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.