"Neither Branch Office or World Headquarters is in a position to analyze and answer all such questions that have not been considered in our literature. We can be satisfied that the Bible provides sufficient information to guide us through our life but omits enough detail so as to require us to have strong faith in its devine author."
What’s happening internally?
Watchtower’s doctrinal development generation is all but dead and gone. The few remnants are in their mid-80s and older, and none of these ever made it onto the organization’s top shelf decision-making body known as Watchtower’s Governing Body.
The newbies leading today’s Watchtower do not see things as their predecessors; do not have the circumstances of their predecessors; do not have the charisma of their predecessors; do not have the juice of their predecessors. Perhaps worst of all, Watchtower’s current leadership has inherited a set of doctrines that place it in a vulnerable position.
Where are the problems?
At the top of this heap is all doctrine impinging the organization’s end-time teaching. All of these teachings are heavily dependent on the year 1914 as a marker from which many very important things are said to happen from.
Another such doctrine is the organization’s blood transfusion taboo. This teaching has never been wholly embraced by the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and in the last two decades has faced refutation from every conceivable perspective.
What’s been happening
For decades Watchtower has received inquiries from the Witness community questioning important details of these teachings; details that if wrong would undermine any perception of legitimacy to the doctrines. The advent of the Internet Age has exacerbated this problem for Watchtower, and it is only getting worse. This is made worse again because birthers and shakers of these doctrines are effectively out of the picture and newbies are left with problematic details that are impossible to keep quiet.
How is the new guard at Watchtower going to deal with this problem?
Basically Watchtower’s current Governing Body is telling Jehovah’s Witnesses to stop asking and addressing questions to its world headquarters. If details of concern are not specifically addressed in published Watchtower literature then make your own mind up.
It will be very interesting to see how this direction is grown and used moving forward. This latest directive is only a readying of the Witness community for what is to come.
Stay tuned for changes on the way whereby Jehovah’s Witnesses will be making more “personal conscience decisions” related to blood, and dogmatism about dates of supposed prophetic significance will lighten.