By Jack Ryan
This is a commonly used jw phrase regarding the faithful and discreet slave
By JW Insider
Then why did the Watchtower ever change anything if everything was directly from scripture? Obviously you are saying that this might not have been true last year, because some things have already changed since then, but it must be true this year. But if it's true this year, then you are claiming that any changes made for next year are no longer directly from Scripture, unless of course you are arguing that the Scriptures contradict themselves. You are using cult-speak even though the Watchtower is not a cult.
Obviously we need to question ourselves first, but to answer your first question, it's our Christian obligation to question the anointed ones. You've seen a dozen scriptures to this effect, and you evidently do not believe in them. By whose power and authority do you decide it's OK to go against the Bible, and not to question the anointed ones?
(1 John 4:1) . . .Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired statement, but test the inspired statements to see whether they originate with God, . . .
(Philippians 1:8-10) . . .. 9 And this is what I continue praying, that your love may abound still more and more with accurate knowledge and full discernment; 10 that you may make sure of the more important things,. . .
(1 Thessalonians 5:21) 21 Make sure of all things; hold fast to what is fine.
(2 Corinthians 13:5) 5 Keep testing whether you are in the faith; keep proving what you yourselves are.. . .
(1 Corinthians 11:19) 19 For there will certainly also be sects among you, so that those of you who are approved may also become evident.
(Romans 12:2) . . .be transformed by making your mind over, so that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
(2 Corinthians 10:4, 5) 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful by God for overturning strongly entrenched things. 5 For we are overturning reasonings . . .
(Philippians 4:5) 5 Let your reasonableness become known to all men.. . .
(James 1:6) 6 But let him keep asking in faith, not doubting at all, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and blown about.
By JW Insider
Usually when we refer to the "faithful and discreet slave" parable, we refer to the parable of 'the faithful and the unfaithful slave' found in Matthew 24:45-51. But the parable of the "faithful and discreet slave" is also found in Luke, where the expression is changed a bit to "the faithful steward, the discreet one . . . that slave."
(Luke 12:42-48) 42 And the Lord said: “Who really is the faithful steward, the discreet one, whom his master will appoint over his body of attendants to keep giving them their measure of food supplies at the proper time? 43 Happy is that slave if his master on coming finds him doing so! 44 I tell you truthfully, he will appoint him over all his belongings. 45 But if ever that slave should say in his heart, ‘My master delays coming,’ and starts to beat the male and female servants and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that slave will come on a day that he is not expecting him and at an hour that he does not know, and he will punish him with the greatest severity and assign him a part with the unfaithful ones. 47 Then that slave who understood the will of his master but did not get ready or do what he asked will be beaten with many strokes. 48 But the one who did not understand and yet did things deserving of strokes will be beaten with few. Indeed, everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him, and the one who was put in charge of much will have more than usual demanded of him.
"That slave" is given an assignment to feed the master's "body of attendants." If he obeys, he gets a promotion, and if he disobeys he is punished. This is the exact same idea as in Matthew 24, except that there are only about 15 words referring what happens if this slave obeys and 150 words in the section about what happens if the slave disobeys. That's about 10 times as much space given to the idea of disobedience versus obedience. In Matthew it's only about 3 times as much space given to the idea of disobedience.
That might explain why the verses in Matthew are referenced so much more often in Watch Tower publications and speech. The Watchtower has, of course, minimized the idea of any potential disobedience:
*** w13 7/15 p. 24 “Who Really Is the Faithful and Discreet Slave?” ***
Was Jesus foretelling that there would be an evil slave class in the last days? No. Granted, some individuals have manifested a spirit similar to that of the evil slave described by Jesus. We would call them apostates, whether they were of the anointed or of the “great crowd.” (Rev. 7:9) But such ones do not make up an evil slave class. Jesus did not say that he would appoint an evil slave. His words here are actually a warning directed to the faithful and discreet slave.
Notice that Jesus introduces the warning with the words “if ever.” One scholar says that in the Greek text, this passage “for all practical purposes is a hypothetical condition.”
This is an adjustment to the doctrine held just up until the change in 2013. Prior to the quote above (originally presented at the Annual Meeting in 2012) the idea about the evil slave was just the opposite: that the "evil slave" came directly from the ranks of the "faithful slave."
*** w04 3/1 p. 13 pars. 2-4 ‘The Faithful Slave’ Passes the Test! ***
The expression “that evil slave” draws our attention to Jesus’ preceding words about the faithful and discreet slave. Yes, the “evil slave” came from the ranks of the faithful slave. How?
3 Before 1914, many members of the faithful slave class had high hopes of meeting with the Bridegroom in heaven that year, but their hopes were not fulfilled. As a result of this and other developments, many were disappointed and a few became embittered. Some of these turned to ‘beating’ their former brothers verbally and consorting with “confirmed drunkards,” religious groups of Christendom.—Isaiah 28:1-3; 32:6.
4 These former Christians came to be identified as the “evil slave,” and Jesus punished them with “the greatest severity.” How? He rejected them, and they lost out on their heavenly hope. They were not, however, immediately destroyed. They first had to endure a period of weeping and gnashing of teeth in “the darkness outside” the Christian congregation. (Matthew 8:12) Since those early days, a few other anointed individuals have shown a similar bad spirit, identifying themselves with the “evil slave.” Some of the “other sheep” have imitated their unfaithfulness. (John 10:16)
Now, of course, the "faithful slave" is made to be the equivalent of the Governing Body since 1919. (The Governing Body has only existed in its current form since the early to mid-1970's.) For this reason, evidently, it would no longer be appropriate to consider or expect that the evil slave might come from the ranks of the Governing Body. Continuing this teaching would likely create a measure of suspicion and questioning of the Governing Body themselves.
I really didn't know whether to laugh, cry or throw my hands up in despair when we discussed this at last night's meeting. The answers that were given during these paragraphs and the response of the study conductor really showed to me how, as a general rule, we are such a non-thinking and illogical group of people.
5 As we saw in Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. of this book, the Bible Students spent decades pointing out that the year 1914 would be significant in fulfilling Bible prophecy. However, at that time they believed that Christ’s presence had begun in 1874, that he had begun to rule in heaven in 1878, and that the Kingdom would not be fully set up until October 1914. The harvest would extend from 1874 to 1914 and would culminate in the gathering of the anointed to heaven. Do mistaken ideas such as these cast doubt on whether Jesus was guiding those faithful ones by means of holy spirit?
6 Not at all! Think again of our opening illustration. Would the premature ideas and eager questions of the tourists cast doubt on the reliability of their guide? Hardly! Similarly, although God’s people sometimes try to work out details of Jehovah’s purpose before it is time for the holy spirit to guide them to such truths, it is clear that Jesus is leading them. Thus, faithful ones prove willing to be corrected and humbly adjust their views.
It is also upsetting that the governing body, in instances like this, always speak in the third person. How much more humble would it be for them to say ;
"Similarly, although we, the faithful and discreet slave sometimes try to work out details of Jehovah’s purpose before it is time for the holy spirit to guide us to such truths..."
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