Our Adoption

Here is a quote from the February, 2017 Study Edition of the Watchtower, page 12, paragraph 15 that I found very disturbing. I’ve quoted the whole paragraph.

The door to complete forgiveness opens to us when we exercise faith in the ransom. God’s Word assures us that our sins can be “blotted out.” (Read Acts 3:19-21.) As we considered earlier, on the basis of the ransom, Jehovah adopts his spirit-anointed servants as his children. (Rom. 8:15-17) As to those of us who are of the “other sheep,” it is as though Jehovah has drawn up an adoption certificate with our name on it. After we have reached perfection and have passed the final test, Jehovah will be delighted to sign the certificate, as it were, and adopt us as his beloved earthly children. (Rom. 8:20, 21; Rev. 20:7-9) Jehovah’s love for his precious children is everlasting. The benefits of the ransom last forever. (Heb. 9:12) This gift will never lose its value. No person or power can take it away from us.

Imagine being a child, a broken, desperate, orphaned child, a child in dire need of a Father. In your brokenness, you’ve acted out, in fact badly enough that you are now in detention.

Now imagine you are introduced to someone who, despite your behavior and incarceration is interested in adopting you into his family. In fact, interested enough that he has sent his son to bail you out of detention and he has drawn up the adoption paperwork that has your name on it. Your heart is stirred with hope. Hope of being released from “the system,” hope of being adopted into a family that will love you, a family that you can love, hope of a real life.

But then, imagine that he now reminds you that your behavioral issues still need to be dealt with. He says he will help you, but that he will only finally adopt you once you have not only behaved yourself for an extended amount of time, but also have become perfect and then passed a final test.

Then he tells you that he has already adopted some other children that had the same behavioral issues as you, but because they were his ‘chosen ones’ he adopted them right away, before they exhibited good behavior for many years, had attained perfection and had passed the same test that you must undergo. What kind of a father is this?

This is the kind of father portrayed in this quote from the Watchtower.

But it is not the kind of Father we read about in the Bible. The Father we read about in the Bible not only sent his Son to pay for our bad behavior, but when we receive that Son, He give us the right to become children of the Father. John 1:12,13 tells us:

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God

Not only that, but the Father gives us “the spirit of adoption”, the assurance that we are His children, and not just his children, but His heirs. At Romans 8:15-17 we read:

15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

And again, at Galatians 4:4,5:

4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

The Bible does not teach us that God adopts some of his children now, but waits until others have behaved themselves for a thousand years, attained perfection and then successfully passed a test before He adopts them.

The Watchtower has hurled the accusation against “Christendom” that they have dishonored God by the teaching of the Trinity. My response to that has been – What discredits God more? Teaching that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all diety, co-equal, co-eternal, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent OR teaching that the Father is only conditionally omniscient and not omnipresent, the Son who is none of the above and the holy spirit that is not even a person, but an impersonal force?

And to this I would add – or teaching that the Father only adopts some of His children until have they have behaved for a thousand years, become perfect and passed a final test.

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