Child Abuse

Child Abuse

“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” Proverbs 13:24. “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.”Proverbs 22:15. “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.”Proverbs 23:13.

“It may be possible that some who were guilty of child molestation were or are now serving as elders, ministerial servants, or regular or special pioneers. Others may have been guilty of child molestation before they were baptized. The bodies of elders should not query individuals. However, the body of elders should discuss this matter and give the Society a report on anyone who is currently serving or who formerly served in a Society-appointed position in your congregation who is known to have been guilty of child molestation in the past.” – March 14th 1997 Letter to Elders

How does the Witness society produce this spiritual firmament that protects pedophiles from prosecution?  The statute is called the “Two Witness Rule” and it is located throughout the societies literature for all to see.  It is also indicated in scriptures of the Bible.  “One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” Deuteronomy 19:15. “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”Matthew 18:15-16. “This will be my third visit to you. “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” 2 Corinthians 13:1.

“In recent weeks, the press in this country has focused attention on the way accusations of child abuse are handled by various religious organizations. Such reports may cause some sincere individuals to ask about the procedures followed by Jehovah’s Witnesses. We expect the elders to investigate every allegation of child abuse. Even one abused child is one too many. However, in evaluating the evidence, they must bear in mind the Bible’s clear direction: “No single witness should rise up against a man respecting any error or any sin. At the mouth of two witnesses or at the mouth of three witnesses the matter should stand good.” (Deuteronomy 19:15) Later, this requirement to consider testimony of two or three witnesses was confirmed by Jesus. (Matthew 18:16) Thus, although they investigate every allegation, the elders are not authorized by the Scriptures to take congregational action unless there is a confession or there are two credible witnesses. However, if two persons are witnesses to separate incidents of the same kind of wrongdoing, their testimony can be deemed sufficient to take action.-” I Timothy 5:19,24,25.”To All Congregations In The United States Letter to Elders May 24, 2002.

“Even though a Christian has been accused of wrongdoing serious enough to require judicial action, a judicial committee should not be formed unless the wrongdoing has been established. What kind of evidence is acceptable? …There must be two or three eyewitnesses, not just people repeating hearsay; no action can taken if there only one witness. Deut 19:15; John 8:17. If there are two or three witnesses to the same kind of wrongdoing but each one is witness to a separate incident , the elders can consider their testimony. While such evidence is acceptable to establish guilt, is preferable to have two witnesses to the same occurrence of wrongdoing. If the accused denies the accusation, the investigating elders should try to arrange a meeting with him and the accuser together. (Note: If the accusation involves child sexual abuse and the victim is currently a minor, the elders should contact the branch office before arranging a meeting with the child and the alleged abuser .) If the accuser or the accused is unwilling to meet with the elders or if the accused continues to deny the accusation of a single witness and the wrongdoing is not established, the elders will leave matters in Jehovah’s hands. (Deut.19:15-17; 1 Tim 5:19, 24, 25; w95 11/1 pp. 28-29) The investigating elders should compose a record, sign it, put it in a sealed envelope, and place it in the congregations confidential file. Additional evidence may later come to light to establish matters.” Shepherd the Flock of God (2010) pp.71,72.

“Elders in the Christian congregation are responsible to handle violations of divine law, such as stealing, murder, and immorality. But God did not require congregation elders to enforce Caesars laws and codes. Hence, Paul did not feel compelled to turn over to Roman authorities Onesimus, who was a fugitive under Roman law. (Philemon 10, 15) Of course, if someone flagrantly violates secular law, gaining the reputation of being a lawbreaker, he would not be a good example and might even be disfellowshipped.” Watchtower 1986 Oct 1 p.31.