY be shown the same leniency as the Governing Body and elders show themselves? I highly doubt it. Once again it shows how many double standards exist in the Jehovah's Witness organization.