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Governing Body: Does it show loyalty or disloyalty to question the GB?

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On 8/7/2017 at 9:13 AM, AllenSmith said:

But, everything the Watchtower is about come “directly” from scripture.

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.

On 8/7/2017 at 9:13 AM, AllenSmith said:

Once again, by whose power and authority do you question the anointed ones. If you're questioning them, then you need to question yourselves, first.

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.

 

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6 hours ago, Arauna said:

It has nothing to do with being smart or scholarly or even being RIGHT - it has to do with recognizing Jehovah and the channel he is using to preach the Kingdom as the only hope for mankind.

I find this remark to be quite curious, especially about being right. If we are not right about one thing we might be wrong about another one too, and that's fine. Surely what is important though is that we be  be RIGHT in areas where it matters.

I noticed JWI reply to this, saying he hopes someone didn't misunderstand this....it looks like I am misunderstanding it?

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4 hours ago, JW Insider said:
6 hours ago, Arauna said:

It has nothing to do with being smart or scholarly or even being RIGHT - it has to do with recognizing Jehovah and the channel he is using to preach the Kingdom as the only hope for mankind.  I honestly believe that we must have Jehovah's spirit to stay connected with Him and stay in the truth.

That is absolutely correct. I hope no one misunderstands.

@Annasince you asked about this: In the context of what @Arauna had said I was referring to the relative importance of being smart, scholarly or even RIGHT. We don't need to get all up in arms or push ahead. Knowledge is not the most important thing for Christians, as we both acknowledged.

At the time, I was thinking of this Scripture, where the context ON BOTH SIDES OF THE VERSE makes it appear that humility is the factor that keeps us from stumbling others, and that humility is the factor that keeps us from creating divisions among sincere persons who want to do what is right. Even if they have a zeal for God but not according to accurate knowledge.

(Mark 9:33-42) 33 And they came into Ca·perʹna·um. Now when he was inside the house, he put the question to them: “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 They kept silent, for on the road they had been arguing among themselves about who is greater. 35 So he sat down and called the Twelve and said to them: “If anyone wants to be first, he must be last of all and minister of all.” 36 Then he took a young child and stood him in their midst; and putting his arms around him, he said to them: 37 “Whoever receives one of such young children on the basis of my name receives me also; and whoever receives me receives not me only but also Him who sent me.” 38 John said to him: “Teacher, we saw someone expelling demons by using your name, and we tried to prevent him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said: “Do not try to prevent him, for there is no one who will do a powerful work on the basis of my name who will quickly be able to say anything bad about me. 40 For whoever is not against us is for us. 41 And whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, I tell you truly, he will by no means lose his reward. 42 But whoever stumbles one of these little ones who have faith, it would be better for him if a millstone that is turned by a donkey were put around his neck and he were pitched into the sea.

(Luke 9:46-50) 46 Then a dispute arose among them about which one of them was the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a young child, stood him beside him, 48 and said to them: “Whoever receives this young child on the basis of my name receives me also; and whoever receives me also receives the One who sent me. For the one who conducts himself as a lesser one among all of you is the one who is great.” 49 In response John said: “Instructor, we saw someone expelling demons by using your name, and we tried to prevent him, because he is not following with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him: “Do not try to prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”

We expect the Governing Body to show the humility of the faithful discreet slave, not the idea that they should push ahead and claim things that they do not have knowledge of yet. As Arauna said, we (including the slave) must recognize Jehovah and the true channel, which is Christ the Head, our Exemplar, along with his Word and spirit so that we may have the same spirit and attitude of Christ Jesus. Jesus could have cleared up all questions of Law, but instead he focused on love, justice, and kindness. As long as everyone recognizes that this is the true channel, we will be blessed with more of Jehovah's spirit, stay connected with him, and stay in the truth. 

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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

We expect the Governing Body to show the humility of the faithful discreet slave, not the idea that they should push ahead and claim things that they do not have knowledge of yet. As Arauna said, we (including the slave) must recognize Jehovah and the true channel, which is Christ the Head, our Exemplar, along with his Word and spirit so that we may have the same spirit and attitude of Christ Jesus. Jesus could have cleared up all questions of Law, but instead he focused on love, justice, and kindness. As long as everyone recognizes that this is the true channel, we will be blessed with more of Jehovah's spirit, stay connected with him, and stay in the truth. 

I agree with you wholeheartedly and that is why I find reasoning such as this one from the Nov. 2016 study WT a little disconcerting p.16, par. 9:

"Some may feel that they can interpret the Bible on their own. However, Jesus has appointed the ‘faithful slave’ to be the only channel for dispensing spiritual food. Since 1919, the glorified Jesus Christ has been using that slave to help his followers understand God’s own Book and heed its directives. By obeying the instructions found in the Bible, we promote cleanness, peace, and unity in the congregation. Each one of us does well to ask himself, ‘Am I loyal to the channel that Jesus is using today?’ "

I am misunderstanding what it's saying there? Anyone care to analyze this as they understand it?  And sorry, I know it's a little off topic.

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4 hours ago, Anna said:

I agree with you wholeheartedly and that is why I find reasoning such as this one from the Nov. 2016 study WT a little disconcerting p.16, par. 9:

"Some may feel that they can interpret the Bible on their own. However, Jesus has appointed the ‘faithful slave’ to be the only channel for dispensing spiritual food. Since 1919, the glorified Jesus Christ has been using that slave to help his followers understand God’s own Book and heed its directives. By obeying the instructions found in the Bible, we promote cleanness, peace, and unity in the congregation. Each one of us does well to ask himself, ‘Am I loyal to the channel that Jesus is using today?’ "

I am misunderstanding what it's saying there? Anyone care to analyze this as they understand it?  And sorry, I know it's a little off topic.

I think it is an appeal that congregational unity is more important than individual opinion about doctrine.

Whenever the Governing Body issues direction on any doctrinal point, it may be that you, as a diligent student, noticed that point some time ago. If this was the world of churches, you would have gone out and started your own religion over it. How do you think there came to be so many sects and divisions among Christianity?

Instead, you essentially 'sit' on your opinion. Maybe the theocratic organization will come around to it someday. Maybe they will even in some way notice your expertise and seek you out on that account. At any rate, the responsibility is theirs, not yours.

It's a little dicey putting such opinion out there publicly because countless persons latch on whose only goal is to thwart Jehovah's Witnesses and what they stand for. Really - do you think the ones hostile would all be placated if the WBTS came around to a new opinion on just this one point? 

Still, as has been pointed out, not everyone with a different view of chronology has ill intent toward Jehovah's Witnesses. Maybe there is something to be said for the fact that we, too, acknowledge different views exist and they are not categorically wrong just because we did not say it first.

None of this is to be harsh to JWI. He is smart regarding these matters of chronology and I am not. It is easy for me to say 'zip it' because I don't know anything. I don't think he is writing here to gain disciples for himself, as some have accused. I think, rather, that he does not want to see theocratic interests take it on the chin because of a wrong understanding. One can hardly say that the organization has never been wrong before. He is just exploring ideas and I like that. But I am not sure it does not stir up more dissension than it is worth, which is not good. Ultimately, publishing doctrinal light is the responsibility of someone else.

I haven't figured this out yet. I probably will not succeed in doing so.

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Anna said:

I agree with you wholeheartedly and that is why I find reasoning such as this one from the Nov. 2016 study WT a little disconcerting p.16, par. 9:

"Some may feel that they can interpret the Bible on their own. However, Jesus has appointed the ‘faithful slave’ to be the only channel for dispensing spiritual food. Since 1919, the glorified Jesus Christ has been using that slave to help his followers understand God’s own Book and heed its directives. By obeying the instructions found in the Bible, we promote cleanness, peace, and unity in the congregation. Each one of us does well to ask himself, ‘Am I loyal to the channel that Jesus is using today?’ "

I am misunderstanding what it's saying there? Anyone care to analyze this as they understand it?  And sorry, I know it's a little off topic.

Hi Anna. I too was concerned by this quote in a recent WT. It really jumped out at me. What authority does the GB have to claim definitive interpretation of scripture? Especially after they've established that they are fallible, imperfect, and have erred in the past. The GB can't have its cake and eat it too.

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Guest J.R. Ewing
1 hour ago, Noble Berean said:

I too was concerned by this quote in a recent WT. It really jumped out at me. What authority does the GB have to claim definitive interpretation of scripture? Especially after they've established that they are fallible, imperfect, and have erred in the past. The GB can't have its cake and eat it too.

The authority that is given, by God himself to commission those that can take the lead to shepherd spiritually, the flock,

Was God “wrong” to appoint Jesus? Was Jesus wrong to appoint the apostles? Was Jesus wrong to recruit extra help?

Luke 10:1-23New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two

10 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

Aside from Jesus among these men, who do you believe was perfect, as your statement reflects “they are fallible, imperfect, and have erred” that isn’t fallible, IMPERFECT, and can't err?

Mark 8:31-34New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Predicts His Death

31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

 

Did “Peter” not ERR in rebuking Jesus? Was Peter made “perfect” by his appointment? So, your assumption is baseless and insulting. As it has been stipulated, by whose authority do you perceive to judge God’s commissioned ones, by questioning their spiritual authority given “directly” from God?

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On 8/8/2017 at 0:30 AM, Noble Berean said:

Hi Anna. I too was concerned by this quote in a recent WT. It really jumped out at me. What authority does the GB have to claim definitive interpretation of scripture? Especially after they've established that they are fallible, imperfect, and have erred in the past. The GB can't have its cake and eat it too.

   According to that line of reasoning no one on earth has authority to interpret Scripture since all are sinners. So if everyone is wrong what is the point of being in any religion at all. I believe that Jesus is the head of the Congregation and he has the authority and has given the authority to the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses to interpret things like the meaning of 1914 or things related to chronology, Gentile Times or anything else. Jehovah has not given interpretational authority to bloggers on the Internet anymore than He would to Korah and his 250 rebels against the interpretational authority of Moses to speak for God.

   Jehovah has always led his people with imperfect people. Moses was about to lead the Israelites OUT of Egypt yet he "turned around" and went back in the opposite direction! The Egyptians thought they were "wandering in confusion" and even some of God's people said "What have YOU done to us by leading us out of Egypt? - That was said to who? Moses an 80 year old man with probably poor eyesight. {Ex. 14:11}. Some did not realize the big picture here. That Jehovah was the one leading the Congregation and if he wants us to do or believe in something "wrong" then is it not up to Him. Perhaps you do not have all the facts. such as the fact that Jehovah was setting a trap. Or the fact that Christendom's teachings and interpretations such as  chronology could be in error.

   So of course we do not have all the facts about 1914 or God's Name in the NT or any number of other teachings but sometimes Jehovah has reasons for what He does and no "scholar" will be able to figure that out with any kind of "chronology" Was it right or wrong for Moses to go in the "opposite" direction? We must be humble enough to realize that Jesus has been appointed head of the Congregation and He will direct it in any way He wishes and therefore we are to "Be obedient to those taking the lead among you and be submissive." Heb 13:17. 

 

 Some on this blog may think they should have "personal Christian freedom of interpretation" such as Christendom has. "Is it ONLY by Moses that Jehovah has spoken? Has he not also spoken through us? But remember when you say such things "Jehovah was listening" Num 12:1,2. And even Korah said the same idea: "We have had enough of you! The whole assembly is holy, ALL of them, and Jehovah is in their midst. Why, then, should you exalt yourselves above the congregation of Jehovah? Num 16:1-3. And  why did Aaron get a free pass when he got it wrong several times ? Seems like a double-standard if they didn't have consequences for teaching incorrect ideas to millions of others. But who are we to question Jehovah's way of running HIS Congregation back then OR today.

 Do You Appreciate Jehovahs Representatives.mp3

   God's people once believed the "superior authorities" were the human Governments but then in 1929 "changed" to Jehovah and Jesus! It was the "opposite direction" Was that wrong? The brothers had no idea a war was coming ten years later and this changed teaching protected them and enabled them to win dozens of Supreme Court victories...and then changed back and improved to relative subjection to human Governments. Did the head of the Congregation Jesus have a reason for those changes in doctrine?  Who are we to question His authority to change anything? Could changes be for something we do not understand or something in the future we cannot possibly see yet? If something "doesn't make any sense" then there is probably a reason for that.  LOYALTY  is sticking to someone out of love even if we do not have all the answers and even if they are imperfect.

 Jehovah is With His People.mp3

This talk will bring shivers up your spine! {1914 Meps...Supreme Court....} Jehovah really is in control!

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3 hours ago, bruceq said:

   God's people once believed the "superior authorities" were the human Governments but then in 1929 "changed" to Jehovah and Jesus! It was the "opposite direction" Was that wrong? The brothers had no idea a war was coming ten years later and this changed teaching protected them and enabled them to win dozens of Supreme Court victories...and then changed back and improved to relative subjection to human Governments. Did the head of the Congregation Jesus have a reason for those changes in doctrine?  Who are we to question His authority to change anything? Could changes be for something we do not understand or something in the future we cannot possibly see yet? If something "doesn't make any sense" then there is probably a reason for that.  LOYALTY  is sticking to someone out of love even if we do not have all the answers and even if they are imperfect.

 

Years ago, when reflecting about this same fact, I came to the same conclusion: Jehovah propitiated, tolerated in some way that His people was taught with a false, or incorrect idea, in order to a higher benefit:  strengthen the resolution of witnesses during IIWW in order to face the cruel persecution.

But, some questions arise:

  • ·        Did the Christians of the first century need to think incorrectly about Romans 13 in order to resist the persecution of Nero?
  • ·        When our point of view was finally rectified (I believe in 1963 or close) did the brethren under the steel curtain begin to be less faithful then?

The answer is obvious. Isn’t it?

I fully agree with you regarding Moses, Israelites, loyalty and faith. So, perhaps you’re  annoying, to some extent, with thoughts openly exposed here by @JW Insider or myself, in the sense that certain teachings or explanations of the "slave class" are incorrect.

  • ·        In the first place, is it necessary to be faithful to accept all the explanations provided by the slave?
  • ·        Can I be faithful if, although I am not convinced of certain explanations, I try not to disturb others and I go ahead?

Let me explain what I’m trying to do with this kind of situations.

In the recent regional convention, in the last talk, was mentioned the end is imminent (well, the Spanish expression was “inminente”, I suppose in English was used another equivalent). Now, not that I do not believe that the end is imminent, is that I do not know. My base: our Master declaration: “…at an hour that you do not think likely, the Son of man is coming.”

I’ve watched the danger of these kind of imprudent (in my view) declaration many times, during many years (1914, 1925, 1975, 1994 end of generation, now overlapped generation). Brothers disappointed, at some degree bitter. The clear majority of Jehovah’s servants don’t need a false sense of immediacy. We give Him the most day by day. The end will come at his own due time. Concerning this, one question:

  • ·        Is it more loyal if you strive because you believe that the end is imminent?
  • ·        What happens to those who do not know when the end comes, and despite this we give Jehovah one hundred percent?
  • ·        Are we therefore less loyal?

Do you know, in my zone, the most repeated expression after the convention? “the end is imminent, the slave said this”. My answer: “oh yes, when I was a child also believed the end was imminent, in 1975. Sometimes our wishes are so strong that make this kind of statements”.

Oh, I wish go further, but for several weeks I’ll be busy

 

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9 hours ago, Arauna said:

  I think that very few people work on the teaching of Christ that we should lessen ourselves and be prepared to suffer for it as he did. Most Witnesses need to work on this. 

Absolutely. I have been lately communicating with an oaf who regularly launches vicious attacks at the Governing Body. He tipped his hand recently (IMO) to reveal his core difficulty - he thinks it is all about us. In fact, it is about the vindication of God's purposes and the sanctification of his name. Occasionally we take it on the chin as we yield to these greater things as the focus.

9 hours ago, Arauna said:

sometimes have to step back and be happy with being a no-body and not achieving anything of great significance!  ....all of us should investigate ourselves to see if that spark of putting ourselves in front and grudging others a place in the sun is still part of our personality.  

Having said that, I sometimes get discouraged that intellectual work is often misconstrued as  'showing off.' If I were an electrician, I would receive nothing but praise for developing that skill to the full. If I relished a certain electrically challenging project, no one would say I am being full of myself. Nobody would question my motive. Nobody would accuse me of attempting to stand out and achieve recognition to be admired by my peers. I will even concede that @Ann O'Malyhas a point in her carrying on about stifling talent - it is just that she takes a grain of truth and tries to bake it into a seven layer cake that I object to.

In my case, I write because I am not good at anything else. If someone should say - like @The Librarian -  'good writing!' of course I am pleased. But it is no different than a hands-on worker being commended for craftsmanship.

Jehovah's Witnesses are top-heavy with persons who work with their hands. Far from being a negative, this is added proof that Jehovah's Witnesses follow the pattern of first century Christianity. A carpenter is less likely to become too big for his pants than an educated statesman. Working class people came into the truth in droves back then - less so, the upper classes. It is exactly what one should expect. Nonetheless, it is not as though intellectual talent is a pejorative. Leave @JW Insider alone. Or at least, if you criticize him, as can arguably be done, do not do so in a way so as to imply that he is trying to outshine his brothers.

 

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14 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

I think it is an appeal that congregational unity is more important than individual opinion about doctrine.

Whenever the Governing Body issues direction on any doctrinal point, it may be that you, as a diligent student, noticed that point some time ago. If this was the world of churches, you would have gone out and started your own religion over it. How do you think there came to be so many sects and divisions among Christianity?

Instead, you essentially 'sit' on your opinion. Maybe the theocratic organization will come around to it someday. Maybe they will even in some way notice your expertise and seek you out on that account. At any rate, the responsibility is theirs, not yours.

It's a little dicey putting such opinion out there publicly because countless persons latch on whose only goal is to thwart Jehovah's Witnesses and what they stand for. Really - do you think the ones hostile would all be placated if the WBTS came around to a new opinion on just this one point? 

Still, as has been pointed out, not everyone with a different view of chronology has ill intent toward Jehovah's Witnesses. Maybe there is something to be said for the fact that we, too, acknowledge different views exist and they are not categorically wrong just because we did not say it first.

None of this is to be harsh to JWI. He is smart regarding these matters of chronology and I am not. It is easy for me to say 'zip it' because I don't know anything. I don't think he is writing here to gain disciples for himself, as some have accused. I think, rather, that he does not want to see theocratic interests take it on the chin because of a wrong understanding. One can hardly say that the organization has never been wrong before. He is just exploring ideas and I like that. But I am not sure it does not stir up more dissension than it is worth, which is not good. Ultimately, publishing doctrinal light is the responsibility of someone else.

I haven't figured this out yet. I probably will not succeed in doing so.

 

 

 

Thank you Tom. I like your thoughts on this, and you raise many valid points  (it's one of your few posts where you are actually being dead pan serious, not that I don't enjoy your tongue in cheek humour).

The reason I posted that question was because I am very aware that if one doesn't happen to be on the same wavelength, its easy to misunderstand what the other person is actually saying. I understood it to mean that "how dare we even try interpreting the Bible, if that is the exclusive privilege of the FDS". Judging by @Noble Berean's answer, it looks like he understood it similarly. Your interpretation sounds perfectly reasonable though. I like this point "I think it is an appeal that congregational unity is more important than individual opinion about doctrine" it kind of puts it in a nutshell. Also this observation is very valid "Whenever the Governing Body issues direction on any doctrinal point, it may be that you, as a diligent student, noticed that point some time ago. If this was the world of churches, you would have gone out and started your own religion over it. How do you think there came to be so many sects and divisions among Christianity"? I know I'm not the only one who has noticed points ahead of when the GB has adjusted their view. (I mentioned this on here a little while ago referring to Babylonian captivity, in the spiritual sense). Some things may not be important enough to warrant starting a new religion over, but your point is perfectly apt!

I don't think JWI is trying to gain disciples for himself either, and as you mention in your following post it kind of sucks that in the minds of many people a carpenter who has expertise is never judged the same way as a writer or scholar who has expertise. This brings to mind an instance a few years ago, which actually involved you (yes, really, lol) when I was reading your stories in "Sheep and goats" and someone criticized it asking why on earth would anyone want to write about stuff like that and I replied that you were sharing your "creation" just like a composer won't forever just play his music for himself, but will want to share it with others. Jehovah created us to be this way.

P.S. Apologies to @JW Insiderfor causing a break in the thread. Maybe this should be posted as a new subject....

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13 hours ago, J.R. Ewing said:

The authority that is given, by God himself to commission those that can take the lead to shepherd spiritually, the flock,

 

 

Was God “wrong” to appoint Jesus? Was Jesus wrong to appoint the apostles? Was Jesus wrong to recruit extra help?

 

 

Luke 10:1-23New International Version (NIV)

 

 

Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two

 

 

10 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

 

 

Aside from Jesus among these men, who do you believe was perfect, as your statement reflects “they are fallible, imperfect, and have erred” that isn’t fallible, IMPERFECT, and can't err?

 

 

Mark 8:31-34New International Version (NIV)

 

 

Jesus Predicts His Death

 

 

31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

 

 

33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

 

 

 

 

 

Did “Peter” not ERR in rebuking Jesus? Was Peter made “perfect” by his appointment? So, your assumption is baseless and insulting. As it has been stipulated, by whose authority do you perceive to judge God’s commissioned ones, by questioning their spiritual authority given “directly” from God?

 

 

Correct, Jehovah God has used imperfect men to take the lead, and I am not suggesting a Governing Body shouldn't exist or that we shouldn't strive to follow along with them. My concern is the lack of personal Christian freedom when it comes to Bible interpretation under threat of shunning.

What is more important to Jehovah God: organizational unity or personal Bible-based conscience?  It's a sticky situation to contemplate. Obviously, the organization puts much greater emphasis on unity, but does that always work out well?

For instance, let's say hypothetically after much Bible research I came to a differing view on a Watchtower doctrine. If my differing views were exposed, I would probably get disfellowshipped. However, what if that doctrine was later revised by the Governing Body and now agreed with my personal views? This has happened before. So, who is in the wrong in this situation? Should we just follow along with a direction even if it violates our own Bible-based conscience? What scriptural basis does the Governing Body have to be the special ones that are definitive interpreters of scripture?

And furthermore, why does the GB get a free pass when they get things wrong? Because there is a history of that. Since the standards are pretty strict on rank-and-file JWs, it would seem like a double-standard if they didn't have consequences for teaching incorrect ideas to millions of others. Wouldn't they as suppliers of spiritual food be held to a much higher standard than anyone else? 

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50 minutes ago, Noble Berean said:

What is more important to Jehovah God: organizational unity or personal Bible-based conscience?

I guess this depends on the severity or importance of the matter in dispute with your conscience. If the matter it is so serious, that your Bible based conscience is seriously affected, then you must obey your conscience obviously. This does not mean you have to go and advertise YOUR opinion on a matter to others and in this way maybe cause them upset and disunity. It is between you and Jehovah in the end. If we see something that is grossly and seriously wrong, then we should communicate our concerns to those in charge of the congregation, there is nothing wrong with doing that. We can take it as far as we want but there is only so much we as individuals can do and we should be wise and accept that. For example, I know we are talking about doctrinal matters here, but I cannot think of anything that is SO doctrinally wrong that it would warrant drastic action,  so I will use the example of something bad going on in the congregation that you have been privy to. Lets assume it's to with an elder behaving inappropriately with a child and you have reasonable suspicions that the child is being sexually abused. Your conscience is telling you to report this to the other elders. You do so, but you notice that because the elder under suspicion is very popular, there does not seem any action that is being taken. You notice that nothing is changing, that the person in question is still able to access the child and from the child's behavior you become more and more convinced that the child is being sexually abused. You have several options, depending on how your conscience is directing you. You either leave it be, or you implore the elders again, or you go to the police. After that, you have exhausted all your options and there is nothing much else you can do but wait if the elders, or the police, can do something about it. Similarly with doctrinal matters, there is only so much you can do, when you have exhausted all your options, all you have left is to wait or leave.

50 minutes ago, Noble Berean said:

For instance, let's say hypothetically after much Bible research I came to a differing view on a Watchtower doctrine. If my differing views were exposed, I would probably get disfellowshipped. However, what if that doctrine was later revised by the Governing Body and now agreed with my personal views? This has happened before. So, who is in the wrong in this situation? Should we just follow along with a direction even if it violates our own Bible-based conscience? What scriptural basis does the Governing Body have to be the special ones that are definitive interpreters of scripture?

I can understand your reasoning. But I really cannot think of anything so serious doctrinally where we would have to insist on a change because it affected our conscience so severely.  If we thought it so bad, then the obvious option would be to leave and find a religion that agrees with our interpretation. I do not think that just having your differing views exposed would get you disfellowshipped. It is your trying to convince others and pushing your views onto others that might get you removed as a Witness.

50 minutes ago, Noble Berean said:

And furthermore, why does the GB get a free pass when they get things wrong? Because there is a history of that. Since the standards are pretty strict on rank-and-file JWs, it would seem like a double-standard if they didn't have consequences for teaching incorrect ideas to millions of others. Wouldn't they as suppliers of spiritual food be held to a much higher standard than anyone else? 

It might seem like they are getting a free pass when things go wrong, but have no fear, Jehovah sees everything, and in the end we will all stand and in front of him and  "each of us will render an account for himself to God".  "For the true God will judge every deed, including every hidden thing, as to whether it is good or bad". 

P.S. You say:  " For instance, let's say hypothetically after much Bible research I came to a differing view on a Watchtower doctrine. If my differing views were exposed, I would probably get disfellowshipped. However, what if that doctrine was later revised by the Governing Body and now agreed with my personal views"? Perhaps you can give an actual example. But please use a new topic if you can, because I do not want to hijack JWI's thread any more than I have already.

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5 hours ago, Anna said:

Apologies to @JW Insiderfor causing a break in the thread.

He'll live.

 

5 hours ago, Anna said:

This brings to mind an instance a few years ago, which actually involved you (yes, really, lol) when I was reading your stories in "Sheep and goats" and someone criticized it

What was her name?

3 hours ago, Noble Berean said:

I am not suggesting a Governing Body shouldn't exist or that we shouldn't strive to follow along with them.

 

3 hours ago, Noble Berean said:

And furthermore, why does the GB get a free pass when they get things wrong?

What would you suggest?

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7 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

What would you suggest?

Well, I believe the organization could move toward a more balanced and less dogmatic direction. I feel like there's a lot more gray area in the Bible than the organization wants to let on. I don't think it would hurt for the GB to apologize for some of its missteps. I can't give a clear answer on how to make the organization better. I can only point out the things that aren't working right now.

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1 hour ago, Noble Berean said:

I feel like there's a lot more gray area in the Bible than the organization wants to let on.

If they did not recognize this they would not speak of tacking, or of 'the light getting brighter.' How can the light get brighter on a book that has been in their possession from Day 1 if it did not have gray areas?

 

1 hour ago, Noble Berean said:

I don't think it would hurt for the GB to apologize for some of its missteps

You have only to look at the political arena to see how well leadership by apology works. Does anyone EVER accept an apology? Or do they not just seize upon one as grounds for dismissal? They all have their own agendas there and most want to torpedo their opponent, not reform him. Most people accept that it is no piece of cake to look into the future and don't demand apologies. It is enough for the GB to carry on humbly and to express regret from time to time, as they did regarding 1975.

 

 

1 hour ago, Noble Berean said:

 I can't give a clear answer on how to make the organization better. I can only point out the things that aren't working right now.

Is there anyone who can't do this?

 

1 hour ago, Noble Berean said:

I believe the organization could move toward a more balanced and less dogmatic direction.

It is the complaint of every child toward a parent. But the parent takes his role seriously, all the more so as times get more dangerous. In my time, long ago, parents opened the door and off their children flew, not to reappear until mealtime. Parents hadn't a clue where they were. Today, conscious of greater danger, parents watch kids much more closely. Frequently the scriptures liken congregation authority to parenting. 

 

1 hour ago, Noble Berean said:

the organization could move toward a more balanced and less dogmatic direction

Like this (from the Revelation Book introduction)?   " "It is not claimed that explanations in this publication are infallible. Like Joseph of old, we say "do not interpretations belong to God?" (Genesis 40:8) At the same time, however, we firmly believe that the explanations set forth herein harmonize with the Bible in its entirety."

How would you improve upon that?

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1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

If they did not recognize this they would not speak of tacking, or of 'the light getting brighter.' How can the light get brighter on a book that has been in their possession from Day 1 if it did not have gray areas?

What does "light getting brighter' even mean? Would Jehovah God send inaccurate or incomplete information to his slave ? Or is it just an attempt to shift away accountability for mistakes? 

 

1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

You have only to look at the political arena to see how well leadership by apology works. Does anyone EVER accept an apology? Or do they not just seize upon one as grounds for dismissal? They all have their own agendas there and most want to torpedo their opponent, not reform him. Most people accept that it is no piece of cake to look into the future and don't demand apologies. It is enough for the GB to carry on humbly and to express regret from time to time, as they did regarding 1975.

The Governing Body is not just some politician. It holds itself on a moral pedestal as God's channel. So when they make major mistakes they should apologize. It's the very least they could do.

 

1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

 "It is not claimed that explanations in this publication are infallible. Like Joseph of old, we say "do not interpretations belong to God?" (Genesis 40:8) At the same time, however, we firmly believe that the explanations set forth herein harmonize with the Bible in its entirety."

How would you improve upon that?

But how can you have it both ways? How can you clearly state a message is fallible but demand unquestioned obedience to that same message?

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Guest J.R. Ewing

I’ve read many of past post. You're beginning to sound like “anonymousBrother” when he said and I quote “WE HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO CRITICIZE THE GOVERNING BODY” unquote.

I believe the question was raised, BY WHOSE AUTHORITY DO YOU CRITICIZE AND QUESTION THE ABILITY OF THE GB. No one has answered that scripturally, yet. They get there “direction” from God himself. Where do you get your direction from, JWinsider, Anna, CompfortMyPeople, the librarian, TrueTomHarley, Etc?  Everyone that is associated with the “Virginian”?

You fear being “disfellowshipped” for having your own “interpretation” of scripture. How many apostles do you think had a different interpretation of Jesus words to go against his teaching. I can say for sure the “Pharisees and the “high priest” did. So, are you and these people mentioned above beyond reproach as Jesus was? Your interpretation of Bible understanding reminds me of people that DON’ T consider “sexual immorality” WRONG. This is, in essence, the same.

1 Corinthians 6:12-20New International Version (NIV)

Sexual Immorality

12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”[a]17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

 

 TrueTomHarley has changed his stripes a little here “defending” JWinsider. Why, because he’s perceived as an intellect? Anyone who defies Scripture is deserving of being disfellowshipped. This website deserves to be called an “apostate” website, regardless of the motives. There is NO justification to “defile” the sanctity of God. For what, so, people who write books ask false questions to receive opinions(DATA) impute, from others?

 

Proverbs 4:14-19English Standard Version (ESV)

14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. 15 Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.16 For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.19 The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.

 

Philippians 2:4-5New International Version (NIV)

not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

 

2 Thessalonians 2New King James Version (NKJV)

 

The Great Apostasy

2 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ[a] had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin[b] is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God[c] in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He[d] who now restrains will do so until He[e] is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

So, your anecdotal of being shunned is “false” for having free will. What you are boasting is your own self-serving interest. If you get disfellowshipped, it will be because it’s bible based, and that’s something your reliance on the word of others, here, fails you.

2 Timothy 3Common English Bible (CEB)

Avoid people like this

3 Understand that the last days will be dangerous times. People will be selfish and love money. They will be the kind of people who brag and who are proud. They will slander others, and they will be disobedient to their parents. They will be ungrateful, unholy, unloving, contrary, and critical. They will be without self-control and brutal, and they won’t love what is good. They will be people who are disloyal, reckless, and conceited. They will love pleasure instead of loving God. They will look like they are religious but deny God’s power. Avoid people like this. Some will slither into households and control immature women who are burdened with sins and driven by all kinds of desires. These women are always learning, but they can never arrive at an understanding of the truth. These people oppose the truth in the same way that Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. Their minds are corrupt and their faith is counterfeit. But they won’t get very far. Their foolishness will become obvious to everyone like those others.

You also ask a hypothetical with several anecdotal's. You mention and I quote “NB- “Should we just follow along with a direction even if it violates our own Bible-based conscience?” Let’s see this perspective with scripture (Bible-Based), shall we? I can see the intellect TrueTomHarley is referring to.

1 Timothy 4:2-4New King James Version (NKJV)

speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;

Then you “question” the “authority the Governing Body was given by GOD to dispense spiritual food, by your quote, “NB’-“What scriptural basis does the Governing Body have to be the special ones that are definitive interpreters of scripture?” First, I will remind you of this is inconsistent with the statement you made earlier (NB- Correct, Jehovah God has used imperfect men to take the lead, and I am not suggesting a Governing Body shouldn't exist) Let’s start with the “authority” that Christ gave the “apostles” and move forward.

Matthew 10:1-2New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Twelve Disciples; Instructions for Service

10 Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and [a]James the son of Zebedee, and [b]John his brother

Then Jesus Commissions the 70, or 72 depending on which version of the Bible you use.

https://www.jw.org/en/publications/books/jesus/ministry-in-judea/sends-out-70/

Luke 10New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two

10 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

This GOD given “authority” passed on to the apostles to make disciples, so that they may also be “baptized” to receive God’s Holy Spirit and has continued forward by “Proclaiming God’s Kingdom” through the millennia.

1 John 2:27New International Version (NIV)

27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.

Matthew 24:45-51New International Version (NIV)

45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Acts 6 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

The Disciples Choose Seven Men to Help the Apostles

6 At that time, as the number of disciples grew, Greek-speaking Jews complained about the Hebrew-speaking Jews. The Greek-speaking Jews claimed that the widows among them were neglected every day when food and other assistance was distributed.

The twelve apostles called all the disciples together and told them, “It’s not right for us to give up God’s word in order to distribute food. So, brothers and sisters, choose seven men whom the people know are spiritually wise. We will put them in charge of this problem. However, we will devote ourselves to praying and to serving in ways that are related to the word.”

The suggestion pleased the whole group. So they chose Stephen, who was a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and they chose Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, who had converted to Judaism in the city of Antioch. The disciples had these men stand in front of the apostles, who prayed and placed their hands on these seven men.

God’s word continued to spread, and the number of disciples in Jerusalem grew very large. A large number of priests accepted the faith.

Now ask yourself, he who “begins to beat his fellow servants” really believe you have been “anointed” by GOD himself to give spiritual food, criticize, and teach? With the rhetoric here I WOULD SAY NO! based on scripture.

As for the rest, it’s nonsensical! Just like attempting to disprove the “Gentile times” “generations” and “prophetic chronology” by most of you!!!!

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8 hours ago, Arauna said:

So, I can only say - the new way of looking at these dates is not the problem to me - it is the obsessiveness with it - which is.  It is as though this drives the person and all his social contacts....to this point of discussion. And what better place can one find than a forum like this?

I agree with most of your sentiments, especially about the obsessivenes. There are opposers who have blogs and websites and it seems they dedicate their whole life to "watching" the organization and reporting negatively on every single move with venom. It makes me wonder how such indivuduals can even live a normal life. You have experience with friends and relatives who have become apostate, so you know the general pattern, and I understand your concern. But I do not agree with your statement above in this case.  @TrueTomHarley  mentioned something with regard to expertise in certain fields and how writers and those who study a subject in depth often get misunderstood, whereas others who work with "tangable" things are appreciated. I love it when my friend comes and fixes my computer and shares his expertise with me.  But when it comes to analytical thought, which is expressed on "paper", and is shared with others, that just seems to be taboo. What better place to share this kind of thought but on a forum, where one can even receive feedback, whether it be recognition, or dissmisal. Where would one find a better place without upsetting the congregation and without "spreading contentious ideas" ? The title of this thread clearly shows the matter under discussion, so if someone would rather not read this kind of thing, they do not have to read it. So I do not see that talking about such things on a public forum means one is obsessively pushing one's ideas.

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2 hours ago, J.R. Ewing said:

Everyone that is associated with the “Virginian”?

Who is the "Virginian"?

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  • Similar Content

    • By Jack Ryan
      This is a commonly used jw phrase regarding the faithful and discreet slave
       
    • By The Librarian
      Part of a series on:
      The faithful and discreet slave is the term used by Jehovah's Witnesses to describe the religion's Governing Body in its role of directing doctrines and teachings. The group is described as a "class" of "anointed" Christians that operates under the direct control of Jesus Christ[1] to exercise teaching authority in all matters pertaining to doctrine and articles of faith.[2][3]
      The concept is a central doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses' system of belief[4] and is based on their interpretation of the Parable of the Faithful Servant in Matthew 24:45–47, Mark 13:34-37 and Luke 12:35-48.
      The doctrine has undergone several major changes since it was formulated in 1881 by Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Bible Student movement. Russell initially applied it to the "church"—the "little flock" of 144,000 who would go to heaven—but five years later explained that it was an individual who would act as a sole channel or agent for Christ, dispensing "food", or new truths, for God's "household". Bible Students consequently regarded Russell as the "faithful and wise servant" of the parable.[5][6] In 1927 the Watch Tower Society announced that the "servant" was not in fact an individual, but was made up of the entire body of faithful spirit-anointed Christians; by 2010 that group numbered about 11,000 Witnesses from around the world.[7] In 2012 the society announced an "adjustment" of the doctrine, explaining that the slave was now understood to be synonymous with the Governing Body, a small group of anointed elders serving at the religion's world headquarters. The announcement also marked a change in belief about the timing of the slave class's appointment by Christ: it was said to have taken place in 1919 rather than in apostolic times, as previously believed.[8]
      The current teaching is that the governing body is synonymous with the Faithful & Discreet Slave Class. There was no governing body in Russell's day. A Board of Directors was selected after Russell's death to take the lead of the Society's affairs. The Watchtower considers this to be the first "governing body" and also the first "faithful slave".
       
      Role
      Watch Tower Society publications teach that Jesus uses the faithful and discreet slave "to publish information on the fulfillment of Bible prophecies and to give timely direction on the application of Bible principles in daily life"[9][10] as the only means of communicating God's messages to humans. It is referred to as God's "prophet"[11] and "channel",[12] and claims to provide "divine" direction and guidance. Jehovah's Witnesses are told their survival of Armageddon depends in part on their obedience to the slave class.[13] Governing Body members are said to act in the role of the faithful and discreet slave class when arriving at decisions on doctrines, activities and oversight of Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide, including making appointments to positions of responsibility.[14][15][16]
      Origin and history
      The parable on which Jehovah's Witnesses base their doctrine of the "faithful and discreet slave", as rendered in the King James Version, reads: "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods."
      Watch Tower publications state that Christ, the "master" in the parable, returned in Kingdom power in 1914 and at that date identified those associated with the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society as the only group still faithfully feeding his followers.[17][18][19] (Earlier publications apply different dates to this event. The date of Christ's inspection has previously been identified as 1919,[20] though publications have also suggested Russell's group passed God's test of fitness 40 years earlier, using The Watchtower as his principal method of spreading Bible truth from 1879. Publications had claimed the slave class began using the Watch Tower Society as its legal instrument in 1884.)[21][22] Christ, in fulfillment of the parable, subsequently appointed anointed Christians associated with the Watch Tower Society "over all his belongings". The "belongings" are said to today include Jehovah's Witnesses' Brooklyn headquarters, branch offices, Kingdom Halls and Assembly Halls worldwide as well as the "great crowd" of Jehovah's Witnesses.[17]
      Development of doctrine
      In 1881, an article in Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence by the magazine's editor Charles Taze Russell identified the "faithful and wise servant" as "that 'little flock' of consecrated servants who are faithfully carrying out their consecration vows—the body of Christ ... the whole body individually and collectively, giving the meat in due season to the household of faith—the great company of believers."[23][9][24]
      In 1895, Russell's wife Maria claimed that Russell himself was the figure referred to in the parable at Matthew 24:45-47, though Russell initially declined to accept the personal application of the title, suggesting that it should apply to the Watch Tower rather than its editor.[25][26] In 1897 Russell agreed that Christ would have made a "choice of one channel for dispensing the meat in due season [emphasis in the original]" and while he did not refer to that "one channel" as an individual, Russell did apply to it the personal pronoun "he" (for example: "if unfaithful he will be deposed entirely"), and noted "whoever the Lord will so use, as a truth-distributing agent, will be very humble and unassuming" and "he would not think of claiming authorship or ownership of the truth."[27]
      In 1909, in an unsigned article, the Watch Tower mentioned that the "application to us of Matthew 24:45" had come "some fourteen years ago", or about 1895. The article went on to say "the Society's literature was the channel through which the Lord sent them practically all that they know about the Bible and the Divine purposes." [emphasis added][28]
      The prevailing view among Bible Students that Russell was "the faithful and wise servant" of Jesus' parable,[29] was reiterated in the Watch Tower a few weeks after Russell's death in 1916:
      Thousands of the readers of Pastor Russell's writings believe that he filled the office of "that faithful and wise servant," and that his great work was giving to the Household of Faith meat in due season. His modesty and humility precluded him from openly claiming this title, but he admitted as much in private conversation.[30]
      The Watch Tower Society's official history of Jehovah's Witnesses states that Russell "did not personally promote the idea, but he did acknowledge the apparent reasonableness of the arguments of those who favored it."[31]
      In 1917, the publisher's preface to the book, The Finished Mystery, issued as a posthumous publication of Russell's writings, identified him as the "faithful and wise servant" appointed by Christ;[32] as late as 1923, the Watch Tower repeated the same belief about his role, declaring: "We believe that all who are now rejoicing in present truth will concede that Brother Russell faithfully filled the office of special servant of the Lord; and that he was made ruler over all the Lord's goods ... Brother Russell occupied the office of that 'faithful and wise servant'."[33]
      In 1927, Watch Tower Society president Joseph Rutherford reverted to Russell's original viewpoint, announcing that the "servant" was not an individual, but was made up of the entire body of faithful spirit-anointed Christians.[34]
      A 1950 issue of The Watchtower appeared to assign to the "mother organization"—in reference to the Watch Tower Society—the task of feeding Christians "meat in due season";[35] in 1951 the magazine defined the "faithful and discreet slave" as a class of people whose teachings were imparted through a theocratic organization.[36]
      1981 - Who Is The Faithful Steward, The Discreet One? - Talk by Frederick W. Franz then President of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society
      From 2000 the Governing Body was increasingly described as the representative[37][38] and "spokesman" for God's "faithful and discreet slave class".
      Watch Tower Society publications had taught that the "faithful and discreet slave" class had had a continuous uninterrupted existence since being appointed by Christ at the time of Pentecost AD 33,[20] when the first 120 people upon whom holy spirit was poured out began "feeding" Jews with spiritual food. As new disciples came in, they filled the role of "domestics" and joined in feeding others. The Apostles and other early Christian disciples who wrote the books of the New Testament were also part of the "slave" class providing spiritual food to Christians.[39]
      The Watchtower claimed members of the "slave" class were a close-knit body of Christians rather than isolated, independent individuals, and that one generation of the "slave" class fed the succeeding generation to maintain the unbroken line for more than 1900 years,[39][40] providing the same spiritual food to Christians worldwide.[20] Watch Tower publications did not identify the groups filling the role of the "slave" class between the close of the Apostolic Age and the early 20th century, suggesting it disappeared from "clear view",[40] but they implied they might have included the Lollards and the Waldensians (the latter movement described by The Watchtower as "faithful witnesses of Jehovah ... who sought to revive true worship of Christianity").[41][42][43]
      A series of talks at the 128th annual meeting of the Watch Tower Society in New Jersey on 6 October 2012 made further changes to the doctrine about the identity of the "slave". The society's report on the meeting said that "the faithful and discreet slave was appointed over Jesus' domestics in 1919. That slave is the small, composite group of anointed brothers serving at world headquarters during Christ's presence who are directly involved in preparing and dispensing spiritual food. When this group work together as the Governing Body, they act as 'the faithful and discreet slave.'" The report said the slave "logically" must have appeared after Christ's presence began in 1914.[8]
      The doctrinal change also redefined the "domestics" of the parable—previously identified as individual "anointed" Witnesses[44]—as all Jehovah's Witnesses.[8]
      See also
      Watchtower (Study edition) - July 15, 2013
      144,000
      David H Splane: The Slave Is Not 1900 Years Old - Matt 24v45 

       
      References
      The Watchtower, March 15, 2002 pp. 13-14 paragraph 4 Watchtower August 1, 2001 p. 14 paragraph 8, "A mature Christian ... does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding. Rather, he has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by Jehovah God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and 'the faithful and discreet slave.'" "Jehovah, the God of Progressive Revelation", Watchtower, June 15, 1964, page 365, "The abundance of spiritual food and the amazing details of Jehovah's purposes that have been revealed to Jehovah's anointed witnesses are clear evidence that they are the ones mentioned by Jesus when he foretold a 'faithful and discreet slave' class that would be used to dispense God's progressive revelations in these last days ... How thankful we should be for the provision God has made of this slave class, the modern spiritual remnant, as they faithfully dispense the revealed truths of Jehovah! ... Jehovah's faithful witnesses have been progressively brought to an understanding of Jehovah's purposes, which are clearer now than ever before in history." Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed. University of Toronto Press. p. 160. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed. University of Toronto Press. p. 33. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. The Watchtower, February 15, 1927, page 55, paragraph 38. Watch Tower, 1927, as referenced by Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, Watchtower Society, 1993, page 626. Report of Annual Meeting, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, October 6, 2012. Hoekema, Anthony A. (1963), The Four Major Cults, Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, pp. 246–247, ISBN 0-8028-3117-6 Organized to Do Jehovah's Will, Watch Tower Society, 2005, p. 16. The Watchtower April 1, 1972, p. 197. The Watchtower August 1, 2002, p. 13 paragraph 17. "Do You Discern the Evidence of God's Guidance?", The Watchtower, April 15, 2011, pages 3-5. "Do You Discern the Evidence of God’s Guidance?", The Watchtower, April 15, 2011, "Jesus Christ is the assigned Leader of the congregation. He has delegated some authority to a faithful slave class, made up of faithful spirit-anointed Christians. That slave class, in turn, appoints overseers in the Christian congregation." "Do You Take the Lead in Showing Honor?", The Watchtower, October 15, 2008, page 23, "It is Scriptural for “the faithful and discreet slave” through its Governing Body to appoint men to positions of responsibility, and some men are appointed to exercise authority over other appointed men." Overseers and Ministerial Servants Theocratically Appointed", The Watchtower, January 15, 2001, page 15, "The Governing Body appoints qualified brothers at the branches to represent it in making appointments of elders and ministerial servants. Care is taken that those acting representatively on behalf of the Governing Body clearly understand and follow the Scriptural guidelines for making such appointments. Hence, it is under the direction of the Governing Body that qualified men are appointed to serve in the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide." Organized To Do God's Will, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2005, page 16. Hoekema, Anthony A. (1963), The Four Major Cults, Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, pp. 300–301, ISBN 0-8028-3117-6 Beckford, James A. (1975), The Trumpet of Prophecy: A Sociological Study of Jehovah's Witnesses, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, p. 109, ISBN 0-631-16310-7 One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism”, The Watchtower, September 15, 1983, page 19, paragraph 19. Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1959, page 22, "... in many ways the evidence was beginning to accumulate that, of all the early voices heard, Jehovah had chosen the publication we now call The Watchtower to be used as a channel through which to bring to the world of mankind a revelation of the divine will and, through the words revealed in its columns, to begin a division of the world's population into those who would do the divine will and those who would not. For this reason 1879 was a turning point in the work. This little group, headed by C.T. Russell, had now been tested and had been found fit to undertake the great preliminary campaign leading up to the climax expected in 1914." "Willingly Expand Your Ministry", The Watchtower, June 1, 1963, page 338. Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, October/November 1881. Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1993, page 142. Watch Tower, July 15, 1906, Watch Tower Reprints, page 3811, As Retrieved 2009-09-23, page 215. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed. University of Toronto Press. pp. 33–37. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. The Battle of Armageddon (Part IV, "Studies in the Scriptures") by C. T. Russell, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1897, page 613. Watch Tower, October 1, 1909, Watch Tower Reprints, page 4482, As Retrieved 2009-09-23, page 292 "Testing and Sifting From Within", Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, Watchtower Society, 1993, page 626, "According to Brother Russell, his wife, who later left him, was the first one to apply Matthew 24:45-47 to him. See the Watch Tower issues of July 15, 1906, page 215; March 1, 1896, page 47; and June 15, 1896, pages 139-40." Watch Tower, December 1, 1916, Watch Tower Reprints, page 5998, As Retrieved 2009-09-23, page 357 "Testing and Sifting From Within", Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, page 626, "Many ... clung to the view that a single individual, Charles Taze Russell, was the "faithful and wise servant" ... Particularly following his death, The Watch Tower itself set forth this view for a number of years. In view of the prominent role that Brother Russell had played, it appeared to the Bible Students of that time that this was the case. He did not personally promote the idea, but he did acknowledge the apparent reasonableness of the arguments of those who favored it." Publisher's Preface, Studies in the Scriptures, Series VII: The Finished Mystery, Peoples Pulpit Association, Brooklyn, NY, 1917. Watch Tower, March 1, 1923, pages 68 and 71, as cited by Raymond Franz, Crisis of Conscience, Commentary Press, 2007, page 63. Watch Tower, 1927, as referenced by Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, Watchtower Society, 1993, page 626. The Watchtower, September 15, 1950 p. 326|"The Father is the great Provider of spiritual food, and he delegates to his organization the duty of preparing and serving this life-sustaining 'meat in due season'. The table is the Lord’s, he sits at the head, and the children seated at the table are waited on and served and helped by the mother organization." "Release Under Way to the Ends of the Earth", The Watchtower December 15, 1951, page 749, paragraph 4|"Christ Jesus approved of his remnant as a 'faithful and discreet slave' and set this "slave" class over all his earthly belongings. Then by the theocratic organization Jehovah led them from one truth to another, opening the eyes of their hearts and the ears of their understanding to see and hear these truths." The Watchtower, May 15, 2008, page 29 "Seek God's guidance in all things", The Watchtower, April 15, 2008, page 11. "How Are Christians Spiritually Fed?", The Watchtower, January 15, 1975. "Do You Appreciate the “Faithful and Discreet Slave”?", The Watchtower, March 1, 1981, page 24. Theocratic Aid to Kingdom Publishers, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1945, page 307. Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. pp. 128, 129. ISBN 0-914675-17-6. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed. University of Toronto Press. pp. 179–183. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Insight In The Scriptures volume 1, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1988, p. 805-806. See also:
       
    • By Anna
      I have posted this issue before, but it was during the time of the hot topic of the persecution in Russia and maybe got overshadowed by it. A poster brought it up again in one of the threads so I thought I will try again to post it as a topic. My goal is not to sow doubts, nor to promote some false ideas, but rather to get to the bottom of this as I feel it is a valid question. The summary of the problem can be seen in the quotes below:
      Referring to people leaving their religion to join Jehovah's Witnesses:
      "No one should be forced to worship in a way that he finds unacceptable or be made to choose between his beliefs and his family".  Awake 7/09 page 29
      AND
      Regarding those disfellowshipped from Jehovah's Witnesses:
      "Really, what your beloved family member needs to see is your resolute stance to put Jehovah above anything else - including the family bond.....Do not look for excuses to associate with a disfellowshipped family member, for example, through email" p.16, paragraph 19, Study WT Jan / 2013
      In the above situation we are assuming that the reason for disfellowshipping was because of changing one's religion and/or apostasy (not because of immorality etc.)
       
       
       
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      Have any past Presidents of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society
      ever had armed bodyguards .. and does the GB now have them?
    • 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.
    • By Diakonos
      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 Chapter 2 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..."
       
      Any comments ?
       
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