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Noble Berean

Spiritual Hierarchy Within The Jehovah's Witnesses

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16 hours ago, Gone Fishing said:

Yes, very neatly laid out. But it still misses the point. The attaching of relative value to people just because they occupy this or that functional role in an arrangement of humans, even if it's theocratic,  is where the problem lies. Everybody does it we know, and as @JW Insiderdeftlly points out:

Jehovah puts it more bluntly when He says that the inhabitants of the earth "are like grasshoppers" at Is. 40:22.

Jesus gave clear counsel at Matt.20:24-27 when he instructed his disciples: "Jesus called them to him and said: “You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them and the great men wield authority over them. This must not be the way among you; but whoever wants to become great among you must be your minister, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave".

There will always be problems when the waiter starts to think he is more important than those at the table, just because he has the job of handing out the food. Even Harry Callahan observed of a "waiter" with deluded self importance "You're a legend in your own mind".

There is much that could be said on this matter. But to stay on topic, the '75 brouhaha was(is) the product of the minds of "grasshoppers" in the heat of the sun. One starts jumpin'.... they all start jumpin'........Jumpin in the Sun.jpg

Thankfully, it's all cooled down a bit now, on that front at least. :)

This is veering off the 1975 discussion, but I never suggested God places higher value on certain individuals because of status. That's contrary to everything he stands for. I am suggesting that humans have placed higher importance on themselves.

You said that there isn't a hierarchy in the organization, and that's not true. The R&F phrase is used by the organization to describe publishers at the bottom of the organizational pyramid. It isn't used to describe those at the top. And JWs at the bottom of the pyramid have no right to question the direction of those at the top, because they do not have the special capacity to interpret the Bible for themselves. JWs rely on the GB to get a proper understanding of the Bible. They have definitive authority on Bible understanding.

So, there is a disparity between R&F JWs and the specially chosen ones. If everyone was truly equal, wouldn't we all be able to interpret the Bible for ourselves? That idea is actually discouraged in the organization.

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1 hour ago, Noble Berean said:

If everyone was truly equal, wouldn't we all be able to interpret the Bible for ourselves? That idea is actually discouraged in the organization.

If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If it were all hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has arranged each of the body members just as he pleased.  If they were all the same member, where would the body be? - 1 Corinthians 12:17-19

It is enough that Witnesses can entertain whatever notions they want on these periphery teachings - you are far too hung up on asserting they cannot. What they cannot to is grab hold of the wheel of the bus. Many verses speak to promoting sects and stirring up divisions.

This is not difficult and I cannot understand your harping on this. If you can't accept something, don't accept it. Nobody says you have to shout these things from the rooftops. It is increasingly hard not to take these complaints of yours as the complaints of Korah: 'that is enough of you because all of Jehovah's people are holy.'

People here are searching for the divine/human interface. It is perfectly okay to do if you assume there IS no divine/human interface - that it is all a matter of human politics. Just be honest about it. But if you concede there is one - I am uncomfortable trying to peek between the curtains of the tabernacle into the Holy compartment - which is why I don't go there. And it is not getting caught by the attendants of the priest or even the priest himself that worries me.

 

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46 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

I am uncomfortable trying to peek between the curtains of the tabernacle into the Holy compartment

Why not, please explain

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1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If it were all hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has arranged each of the body members just as he pleased.  If they were all the same member, where would the body be? - 1 Corinthians 12:17-19

I know you think that my complaints are fault-finding, but I'm seeking truth just like anyone else on here. And things just don't always add up to me. I've given a lot of my time and energy to this organization, and I need to know that my decisions are right.

Comparing the GB to Moses? Moses was a prophet of God. He performed miracles. Murmuring against him was inexcusable. The GB has made missteps in direction that have negatively affected people. Again and again we must give the GB free passes for their errors in direction and continue giving them unquestioned loyalty. Do other JWs have that luxury? If we're all "equal" then why is their a double-standard?

I think a spirit of working together is important, but it's so difficult to work together with this organization when there's basically no room for personal conscience.

We've all worked with someone that is dogmatic and micromanaging. It is frustrating. Personal research has taught me that many matters are gray rather than black-and-white. Accepting the GB as the group taking the lead is not my issue. I understand that for an organization to function there has to be a person or group taking the lead. I just can't shake my belief that the GB has gone too far in its control. I would praise the GB if they allowed for more areas of personal conscience. That would show a trust in their fellow Christians to follow God to the best of their ability...according to their own Bible-based conscience. Instead, we have a system in place that shows a mistrust of Christians, because we all need to live on a short-leash. We are punished if we question the status quo. Are JWs genuinely motivated to find spiritual truth or stay in line with a human organization? These are concerns I have.

Working together as a body implies collaboration...does one organ have absolute authority over the entire body? The way the human organization is now...one group directs and the 7+ million other members obey. Does that sound like a body working together?

The GB's attitude toward its role in the congregation is frustrating. They feel that they are the definitive authority on doctrinal understanding, but where does it say that in the Bible? I need a little more than just trust us. The FDS parable has always been a claim of authority, but now the organization states that most of Jesus parables are not prophetic. So, why would the FDS parable be any different? This new thinking weakens the GB's authority.

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2 hours ago, Anna said:
3 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

I am uncomfortable trying to peek between the curtains of the tabernacle into the Holy compartment

Why not, please explain

For the same reason I don't just waltz right in there. Had Moses been directed to put up a chain link fence instead of a curtain, I would feel differently

 

22 minutes ago, Noble Berean said:

The GB has made missteps in direction that have negatively affected people.

Moses made so many missteps that if you trace his footsteps in the Sinai over 40 years, it looks like he was drunk.

Step away from whatever 'privileges' you have in the theocratic organization. Seriously. They are not a privilege to you. They are a burden. If you represent the organization in some capacity, say as an elder, than you do have to reign in some personal freedoms. You don't have to do it as a regular rank and file (and yes, for this post only I will allow the hierarchy model) publisher. You can just rediscover the joys of doing the basic ministry and serving God. Discover the joy of following rather than taking the lead. Help whoever you want to help, not just those you have to. Many theocratic activities are not 'instead of' -  they are 'in addition to.' Back off so that you can do the 'instead ofs.' You will be serving Jehovah from a different vantage point. So long as you do not act outrageously, setting up a literature cart with your own pamphlets at the Kingdom Hall, for example,  you will find that no one interferes. Grow a beard if you like - it will make less waves than if you try it as an elder. Both you and they will be happier.

You are chaffing over organizational things. Step back for a time. Sometimes servants who should do not want to because they have gotten too used to the idea that their own gifts and input is essential. I know what I speak of in this. Presumably, you love the basics - ministry, association, Bible study, prayer. Focus on them. In time you may work out whatever issues you have - for they are not ridiculous or groundless, just overemphasized in your head I think - and you can make yourself available again

Are they 'controlling?' Yeah, I know where you are coming from, but I would not view it that way. It is relative. From the world's point of view (anything goes) they are absolutely tyrannical. But if you weigh their conduct against the freedom of speech and independent thought commented upon in the scriptures, they are  within the ballpark. Some things are arguable - they could be tweaked this way or that. I'm not crazy about everything I see. But it may be that being 'taught by Jehovah' will entail things that are not the way I would do it. It is not as though everything I have done in my life has turned out brilliantly.

It is what it is. At any rate, I do not see any alternative other than that outfit Witness runs. Or be like JTR. Raise your loved ones as Jehovah's Witnesses and tell them 85% of it is crap. Good luck juggling that one.

1 hour ago, Noble Berean said:

We've all worked with someone that is dogmatic and micromanaging. It is frustrating

Exactly. Step away from that one. He will drive you nuts. Maybe he will be retrained someday, for they are trying to get him to not be such a yoyo. Maybe he himself will flame out or even be removed.  But he's gotten under your skin too much. Step away and you will recover in time. When you return you will have the tools to either put up with him or knock him out of the theocratic park,

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34 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

For the same reason I don't just waltz right in there. Had Moses been directed to put up a chain link fence instead of a curtain, I would feel differently

Seriously, I think we should stop being hung up about old Moses. Those days are gone. Otherwise we will be like those who didn't like Stephen because he spoke about Jesus...the greater Moses:

 Acts 6:8-14  "Now Stephen, full of graciousness and power, was performing great portents and signs among the people.  But certain men rose up of those from the so-called Synagogue of the Freedmen, and of the Cy·re′ni·ans and Alexandrians and of those from Ci·li′cia and Asia, to dispute with Stephen; and yet they could not hold their own against the wisdom and the spirit with which he was speaking.  Then they secretly induced men to say: “We have heard him speaking blasphemous sayings against Moses and God.” And they stirred up the people and the older men and the scribes, and, coming upon him suddenly, they took him by force and led him to the San′he·drin. And they brought forward false witnesses, who said: “This man does not stop speaking things against this holy place and against the Law.  For instance, we have heard him say that this Jesus the Naz·a·rene′ will throw down this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us.”

 

 

 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Moses made so many missteps that if you trace his footsteps in the Sinai over 40 years, it looks like he was drunk.

I'm confused by this comparison. Moses didn't intentionally wander for 40 years. Jehovah God sent them on that path so that the older generation would die off. It was a punishment for their lack of faith in God's power to protect them against the Canaanites. 

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 1 John 5:20  "But we know that the Son of God has come,  and he has given us insight* so that we may gain the knowledge of the one who is true. And we are in union with the one who is true, by means of his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and life everlasting.

* Lit., “mental perception; intellectual capacity.

  Proverbs 2:1-4  "My son, if you accept my sayings And treasure up my commandments,

    Hello guest!
By making your ear attentive to wisdom And inclining your heart to discernment;
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Moreover, if you call out for understanding
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And raise your voice for discernment; 
If you keep seeking for it as for silver,
    Hello guest!
And you keep searching for it as for hidden treasures;
    Hello guest!
Then you will understand the fear of Jehovah,
    Hello guest!
And you will find the knowledge of God".

Is this only the privilege of the Slave/GB or is it all of the anointed and by extension those who are associated with them, the great crowd?

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9 minutes ago, Anna said:

@Noble Berean did you move this topic over here or was it the @The Librarian? I was wondering if the title could be changed to "doctrinal" or "spiritual" hierarchy,....or something like that, because I don't think the organizational aspect of it is the problem, is it?

I didn't create the new topic, but is there a way to change titles?

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