This all depends on the conscientious attitude of the brother in the truth who may be requested to perform the funeral service. If his conscience revolts against the thought because of self-murder, then he should not violate his conscience by performing the ceremony. If another capable brother feels that he can conscientiously do so, there is no objection to his doing so. Whereas he cannot preach the suicide into heaven or even hold forth Scriptural promises that the suicide will have an opportunity for life in the new world, and although he does not condone the suicide, yet he appreciates that the holding of a funeral service affords a marvelous opportunity to give a witness to God’s kingdom and the blessings that it will bring to mankind, including the resurrection of the dead.
Having never been associated with the truth, the suicide was ignorant and became guilty of a crime that many other persons have become guilty of in ignorance, even to the committing of murder of another person. His standing depends upon whether he is susceptible to the ransom sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jehovah decides from reading the suicide’s heart whether he is still susceptible to the provision of the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ and whether he will be called out of the memorial tomb by the reigning King, Jesus Christ. He may have an opportunity for life in the new world. So nothing definite may be stated at the funeral in the way of a promise concerning the future life of the suicide. Just the same, an effective witness can be given to all those who gather together for the funeral service, the people who knew the suicide. The principles of Christian truth can be stated, and whatever comfort the bereaved ones may take from the statement of Christian principles as affecting even the suicide they may do so after hearing the funeral sermon.
● If an individual is disfellowshiped, but continues in quiet attendance at the Kingdom Hall, is it proper for that one’s marriage mate to sit with such a one during the meetings?—J. F., Switzerland.
With a view to helping sincerely repentant ones to get back into proper relationship with Jehovah God and his organization, it has been the policy of the Society to permit disfellowshiped persons to be present at all meetings at the Kingdom Hall that are open to the general public. For married persons Jesus set out the proper viewpoint when he said: “Did you not read that he who created them at the beginning made them male and female and said: ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will stick to his wife, and the two will be one flesh’? So that they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has yoked together let no man put apart.” (Matt. 19:4-6) This rule would seem to apply at the Kingdom Hall as well as elsewhere. In view of this it would seem to be improper to force a separation between a man and his wife even if one or the other is disfellowshiped. This is not having fellowship spiritually on the part of the faithful one with the disfellowshiped partner. However, it would be wrong for the individual who is in good standing to try to force the company of the disfellowshiped mate upon the other brothers and sisters in the congregation in the endeavor to have them recognize the disfellowshiped one and have communion with that one.
The Bible-study aid “Your Will Be Done on Earth” and a booklet will be offered by Jehovah’s witnesses in their ministry during July, on a contribution of 50c. English congregations throughout the world will endeavor to cover all their territory with this offer during the next three months, so people everywhere will have the opportunity to obtain the book.
NOT MY WILL BUT YOUR WILL BE DONE
Jesus repeatedly prayed to his Father, ‘Not my will but your will be done.’ Is that your prayer also? Do you know what God’s will is? Do you know when it will be done and what part you can have in it? To help you answer these questions and many others like them, the publishers of The Watchtower have released a hard bound book of 384 pages on the thrilling theme “Your Will Be Done on Earth.” A copy will be sent to you postpaid on receipt of your contribution of 50c. Send for it without fail.
“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
August 30: How Is Your Spiritual Appetite? Page 425.
September 6: Exert Yourselves Vigorously as God’s Workmen. Page 431.