WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT, THE SYMBOL OF SOMETHING OR THE THING ITSELF?

NOT THE SYMBOL – The Watchtower 6/1/1962 pp. 329-330 par. 3 – Why Be Baptized?

Being a symbol of something else, it obviously is not as important as what it symbolizes

NOT THE SYMBOL – The Watchtower 1/1/2007 p. 23 par. 12 – “You Must Become Nothing but Joyful”

Then he had the goat led off into the wilderness to carry away the nation’s sins in a symbolic way

NOT THE SYMBOL – The Watchtower 2/15/2003 p. 17 par. 1 – What Does the Lord’s Evening Meal Mean to You?

The Memorial emblems of unleavened bread and red wine symbolize Christ’s sinless body and his shed blood—the only sacrifice that can redeem mankind from inherited sin and death

NOT THE SYMBOL – The Watchtower 1/15/2000 p. 16 par. 9 – “Desirable Things” Are Filling Jehovah’s House

Since Jesus’ human flesh was a barrier, it was well symbolized by the curtain that separated the Holy from the Most Holy in God’s ancient temple.

NOT THE SYMBOL – The Watchtower 3/1/1999 p. 19 par. 7 – Jehovah’s Blessing on Our “Land”

Just as the symbolic altar is in the very center of the spiritual temple, Christ’s ransom sacrifice is central to pure worship.

NOT THE SYMBOL – The Watchtower 2/15/1991 p. 12 par. 10 – A Corresponding Ransom for All

Paul could thus write that “it is not possible for the blood of bulls and of goats to take sins away.” Such sacrifices serve simply as a pictorial, or symbolic, covering in anticipation of the ransom that was to come.

NOT THE SYMBOL – The Watchtower 12/1/1969 p. 716 par. 16 Final Woes to Enemies of Peace with God

It would result in death as symbolized by shed blood.

NOT THE SYMBOL – The Watchtower 3/15/1965 p. 166 par. 9 – Who Will Be Resurrected—Why?

the symbolic “lake of fire and sulphur”

NOT THE SYMBOL – The Watchtower 12/15/1965 pp. 742-743 par. 7 – Neglecting the House of the Creator…

The presence of Jehovah God at this temple was symbolized by… the Shekinah light

NOT THE SYMBOL – The Watchtower 7/1/1962 p. 395 par. 17 – Fellow Rulers with the “Lion of the Tribe of Judah”

He did bind his kingly claims to a symbolic vine, a spiritual vine, namely, God’s kingdom.

NOT THE SYMBOL – The Watchtower 3/15/1959 p. 180 – Part 10—”Your Will Be Done on Earth”

symbolic Serpent, Satan the Devil,

NOT THE SYMBOL – The Watchtower 11/15/1955 p. 689 par. 6 “Jehovah Is in His Holy Temple”

Jehovah’s presence in his holy temple was symbolized by the ark of his covenant

NOT THE SYMBOL – The Watchtower 2/15/1952 p. 105 par. 14 – The Memorial—Are You Entitled to Partake?

The rock from which the Israelites drank merely pictured or symbolized Christ

But when it comes to ‘blood’ the opposite is said, that the symbol (blood) is more important than the life it represents:

– The Watchtower 11/1/2011 p. 17 – How Do God’s Laws Benefit Us?

Blood is sacred because God says that it represents the life, or soul, of a creature

– The Watchtower 6/15/1978 pp. 29-30 – Questions From Readers

The life-representing blood did not belong to Noah and his family but belonged to the Life-Giver.

– The Watchtower 9/1/1971 p. 531 par. 6 – Joyous Results of Maintained Integrity

So she refused to permit transfusions to be given… “I would rather die faithful to Jehovah God than to violate his command in order to live a little while longer.” This girl did die…

– 1990 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses p. 44

Possibly she would die. Yet Mary would answer: “I would prefer to die than to take blood.”

– 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Wtinesses p. 224 – Part 3—United States of America

Darrell and Rhoda Labrenz correctly viewed blood transfusion as a violation of God’s law

– What Does the Bible Really Teach? Chap. 13 p. 130 pars. 14-15 – A Godly View of Life

Suppose doctors say that he must have a blood transfusion or he will die… Would a Christian break God’s law just to stay alive a little longer in this system of things?

MUST YOU READ FOOD LABELS FOR BLOOD PRODUCTS?

11064975613_079ca3f227Have Jehovah’s Witnesses historically believed that they should read food labels to search for blood products?

YES – The Watchtower 9/15/1961 p. 557 par. 14 – Respect for the Sanctity of Blood

various tonics and tablets show on their labels that they contain blood fractions such as hemoglobin. So it is necessary to be alert, to be acquainted with the practices in his community, to make reasonable inquiry at places where he buys meat and to read and understand the labels on packaged goods.

NO – The Watchtower 10/15/92 p. 31 – Questions From Readers

It is not as if every Christian worldwide must study the labels and ingredients on all packaged food or should interrogate employees at restaurants or food stores.

CAN JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES DONATE BLOOD?

502013147_univ_sqr_xlHow do Jehovah’s Witnesses view donating blood?

The Watchtower, May 15, 1950 p. 159 – Letter

It is freely acknowledged that the fluid from a person of one type of blood may kill a person of another type of blood. If, now, you donated your blood, and your type of blood killed the person receiving the transfusion, would you be guilty of murder? Or would the doctor or nurse that administered the transfusion be guilty of the murder? Would you not be at least an accessory to a murder?

IS IT WRONG TO ACCEPT BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS OR BLOOD FRACTIONS?

502013211_univ_sqr_xlWhat have Jehovah’s Witnesses historically believed about Blood Transfusions?

1940 – Blood transfusions are acceptable – Consolation 1940 December p.19

1945 – Blood transfusion are not acceptable – The Watchtower 1945 7th Jan p.201

Can Jehovah’s Witnesses accept clotting factors, albumin, hemoglobin, stored blood etc.?

NO – Awake! Sept. 8, 1956 Awake, p. 20

YES – The Watchtower Sept. 15, 1958, p. 575

The Watchtower, August 1, 1958 – Questions from Readers

An individual is not disfellowshipped for having voluntarily taken a blood transfusion

NO – The Watchtower Sept. 15, 1961, p.558 para.16

YES – The Watchtower Nov 15, 1964, p.682 para.3

NO – Awake! Feb 22, 1975, p.30 “Hemophilia Treatment Hazard”

YES – The Watchtower Jun 15, 1978, p.30 “Are serum injections compatible with Christian belief?”

NO – Blood Brochure 1990 p.27 para.7

YES -The Watchtower, June 15, 2004, p.23 para.16

Sworn testimony submitted by the Society before the European Human Rights Commission Jul 3 1997:

“As regards the alleged involvement of children, the [WatchTower Bible and tract Society] submits that children cannot become members of the association but only participate, together with their parents, in the religious activities of the community. In respect of the refusal of blood transfusion, the applicant association submits that there are no religious sanctions for a Jehovah’s Witness who chooses to accept blood transfusion and that, therefore, the fact that the religious doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses is against blood transfusion cannot amount to a threat to public health.”

DO JEHOVAH’S WITNESS CHILDREN DIE FROM NOT TAKING BLOOD?

What have Jehovah’s Witnesses historically said about the issue of children dying due to refusing a blood transfusion?

YES – Awake! 1994 May 22 p.2 Youths Who Put God First (3-15)

In former times thousands of youths died for putting God first. They are still doing it, only today the drama is played out in hospitals and courtrooms, with blood transfusions the issue.

NO – Watchtower 1998 December 1 p.14 Defending Our Faith

Jehovah’s Witnesses have been targets of false accusations – barefaced lies and twisted presentations of their beliefs… The accusation that numerous children of Jehovah’s Witnesses die each year as a result of refusing blood transfusions is totally unfounded.

Governing Body member Anthony Morris III telling a story about a youth that died from refusing a blood transfusion:

IS IT WRONG TO TAKE HEMOGLOBIN?

What is the historical stance of Jehovah’s Witnesses on accepting Hemoglobin as medical treatment?

Before 2000 not allowed – The Watchtower, October 15, 1992 p. 31 – Questions From Readers

Some Christians have occasionally checked the labels on packaged foods, since many governments require that ingredients be listed. And they may choose to do so regularly with any product that they have reason to believe might contain blood. It would be right, of course, to avoid products that listed things such as blood, blood plasma, plasma, globin (or globulin) protein, or hemoglobin (or globin) iron.

After 2000 Allowed – The Watchtower, June 15, 2000 p. 30 – Questions From Readers

Depending on the condition of the patient, physicians might prescribe red cells, white cells, platelets, or plasma. Jehovah’s Witnesses hold that accepting whole blood or any of those four primary components violates God’s law.

Other medicines are coming along that involve (at least initially) extracts from blood components. Such therapies are not transfusions of those primary components; they usually involve parts or fractions thereof. Should Christians accept these fractions in medical treatment? We cannot say. The Bible does not give details, so a Christian must make his own conscientious decision before God.

IS IT WRONG TO GIVE YOUR PET BLOOD?

What is the position of Jehovah’s Witnesses on giving your pet blood?

YES – The Watchtower, February 15, 1964 p. 127 – Questions From Readers

Would it be a violation of the Scriptures for a Christian to permit a veterinarian to give blood transfusions to a pet? By all means, to do so would be a violation of the Scriptures. … The baptized parent bears the responsibility, for that parent has authority over the child and over the pet and should control the entire matter. That is the parent’s obligation before God.—Eccl. 12:13, 14; Jas. 4:17.

What, then, of animal food? May it be used if there is reason to believe there is blood in it? As far as a Christian is concerned, the answer is No, on the basis of principles already mentioned.

HOW DO JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES VIEW ORGAN TRANSPLANTS?

What have Jehovah’s Witnesses historically believed about organ transplants?

1967-1980: prohibited as “cannibalism”
The Watchtower, November 15, 1967 p. 702

Those who submit to such operations are thus living off the flesh of another human. That is cannibalistic.

The Watchtower, November 15, 1969 p. 701 – Appreciating Jehovah’s Protection

A DIFFICULT DECISION

The day before surgery was due the chairman of the kidney transplant team came in and asked if I would agree to making the kidney I was relinquishing available to a young patient whose kidneys had failed.

It appears that though the artery leading to my kidney was not functioning, the kidney itself was in good shape. The doctor was keen to have my kidney, but I explained to him that as one of Jehovah’s witnesses I must abide by what God’s law indicates in such a matter.

Later that day we informed him of our Biblical position with respect to human flesh and its use and quoted the relevant passages of God’s Word. He asked if I could retain a good conscience after denying my kidney to his young patient. In reply I pointed out that my kidney was not mine to give, and must be used in harmony with the will of the One who created it.

1971: They change your personality
The Watchtower, March 1, 1971 p. 135 par. 10 – How Is Your Heart?

One thing is sure, in losing their own hearts, they have had taken away from them the capacities of “heart” built up in them over the years and which contributed to making them who they were as to personality.

1975: They change your personality
The Watchtower, September 1, 1975 p. 519 – Insight on the News

Following a transplant, one mild-tempered man became aggressive like the donor. The problem may be largely or wholly mental. But it is of interest, at least, that the Bible links the kidneys closely with human emotions.

1980: – permitted
The Watchtower, March 15, 1980 p.31

Some Christians might feel that taking into their bodies any tissue or body part from another human is cannibalistic.