Monday, August 25, 2008

The Watchtower and Charles Russell On The Subject of Organization

Watchtower 1946 Nov 1 page 330, Article Let God Prove to be True
The divisive force among the Catholic and Protestant religionists of Christendom is the religious traditions which they follow. The truth of the Bible is a unifying power. After Christ Jesus prayed: "Sanctify them through thy Word: thy Word is truth" he immediately prayed that all his believers, those then following him and those yet due to believe, should be united in one, just as he and His heavenly Father are one (John 17:17-23)
How is disunity over each one?s individual interpretation of the Holy Scriptures now overcome or avoided? Is it because they are united around a visible human organization or around a visible human leader? The answer is No. It is because they recognize Jehovah God and Christ Jesus as The Higher Powers to whom every Christian soul must be subject for conscience? sake (Romans 13:1)
Hence Jehovah?s Witnesses do not claim to be what the religious Hierarchy claims their religious organization to be, namely, the one holding the magisterium or teaching office and hence the Divinely appointed Custodian and Interpreter of the Bible.
The written Word of God does not therefore need the addition of traditions which are the private interpretations of man and of religious organisations. It is not on our own authority that we say the Bible is sufficient without such. The inspired Apostle, Paul, writes his faithful and fellow worker Timothy to that effect saying: "from thy infancy thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which can instruct thee to salvation, by the faith which is in Jesus Christ. All Scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice, that the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work. (2 Tim 3:15-17)
Had the oral traditions of religious men been necessary to complement the Canon of the Bible, Paul would not have said that the inspired Holy Scriptures were profitable to the point of making the men of God perfect in faith and devotion to God. It would have been inadequate and would have left the man of God unperfected.
Watchtower 1881 by the President C T Russell
..their organization was of Spirit; their law for the government of each was love, and all as a whole were put under obedience to ?the law of the Spirit? as it was expressed in the life, actions and words of their Lord.
..it is clearly seen that these present day churches?interpret and enforce the traditions of the elders which make void the Word of God. These take the place of the true Head of the Church ? Jesus and the true teacher and guide to all truth, the Holy Spirit. Hear the prophet Isaiah express it (chap 9:15)
This brings us to our second preposition, viz that all Christians should be joined to this organisation? But says one; Must I not join some organisation on earth, assent to some creed and have my name written on earth? No. Remember that Jesus is your pattern and teacher, and neither in his words or acts will you find any authority for binding yourselves with creeds or traditions of the elders, which all tend to make the word of God of none effect (Mark 7:13) and bring you under a bondage that will hinder your growth in grace and knowledge, and against which Paul warned you to stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free, and be not entangled with the yoke of bondage (Gal 5:1}
Watchtower 1882 April, Questions & Answers
We are strictly unsectarian?(read 1 Cor 3:1-4) we have no creed (fence) to bind us together or keep others out of our company. The Bible is our only Standard, and its teachings our only creed. We are in fellowship with all Christians in whom we can recognise the Spirit of Christ, and especially with those who recognise the Bible as the only Standard. We do not require therefore that all should see just as we do in order to be called Christians, realising that growth and knowledge is a gradual process; nor do we see reason to expect that any but the Watchmen of Zion will ?see eye to eye (Isa 52:8) until that which is perfect is come.
If all Christians were to thus free themselves from prescribed creeds, and study the Word of God without denominational bias, truth and knowledge and real Christian fellowship and unity would result. The Spirit of the Head would pervade the unfettered members of the Body and sectarian pride would vanish.

Watchtower 1884 February
We belong to no earthly organization.
we adhere only to that heavenly organization whose names are written in heave? (Heb 12:23 Luke 10:20)
What think you?...suppose all man made creeds and forms and names were laid aside, or that all Christians met in the One name of Christ, and in earnest simplicity, studied HIS words under the direction of God's Spirit and the explanations furnished in the Apostles writings, would there be long and serious differences, even of opinion?... And so, by whatsoever names men may call us, it matters not to us; we acknowledge none other name than the only name given under heaven and among me Jesus Christ. We call ourselves simply CHRISTIANS and we raise no fence to separate from us any who believe in the foundation stone of our building mentioned by Paul: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and those for whom this is not broad enough have no right to the name Christian.
WT 1895 15 September article "How to Conduct Group Meetings"
Beware of organisation. It is wholly unnecessary
. The Bible rules will be the only rules you will need. Do not seek to bind others consciences and do not permit others to bind yours. Believe and obey so far as you can understand God's word today, and so continue growing in grace and knowledge and love day by day.
Unfortunately, it seems to me that because of the nature of man, nearly all Christian religions who may start with the best motives, very quickly move away from the true message of the Gospel. Sadly,the Watchtower has become what it set up to oppose. It has its own disguised clergy and toned down inquisition etc. It is the master of disguise.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

GBL:

When you address the uninformed it is a coward's tact to lie about the arrangements in Jehovah's Organization. And so I call you a coward!

What other group of Christians have elders who take the lead and are not paid for it. All the elders in the thousands of congregations all over the earth are NOT PAID CLERGY. They work secularly and then volunteer their time to help the congregation.

As a former Catholic, I can tell you it was a breath of fresh air to see all those brothers on an equal playing field. One man being exhaulted as head of a congregation was done away with when the elder arrangement was instintuted. No special glory for an individual.

You are a frustrated elder (I assume you are an elder because of all those secret secret letters you are privy to) who has a beef with your own P.O. You are sneaky and deceitful as you play the brother at the Kingdom Hall and then attack Jehovah's Organization in the dark. I would stand before the world and give an accounting of my beliefs. This internet garbage allows fellows like you to skulk in the shadows.) You are a liar like your father, the devil.

There is no disguised clergy in Jehovah's Organization, just hard working brothers, giving their time and efforts for FREE!
As I asked before, are you frustrated because you are not the center of attention at the Kingdom Hall?

You quote all these old, and I do mean old, ancient, decrepit, sayings from 1800's and then stretch exageration to the limits by calling it a "toned down inquisition" something done by the brothers! Even the dumbest history student knows how gruesome the Inquisition was for so many innocent people. There is no comparison but you just have to slip that in.

Anonymous said...

I have to ask...in all earnestness How can you go to a Hall and sit there a Judas, traitor to the friends who might call you brother.
What happened to you to make you this type of individual? Aren't you wondering how you will account to Jehovah for what you have done?

James said...

GBL I must know about the pioneer hours. Please. Are they really changing? Are you absolutely positive? Why haven't we heard anything else?

Governing Body Letters said...

Please note that "Clergy" is a generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion.
Jehovah's Witnesses have many clergy positions, including Presiding Overseers, Elders, Ministerial Servants, Circuit Overseers and District Overseers, priests, bishops, and ministers.
There are paid clergy and unpaid clergy.
Depending on the religion, clergy usually take care of the ritual aspects of the religious life, teach or otherwise help in spreading the religion's doctrine and practices. They often deal with baptism, marriage, and death.
A priesthood is a body of priests, shamans, or oracles who have special religious authority or function. The term priest is derived from Latin presbyter, but is often used in the sense of sacerdos in particular, i.e., for clergy communicating with the gods or god on behalf of the community.
Does that remind you of the Governing Body?
I know that Jehovah's Witnesses try to separate themselves from these terms, but can they really do this just by changing the terms or the language that is used?
The history of your religion should be of concern to all Jehovah's Witnesses.
--------------------------------
If you think that events in the first century are important to you, why not the events that occurred when this religion came into existence? It does not matter when they happened or in what year the events took place. What is important is that they happened!

Governing Body Letters said...

James, I am sorry. I saw you question before but I got busy doing something else.
The pioneer hours will change. This is only the last week of August and since the hours do not affect everyone, they will wait until the last minute to announce it. The announcement will come soon.

kimmy jo said...

ronde, your cohert(anonymouse) is doing a fine job of name calling and slinging insults. Christian love...love thy enemys.

Such ridiculous speach from a "true" christian!

mumple berry said...

while I don't agree with some of the content of this web site, I do however, notice that those that are posting contrary positions tend to use personal attacks, straw-dog arguments, reactionary un-thought-out statements, to both distract from the the obviously well made points, when such are present, and also to diminish the import of the principals involved. Just for instance, often the time element is used to say in effect that you can't judge the organization by what it did, say 50 years ago. Well, at what point is a liar no longer considered a liar?... After they gather a following? The fact that they lied to begin with, in saying that God was instructing them to promote these so-called truths, or at the very least they were presumptuous in presenting the understanding of things in God's name,as if He were directing them in these matters, brings their credibility into question. These things weren't presented as if they were just up for individual consideration, they were presented as the very words of God in many instances, and still are. There are inaccuracies in the positions they take to this day, and these are still offered as truth in God's name. No dissent is allowed. If you don't believe me, try questioning them on an issue that is obviously not of biblical origin. You will find that truth takes a second place to their concept of unity, and you will risk any good standing you might have with them.

mumple berry said...

while I don't agree with some of the content of this web site, I do however, notice that those that are posting contrary positions tend to use personal attacks, straw-dog arguments, reactionary un-thought-out statements, to both distract from the the obviously well made points, when such are present, and also to diminish the import of the principals involved. Just for instance, often the time element is used to say in effect that you can't judge the organization by what it did, say 50 years ago. Well, at what point is a liar no longer considered a liar?... After they gather a following? The fact that they lied to begin with, in saying that God was instructing them to promote these so-called truths, or at the very least they were presumptuous in presenting the understanding of things in God's name,as if He were directing them in these matters, brings their credibility into question. These things weren't presented as if they were just up for individual consideration, they were presented as the very words of God in many instances, and still are. There are inaccuracies in the positions they take to this day, and these are still offered as truth in God's name. No dissent is allowed. If you don't believe me, try questioning them on an issue that is obviously not of biblical origin. You will find that truth takes a second place to their concept of unity, and you will risk any good standing you might have with them.

mumple berry said...

while I don't agree with some of the content of this web site, I do however, notice that those that are posting contrary positions tend to use personal attacks, straw-dog arguments, reactionary un-thought-out statements, to both distract from the the obviously well made points, when such are present, and also to diminish the import of the principals involved. Just for instance, often the time element is used to say in effect that you can't judge the organization by what it did, say 50 years ago. Well, at what point is a liar no longer considered a liar?... After they gather a following? The fact that they lied to begin with, in saying that God was instructing them to promote these so-called truths, or at the very least they were presumptuous in presenting the understanding of things in God's name,as if He were directing them in these matters, brings their credibility into question. These things weren't presented as if they were just up for individual consideration, they were presented as the very words of God in many instances, and still are. There are inaccuracies in the positions they take to this day, and these are still offered as truth in God's name. No dissent is allowed. If you don't believe me, try questioning them on an issue that is obviously not of biblical origin. You will find that truth takes a second place to their concept of unity, and you will risk any good standing you might have with them.

Tom Rook said...

I think a point that everybody misses is that if a person truely believes something and tells it to another....it is NOT a lie.

He or she is just plain flat wrong ... NOT a liar.

In 1955 I read an entire set of encyclopedias, I think it was called "The Book of Knowledge", and a kids version "Childcraft" that my parents bought for me when I was 10 years old...paid $400 dollars .. staggering sum of money for a man that only made $54 a week.

I particularly read the stuff on astronomy, the nine planets, as they had heavy paper full color pictures ... and my imagination inspired, I wanted to go there.

But the fact of the matter is that the publishers of the "Book of Knowledge", looking at it from todays perspective, were wrong about almost all the details that filled up half of one volume.

Had I been interested in nuclear physics, the completely unknown science of Chaos Theory, or plastics, the general idea was there, as it was in astronomy, I would have been taught by sources that, compared to today, were floundering about in their infancy.

Today we are STILL floundering about in the area of understanding about the details and the will of God, but our arrogance assumes we know it all now.

Robert Heinlein had an interesting character in one of his Science Fiction books ... the "True Witness". This characters ability was that to be such a trained observer, that whatever he testified to in a court of law was presumed true.

For example, if he was called to testify as to the color of a particular house, his statement might be "The color on the side I can see is white". How many of us would have just answered "white"?

But Jehovah has called the gentle, pure of heart, the lowly of the Earth to carry his banner and shield, and figuratively speaking, old men with cataracts.

I don't know if they really believed the stuff we now know as wrong...but if they did it was NOT A LIE.

It was wrong.

It was not a lie...it was wrong.

Now...as an engineer, I look at the results of things.

Who else but Jehovah's Witnesses has accomplished the publishing of the TRUE good news about God, his Christ and God's Kingdom?

How do I know it's true? (well, the part that really counts...there are elders that believe in flying saucers, and other nutty stuff, my best friend was and elder and came to believe he was Jesus...)

The reason I know Jehovahs witnesses teach TRUTH is ...

RESULTS

I have seen the results on a global scale, that peove that 85% of what Jehovah's Witnesses believe and teach is absolutely true.

I have also seen that 15% of what they teach is unmitigated, dangerous, drivel and crap.

Nevertheless, it is NOT a LIE...because they believe it.

They are honest (to the best of my knowledge, and I just found out last Saturday that they are completely blameless before God and Man for the UN NGO controversy, for which I have believed for five years they were guilty as sin and covering up their lies..)

When a bank teller gives you change for a twenty when you gave her a ten, has she lied to you, stolen from you, embezzled from the bank for you,tried to cheat you or the bank?

No ...she believed wrongly that you gave her a ten dollar bill.

Now ...if she had pulled out a machine gun and killed everybody standing on the other side of the teller's partition, that is a horse of a different hue.

The thing they are doing now that is disastrous is discouraging advanced education, and if they do not change, the base will get dumber and dumber until the apostates will prevail ...until Armageddon at least.

There is no turning back the power of the Internet to make EVERYTHING known, as you have observed ... short of global thermonuclear war.

It took me FIVE YEARS to find out the truth about the UN NGO slander.

Last week I believed it was the truth.

I was wrong. I did not lie about it when I expressed my concerns of anguish .... I really believed it.

I was wrong.

We all live and learn...or we don't live long.

Tom.Rook@Technik-SA.US

Tom Rook said...

Well,

I was probably wrong when I stated the Internet would not survive a global thermonuclear war, it probably would.

That, in the beginning, was exactly what it was designed to do...preserve information in sites all over the world about quantum physics, so that AFTER a global thermonuclear war the information would not be lost.

I...ahem...did not lie...I was wrong, even though I knew better...I forgot.

so sue me!

Tom.Rook@Technik-SA.US

JoePublish said...

Hi Tom,

Have you received your letter back from the Society yet? You posted in: “The Newspaper Article That Exposed Watchtower Involvement with United Nations” GBL blog that you were writing them to get to the bottom of this.

I responded that I would love you to share this. Did you place this response under the above Blog title?

Thank you… I am earnestly interested in their response.

JoePublish said...

With more authority comes more responsibility.

If I read something from my religious leaders and it turns out to be wrong - shame on me for putting “too much faith in it” even though I was only doing what I was told – to trust in God’s so-called hand-picked organization.

If I now relate what I read to someone else and say, "It's the truth!", and it turns out not to be... I become an accomplice to spreading that "untruth". Call it what you want, “a lie”, “falsehood”, etc. Bottom line, it’s not truth!

Now, I ask. Who owns more of the responsibility for the “untruth”, me or the religious leaders who published the falsehood?

Dear Mumble berry, I really appreciated these points:

"Just for instance, often the time element is used to say in effect that you can't judge the organization by what it did, say 50 years ago. Well, at what point is a liar no longer considered a liar?... After they gather a following? The fact that they lied to begin with, in saying that God was instructing them to promote these so-called truths, or at the very least they were presumptuous in presenting the understanding of things in God's name, as if He were directing them in these matters, brings their credibility into question. These things weren't presented as if they were just up for individual consideration, they were presented as the very words of God in many instances, and still are."

The GB just doesn’t seem to be accountable to anyone. You rarely see an apology to the members when they slip up. It’s funny how the apologists are so quick to defend the GB as “imperfect” people and thus use this to explain their past errors (and there are MANY).

Well, if they are so imperfect, why not do what normal (even non-religious) people do immediately after acknowledging a mistake? Yes, why not “apologize”? The aftermath of the ‘end is no doubt coming in “1975”’ is a classic misuse of power. Instead of apologizing for whipping up the community of the faithful that the end is coming in 1975, how did they respond? - By berating/scolding the faithful!

Like I said, with more authority comes more responsibility. Religious leaders are accountable to their flock – how do they act when they make an error? Do they respond in a responsible manner?

You be the judge.

Governing Body Letters said...

"I think a point that everybody misses is that if a person truely believes something and tells it to another....it is NOT a lie.

He or she is just plain flat wrong ... NOT a liar."
----------------------------------
Poor Tom. You are not a stupid man and yet in spite of all evidence to the contrary you still believe that Jehovah's spirit is directing the Watchtower organization. In fact, I think you mentioned that all negative information actually strengthens your faith.
Well.... it is probably people with your attitude that the organization counts on. People who will excuse them come hell or high water. It probably brings you some kind of peace to believe what you do.
You said that Jehovah has called the gentle, pure of heart, the lowly of the Earth to carry his banner and shield, and figuratively speaking, old men with cataracts. What in the world does this analogy have to do with the Governing Body, well... except for old and cataracts?
These men are arrogant, know it all, who refuse to be questioned. Certainly not the kind of men Jehovah would choose.
However, people remain witnesses and put their faith in the organization for a number of reasons. I understand and wish you peace.
One Point That I will Not Let Pass:
The Governing Body of Jehovah's Witness is an guilty as sin about the NGO and United Nations matter. GUILTY. GUILTY. GUILTY!
Beyond that, they lied, lied, lied to cover up the matter.
---------------------------------
You know, I do believe that Charles Russell really believed some the crazy stuff he was teaching. Some form of mental illness perhaps? He had been afraid of hellfire and death since his childhood. He wanted to find scripture that would disprove these doctrines.
But after that, and starting with Rutherford, all bets are off! These men were ALL liars, grafters and con men! Gathering the weak, grieving and uninformed with their made up doctrines. Holding out to them the carrot of Everlasting Life.

Anonymous said...

Tom Rook:

So it took you 5 years and hours of research to prove what others already accepted....that Jehovah's Organization is not guilty of wrong regarding the U.N. NGO. At some point you have to make the commitment and recognize that this is Jehovah's Organization.

If they are discouraging higher education...there must be a reason. And I doubt it is to harm the brothers.

Maybe it will take another five years for you to understand why, but you should commit, serve Jehovah whole souled and put your doubts to rest. By your own mouth you seem to have plenty of evidence to move forward without hesitation.

Anonymous said...

Mumpleberry:

What was that? Three times posted for emphasis?

You must have been in the Theocratic Ministry School.

Hahahahahahaha

Governing Body Letters said...

"But the fact of the matter is that the publishers of the "Book of Knowledge", looking at it from todays perspective, were wrong about almost all the details that filled up half of one volume."
---------------------------------
The Book of Knowledge does not claim that it is inspired by Jehovah. It is not spirit directed. It is just a book by humans, who have the limited knowledge of humans and was written by humans. It never claims to be anything else.

Governing Body Letters said...

"RESULTS
I have seen the results on a global scale, that peove that 85% of what Jehovah's Witnesses believe and teach is absolutely true."
---------------------------------
Organized crime has produced results on a global scale, in practically all countries of the world you will see their results of their efforts. Does this mean that they are blessed by Jehovah?

Governing Body Letters said...

"If they are discouraging higher education...there must be a reason."
----------------------------------
Yes, there is a reason that they discourage higher education. Listen carefully. Instead of going off to college they want the young to pioneer full time. Enthusiastic young people pioneering causes many converts to come into the organization. The more people that come into the organization the more donations they can count on. In addition, maybe some of these new converts will leave them houses and money in their wills.
Now these new converts will bring in even more new converts, and so on and so on and so on.
Do you get it? It is all about the money. In the end, like all other corporations, it;s all about the money.
If you believe that this does not hurt the brothers, then carry on.

kimmy jo said...

"If they are discouraging higher education...there must be a reason."

Ya, it keeps them in the dark and dependent.
School encourages one to THINK. That would spell TROUBLE for the Watchtower.