QUESTIONS & RESPONSES
♦ What is our opinion on the blood transfusion ban?
On October 7, 2012, we received the following comment and inquiries:
“Thank you for your answer, and I see your work very positive. However, as I see, you seem to be active Jehovah's witnesses. So, may be, it would be interesting to read your public opinion about the blood transfusion ban. You and I know that the current stand of the governing body in this issue is a double standard. I affirm that because as you know, currently, the governing body forbids the four primary components of the blood, but they do let the use of any blood fractions from these four components. You know that this policy lacks of a Bible principle. God did not divide blood in major or minor components. I am worry about the health of many brothers who need, for example, plasma, red cells, but they could die on account of a wrong policy without Bible support. I see that you have many readers, so you could help many brother by clarifying the truth about the blood transfusion ban. Congratulations for your website.”
To the author, we thank you for submitting your inquiry. While we refrain from getting embroiled in matters that do not related to articles posted on our site, we have elected to comment on this issue because lives are involved.
We hear your profound love for our brothers and your concern that the Society’s “current understanding” on blood transfusions will unnecessarily cost many lives. It is an undisputed fact that if the “current understanding” had been the Society’s position several years ago, many of our brothers and sisters, and many of our children, would probably still be alive today with clean consciences. And, based on the Society’s changing position on this issue, more lives may be needlessly lost if the bans in place today are no longer banned in the near future.
We are especially confused at how the Society has been able to reach a scriptural decision that certain components of blood may be “eaten” while other components cannot. No scripture that discusses the eating of blood makes any such distinction. For this reason, we share your pain and distress.
The main problem, as we see it, is that many of our brothers have abdicated their right to make personal spiritual and religions decisions, and instead choose the easier route of allowing others to make the tough decisions for them. As a result, they lay themselves bare to the errors of men and their ever-changing “understandings.” (Ephesians 4:14)
Therefore, the solution to the problem is not to focus on one particular doctrine or area of concern, but to strengthen our brothers in all matters by showing them that they are faith-sons of the most powerful personality in the Universe, and brothers and joint heirs with our Creator God, Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:17) When we understand this divine connection, the commands of men become secondary, and we can make spirit-led decisions on our own with a clean conscience.
The matter of taking blood transfusions, to us, is a personal decision, as are all matters of life and death. We understand that a Witness who takes a blood transfusion is subject to being disfellowshipped from the organization. So each individual Witness must make a decision as to what is more important to them – fellowship with the organization, or life. Whichever decision they make, we are confident that neither the Father nor his Spirit will leave them in their dark hour, though they may have to face the disapproval of men if they chose to remain in association with the Society.
Our hope is that the Society release its grip on the consciences of our brothers, recognize that they are mere fellow workers and not lords of our faith (1 Corinthians 3:5-9), and let us exercise our God-given freedom as we see fit, as long as our personal decisions do not harm the rights of others. Our brothers should be able to live or die, so to speak, on their own terms, not those of another (Philippians 2:12-13), so that when we stand before the ‘judgment seat’ of God, we can answer for ourselves, and not cowardly claim “It was the men you gave me.” (Genesis 3:12)
We know there are many brothers who are advocating for a change in the blood transfusion policy. Our prayers are with those brothers in their very important work. As for us, we will continue to focus on our work which is to make known that we are all sons of God through our faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26), and that we all have the hope of entering the Kingdom of the Heavens where all matters of flesh and blood will be as nothing. (1 Corinthians 15:50)
We are one with all of our brothers and sisters who are facing this very serious dilemma.