STATE SUPPORT: Chairman of the Board Jørgen Pedersen and I have served together as elders. We both know about the requirement to shy away from those who sign up.
Originally published by vartland on March 27, 2022.
Rolf Furuli, Jehovah’s Witnesses, debate
I will not try to interpret the law on religious communities, nor will I consider the State Administrator’s interpretation of it. But I would like to comment on the chairman of the board of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jørgen Pedersen’s post in Vårt Land 18.3.
I have been a Jehovah’s Witness since 1961, and I have served as an elder for 56 years. In the first chapter of my book My Beloved Religion – And The Governing Body, I show that the only religion where all basic teachings are directly based on the Bible are Jehovah’s Witnesses. I therefore share the faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
In the 21st century, however, there has been a slippage, in which the members of the governing body have given themselves unlimited power. As a result, in addition to all the basic doctrines based on the Bible, leaders have made numerous laws and regulations.
For example, they have invented 37 non-biblical grounds for exclusion, in addition to the eleven biblical grounds for exclusion. This has resulted in a huge number of excluded people. We can talk about as many as over one million excluded witnesses globally in the 21st century, and as many as a few thousand in Norway. Since I accept the Bible as my sole authority, I cannot accept all of these new laws.
Incorrect image of exclusions
It is not true that I have written a letter to the Attorney General in which I have “criticized several of the beliefs and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses”, as Pedersen says. My letters, on the other hand, point out that all of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ letters to the County Governor and the Attorney General contain information about what Jehovah’s Witnesses stand for and which is incorrect. If such information were to stand, it would affect many innocent people.
A good example is the witnesses’ letter of complaint of 17 February 2022. Section 42 of the letter states: “On the other hand, one who voluntarily chooses to relinquish his spiritual status as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses by formally withdrawing will be respected for his decision, and it is up to each individual affiliated with the congregation to use his personal religious conscience to decide whether they want to limit or completely avoid having contact with that person”.
This does not give a correct picture, and I have written a letter to the State Administrator in which I document this with ten quotes from the witnesses’ literature. It is a requirement of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses that all Witnesses be shunned or excluded. This means that they should have no contact with them, that they should not talk to them, not greet them, but treat them as if they do not exist.
The letter from the witnesses seems to me like an attempt to challenge the State Administrator’s basis for denying them state subsidies, but this is done in a fraudulent way. Jørgen Pedersen and I have served together as elders in the same congregation in Oslo. We both know of the requirement that those who sign up should be shunned, and that those who continue to have contact with them will themselves be excluded.