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Driver jailed for killing 15-year-old Jehovah's Witness who refused a blood transfusion

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Driver jailed for killing 15-year-old Jehovah's Witness who refused a blood transfusion

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER | DailyMail.co.uk

A driver is today beginning a six year jail sentence for ploughing into a 15-year-old Jehovah's Witness who refused a blood transfusion before he died.

Iraqi immigrant Mahamed Salam lost control of his speeding car and smashed into devout Joshua McAuley, pinning the schoolboy to a shopfront while he was out preaching.

Joshua, a straight A student, from Smethwick, Birmingham, had to have an operation to amputate his leg, but he died during surgery.

It later transpired that, because of his faith, Joshua had refused a blood transfusion despite being advised by doctors to do so.

A witness told a court that Salam was 'bombing it' in his Vauxhall Astra, crashing the 1.2 tonne car as he tried to overtake on the wrong side of the road.

The 29 year-old careered into Saya International Foods in Smethwick, Birmingham, trapping young Joshua between his vehicle and the wreckage of the shopfront.

He was stuck for an hour before he was rushed by air ambulance to Birminghams Selly Oak Hospital.

His two friends, preachers Geraldine Lealand and Damien Brown, were also badly hurt in the accident while two other people inside the shop received injuries.

Salam, from West Bromwich, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and was disqualified from driving for 10 years by Judge Martin Walsh at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Hugh OBrien-Quinn, prosecuting, said the driver of the other vehicle testified that Salam, who other witnesses described as doing up to 80 mph, was bombing it along the busy road.

He said Joshua, a pupil at Shireland Collegiate Academy, Smethwick, was about to sit his GCSEs.

Salam was also said to have calmly walked away from the scene after checking the boot of his Astra, although he handed himself in at a local police station 90 minutes later.

Joshua's mother, Denise McAuley, said in a statement that she and her family were devastated by the death of her son.

She described the pain of their loss as intense, and added: You wish it would go away. Joshua went out of the house that day happy and he was never to return.

Mrs McAuley, from Smethwick, West Midlands, said they felt anger and frustration at the fact someones recklessness could bring so much suffering to a family.

Anthony Potter, told the court that Salam, who had a previous conviction for drink driving, had come to the UK because of the problems in his own country.

He told the court he continued to suffer flashbacks from the accident, which was something that would have a long lasting effect on his life.

Delivering sentence, Judge Walsh told Salam: A young life was taken away and a family damaged, if not destroyed, by the consequences of your actions.

Nothing will ever put right the wrong you have done.

Jehovah's Witnesses are taught that passages of the Bible forbid blood transfusions. Members who do accept such treatment can be cast out of the church.

Many Jehovah's Witnesses carry a signed and witnessed advance directive card absolutely refusing blood and releasing doctors from any liability arising from this refusal

Fellow student Wali Ahmadi, aged 16, said: Josh was a really good guy and was into his sports, especially basketball. Everyone feels really upset.

Another school pal, Shakeeb Hanif, aged 16, said: He was a kindhearted person who never caused any trouble. And Nadia Kausar, also aged 16, said Joshua had told her he was planning to go to South Birmingham College after his GCSEs.

Sixteen-year-old Sohail Khan said: It's unreal. Joshua was the best person at school, hands down, he was caring, he was kind and he never did anything wrong. He brought something good to the world.

Article Source: DailyMail.co.uk

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Wow..... Just.... I am speechless... Just awful!!! Being the dead have no conscience of time, I think right now he is enjoying the new system in perfect health!!!!

I was reading this to my wife, and something caught my eye. It says that JW who accepts blood will be cast out of their church. My wife said it is basically an unforgiveable sin. Is that right? I always thought the unforgiveable sin was speaking against the holy spirit.

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It says that JW who accepts blood will be cast out of their church. My wife said it is basically an unforgiveable sin. Is that right? I always thought the unforgiveable sin was speaking against the holy spirit.

*** it-1 p. 339 Blasphemy ***

. . the holy spirit or active force emanates from God and is intimately connected with God’s person, Jesus could speak of “blasphemy against the spirit.” This is stated to be the unforgivable sin. (Mt 12:31; Mr 3:28, 29; Lu 12:10)

*** it-2 pp. 968-969 ***

What is unforgivable sin?

Knowledge brings greater responsibility. Pilate’s sin was not as great as that of the Jewish religious leaders who turned Jesus over to the governor, nor that of Judas, who betrayed his Lord. (Joh 19:11; 17:12) Jesus told Pharisees of his day that if they were blind, they would have no sin, evidently meaning that their sins could be forgiven by God on the basis of their ignorance; however, because they denied being in ignorance, ‘their sin remained.’ (Joh 9:39-41) Jesus said they had “no excuse for their sin” because they were witnesses of the powerful words and works proceeding from him as the result of God’s spirit on him. (Joh 15:22-24; Lu 4:18) Those who, either in word or by their course of action, willfully and knowingly blasphemed God’s spirit thus manifested would be “guilty of everlasting sin,” with no forgiveness possible. (Mt 12:31, 32; Mr 3:28-30; compare Joh 15:26; 16:7, 8.) This could be the case with some who came to be Christians and then deliberately turned from God’s pure worship. Hebrews 10:26, 27 states that “if we practice sin willfully after having received the accurate knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins left, but there is a certain fearful expectation of judgment and there is a fiery jealousy that is going to consume those in opposition.”

At 1 John 5:16, 17, John evidently refers to willful, knowing sin in speaking of “a sin that does incur death” as contrasted with one that does not. (Compare Nu 15:30.) Where the evidence indicates such willful, knowing sin, the Christian would not pray for the one so offending. God, of course, is the final Judge as to the heart attitude of the sinner.—Compare Jer 7:16; Mt 5:44; Ac 7:60.

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Awake 03 2/8

The Bible’s Viewpoint

Is There an Unforgivable Sin?

IS THERE a punishment worse than death? Yes, death without the hope of a resurrection because one has committed an unforgivable sin. Jesus said that there is a type of sin that “will not be forgiven.”—Matthew 12:31.

The Bible, however, describes God as being forgiving. Although men can be prone to hold a grudge and withhold forgiveness, God ‘forgives in a large way.’ (Isaiah 55:7-9) In fact, at great cost to himself, God sent his dear Son to earth to be a propitiatory, or covering, sacrifice so valuable that it could blot out our sins.—John 3:16, 17; Acts 3:19; 1 John 2:1, 2.

In due time God will resurrect many who have been guilty of serious sins but who will no longer be accountable for their past actions. (Acts 24:15; Romans 6:23) In fact, Jesus said that with the exception of the unforgivable sin, “every sort of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven.” (Matthew 12:31) So you may wonder, ‘What could be so terrible that it is unforgivable by God?’

Past the Point of Repentance

Jesus’ warning referred to willful and deliberate “blasphemy against the spirit.” There is no acquittal for this type of sin. “No, not in this system of things nor in that to come,” he added. (Matthew 12:31, 32) Those guilty of such sin will not be resurrected.

What is blasphemy against the spirit? It emanates from the heart, revealing a malicious attitude and intent. The purposeful intent to oppose God’s holy spirit intensifies the seriousness of this sin. To illustrate: In some parts of the world, the law distinguishes between murder in the first degree and murder in the second degree on the basis of intent and the way the murder was committed, and it limits capital punishment (death) to intentional or premeditated murder.

The apostle Paul was formerly a blasphemer but said: “I was shown mercy, because I was ignorant.” (1 Timothy 1:13) To sin against the holy spirit is to oppose it willfully. It involves a wicked heart condition that reaches the point of no return.

Paul was evidently referring to this kind of sin when he wrote: “It is impossible as regards those who have once for all been enlightened, and who have tasted the heavenly free gift, and who have become partakers of holy spirit, and who have tasted the fine word of God and powers of the coming system of things, but who have fallen away, to revive them again to repentance.” (Hebrews 6:4-6) The apostle also said: “If we practice sin willfully after having received the accurate knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins left.”—Hebrews 10:26.

It was the conduct of some religious leaders in his day that prompted Jesus to warn against the unforgivable sin. But they did not heed his warning. In fact, they had him killed. Later they heard undeniable evidence that the holy spirit had done something miraculous. They were told that Jesus had been brought back from the dead! It was clear that Jesus was the Christ! Still, they acted wickedly against the holy spirit by paying the Roman soldiers to lie about Jesus’ resurrection.—Matthew 28:11-15.

Warning to True Christians

Why do true Christians take the warning of the unforgivable sin to heart? Because although we have accurate knowledge of God and of the activity of his spirit, a wicked heart could develop. (Hebrews 3:12) We should be careful not to think that this could never happen to us. Consider Judas Iscariot. He was once a faithful follower of Jesus. He was chosen as one of the 12 apostles, so he must have had good qualities. But at some point he began to let wicked thoughts and desires grow, and they eventually overtook him. During the period of time he was an eyewitness of Jesus’ incredible miracles, he was stealing money. Then, for money, he knowingly betrayed the Son of God.

Some people who were once faithful Christians have purposely drawn away from God, perhaps because of bitterness, pride, or greed, and are now apostate fighters against God’s spirit. They willfully oppose what the spirit is clearly accomplishing. Have these individuals committed the unforgivable sin? Jehovah is the final Judge.—Romans 14:12.

Rather than judging others, we do well personally to guard against committing secret sins that can gradually harden our hearts. (Ephesians 4:30) And we take comfort in the fact that Jehovah will forgive us in a large way, even of serious sins that we have committed, if we are repentant.—Isaiah 1:18, 19.

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i remember the story, it made me cry . I was especially angered by some of the press coverage making it out to be about the blood issue when he obviously died from his injuries.

I pray his family and congregation gets the comfort only Jehovah can give and look forward to meeting Josh in the new system.

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Sorry to go back :offtopic: but Micah's query about the unforgivable sin prompted me to share my favourite article on the subject. It is a source of comfort for those that are worrying about it.

Watchtower July 17. 2007 "Have You Sinned Against the Holy Spirit?"

These are the Box questions at the end of the article

What Is Your Reply?

• Why can we say that it is possible to sin against the holy spirit?

• What does it mean to repent?

• Who sinned against the spirit when Jesus was on earth?

• How can anxiety about having committed an unforgivable sin be overcome?

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A man, a soldier, who throws himself on a hand grenade to save others around him is held up as a hero.

A young man, giving out a warning message and how to escape, is slandered and his parents who instilled values in him are maligned and condemned.

One can only hope that those who condemn, by the grace of God, known to us as Jehovah's undeserved kindness, we will read about in a forthcoming yearbook as having gained accurate knowledge rather than inflamed emotional rhetoric.

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