Friday, November 26, 2010

"New Light" Songbook

In 2009, the Watch Tower Society published a songbook to replace the one that was in use for twenty-five years. Along with new songs, many of the old ones were adjusted because “increased light” during that time caused many Witness doctrines to change and “some of the expressions used in the old songbook have become outdated.” That’s the explanation given in the December 15, 2010 Watchtower article, SING TO JEHOVAH, p. 23, par. 15:
As time passes, refinements are made in our understanding of the Scripture. Proverbs 4:19 says: "The path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established." Increased light inevitably leads to adjustments in the way in which we 'sing the truth'. For the past 25 years, Jehovah's Witnesses in many lands have enjoyed using the songbook entitled Sing Praises to Jehovah. In the years since that book was first published, the light has been getting brighter on a number of topics, and some of the expressions used in that songbook have become outdated. For example, we no longer speak of "the new order" but of "the new world". And we now state that Jehovah's name will be "sanctified, not "vindicated." Clearly, from a doctrinal standpoint, there has been a need to bring our songbook up-to-date.

Updating any book is not unusual. It’s done all the time and for different reasons. The Watch Tower Society explained their reason—updating was needed because of doctrinal change. No big deal—religions frequently update beliefs and doctrines. However, the doctrinal expressions, “the new order,” and, “Jehovah’s name will be vindicated,” were removed from Witness vocabulary during the period of time I was in Bethel, and I know the removal was not because of direction from some mystical “increased light” from God, but for other reasons.

Removal of the expression, “The New Order”
When I was working in Bethel’s Writing Department, I was told that the term “the new order” was totally a Fred Franz thing, for it was Freddie who was responsible for adopting in the early 1960s the words, “the new order,” instead of continuing to use the words, “the new world.”
The term, “the new order” is historically very old. It is associated with extremist totalitarianism and nationalism; radical organizations; or political leftist and also far right movements. Further, the words are connected with a so-called “one world government” or a “new world order” that secret societies are planning to create.
However, the honest-to-God reason leaders of the Watch Tower Society stopped in the late 1980s using the words, "the new order," was because of the association this term had with Nazism. There were complaints about the use, especially from Witnesses in Germany, but as long as Freddie was in control, nothing could be done about it. The use of that term was discontinued after he became blind and completely incapacitated both mentally and physically.
Nevertheless, according to the current Watchtower, there was a need “from a doctrinal standpoint” for updating this outdated expression because the “light is growing brighter.” To give this impression in the case of “the new order” is just plain ridiculous when the expression was discarded over twenty years ago because the Watch Tower Governing Body and Watch Tower writers were aware and concerned about the Nazi link.


Jae-Alexander Linsey said...

So the reasons they gave were just spin. Or, in layman's terms a lie to cover up something they wanted to hide.

tesla said...
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