Originally Answered: Jehovah's Witnesses: Does the Watchtower have an office to help the poor and needy?
I maybe as recently as a few months ago would have answered as othe JW's did here. But I now feel a bit differently about this topic. This has been asked a few times here so this is the last comment I'll post so this horse isn't beaten to death.
Bob Quoted a scripture.
“For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.”—John 18:37.
This is absolutely true. Jesus did not have to heal, to feed the hungry, to dine with sinners, to take care of those lame, to allow a woman to disobey the law he was under and ready to fullfill by touching him when she was cerimonialy unclean......he didn't have to do any of this. He CHOSE to do it.
Noone can call Christ the example they follow, and not do the same. The way bob and I would have painted the picture, is that we handle the more important business of their spiritual fate, and not their physical needs, although most JW's do this on their own. That is a valid point. Certainly teaching a man to fish is better than giving him a fish. But Jesus set the example. You give him a fish THEN you teach him to fish.
The complete absense of any philanthropic missions or ministry with no strings attached is unique, and not in a way to be proud of. I was and am proud of many things about Jehovah's Witnesses. This is not one of them. With our money and resources, alot of good could be accomplished, and then people would not be able to point out this flaw is "basic Christianity". It brings more reproach to do nothing, then to actually help others. Having served in third world counties as a need greater, and helped build kingdom halls abroad, I know how thsese things are done, and what resources are levied.
I will use a personal example of an issue here. I know (personally) a couple who did very well for themselves with a small business. They donated almost 1 million dollars to the society when they were doing well, out of the motivation of their heart. They never regreted this decision. Their business ended up being antiquated fairly quickly (it was tech based), and the wife fell very seriously ill. VERY ill. Specialized disease. They burned through their money quickly, and were broke due to the nature of the illness. Their son wrote a letter to the branch explaining the situation, and his letter was not returned. No help was offered. There was nothing in place to help them. They struggled, and the local friends helped where they could because they were good people. The branch accepted a million dollars from them, and when a situation changed, they were unavailable. I get that it is an extreme story. I don't think a charitable organization would do that neccesarily. But most charitable organizations do not equate themselves to a mouthpiece for the only true God either.
She passed away, and there was life insurance he now lives off. He found a decent job after moving once she passed, and will retire in a few years.
We can do better in this! We can do better for others! Imagine what a push in individual communities this could be and what it would do for the name of Jehovah. What is there to gain by continuing to focus only on the spiritual needs, but ignore the needs that make it possible for them to listen?
This can no longer be claimed to be following jesus footsteps since he did it the other way around. Bob.....Jesus bore witness to the truth in word AND DEED.