A comment was made under my recent post about our “No Blood” doctrine. It made me realize how easy it is to offend others unwittingly by appearing to minimize their pain. Such was not my intention. However, it has caused me to look deeper into things, particularly my own motivations in participating in this forum.
First of all, if I have offended anyone due to remarks seen as insensitive, I do apologize.
As to the issue raised in the aforementioned comment and to those who might share the commenter’s point of view, let me explain that I was merely expressing my personal feeling regarding how I view death for myself. It is not something I fear—for myself. However, I do not view the death of others that way. I fear losing loved ones. Were I to lose my dear wife, or a close friend, I would be devastated. The knowledge that they are still alive in Jehovah’s eyes and that they will be alive in every sense of the word in the future would alleviate my suffering, but only to a tiny degree. I would still miss them; I would still grieve; and I would most definitely be in anguish. Why? Because I wouldn’t have them around anymore. I would have lost them. They suffer no such loss. While I would miss them all the remaining days of my life in this wicked old system, they would already be alive and if I should die faithful, they would already be sharing my company.
As David said to his advisers, perplexed at his apparent insensitivity to the loss of his child, “Now that he has died, why is it I am fasting? Am I able to bring him back again? I am going to him, but, as for him, he will not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:23)
That I have a lot to learn about Jesus and Christianity is very true. As to what was at forefront of Jesus’ mind, I will not presume to comment, but the eradication of the great enemy, death, was one of the principle reasons why he was sent to us.
As for what each of us may feel is the most important issue in life, that is going to be highly subjective. I know of some who were abused as children and who were further victimized by a system that seemed more interested in hiding its dirty laundry than in protecting its most vulnerable members. For them, child abuse is the most important issue.
However, a parent who has lost a child that might have been spared by a blood transfusion is rightly going to feel that nothing could be of greater importance.
That each one has a different viewpoint in no way should be taken as disrespect for the other.
I have never been personally touched by either of these horrors so try as I may, I can only attempt to imagine the pain of a parent who has lost a child that might have been spared if blood had been used; or the agony of a child who has been abused and then neglected by those he counted on to protect him.
For each, the most important issue is rightly that which has most affected him.
There are so many horrible things that hurt us on a daily basis. How can the human brain cope? We are overwhelmed and so we have to protect ourselves. We block out what is more than we can deal with to avoid going mad with grief, despair and hopelessness. Only God can handle all the issues afflicting humankind.
For me, what has affected me most personally is going to be what interests me most. This should in no way be taken as disrespect for the issues others feel are most important.
For me, the “no blood” doctrine is an important part of a much bigger issue. I have no way of knowing how many children and adults have died prematurely due to this doctrine, but any death brought on by men meddling with God’s word so as to mislead Jesus’ little ones is despicable. What concerns me to an even greater degree isn’t just thousands, but millions of lives potentially lost.
Jesus said, “Woe to YOU, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because YOU traverse sea and dry land to make one proselyte, and when he becomes one YOU make him a subject for Ge·hen′na twice as much so as yourselves.”—Mat. 23:15
Our way of worship has become laden with rules like that of the Pharisees. The “No Blood” doctrine is an excellent example. We have extensive articles defining which type of medical procedure is acceptable and which is not; which blood fraction is lawful and which is not. We also impose a judicial system on people which forces them to act contrary to the love of the Christ. We strip away the relationship between child and heavenly Father that Jesus came down to reveal to us. All of this falsehood is taught to our disciples as the proper way to please God, just as the Pharisees did with their disciples. Are we, like them, making such ones subjects for Gehenna twice as much as ourselves? We are not talking about a death from which there is a resurrection here. This is once and for all. I shudder to think what we may be doing on a global scale.
This is the topic that most interests me because we are dealing with a potential loss of life in the millions. The penalty for stumbling the little ones is a millstone around the neck and a swift toss into the deep blue sea. (Mat. 18:6)
So when I was talking about things which interested me more, I was in no way trivializing the tragedy and suffering of others. It is just that I see the potential for suffering on an even greater scale.
What can we do? This forum started as a means for deeper Bible study, but it has become something else—a tiny voice in a vast ocean. At times I feel like we’re in the bow of a massive ocean liner heading toward an iceberg. We cry out a warning, but no one hears or cares to listen.