[Watchtower study for the week of June 30, 2014 – w14 4/15 p. 27]

 Study theme text: “The eyes of Jehovah are everywhere,
watching both the bad and the good”—Mat. 6:24

 While this article is intended to show Jehovah’s loving care for Christians, the foremost expression of that love, his Son Jesus, is not mentioned even once in the entire article. In fact, Jesus is only mentioned 11 times in the entire April issue, and Christ is found only 3 times. However, Jehovah is to be found 167 times. Think about what that means: 167 vs. 11 occurrences. This is just one more example of how our Organization has removed Christ from the position of prominence given him in the Christian Scriptures, relegating him to the mere status of teacher and exemplar.

A Watchful God Warns Us

In paragraph 5 we are told: “Through his Word, the Bible, he warns us when we are headed in the wrong direction. How? In our daily Bible reading, we often come across a passage that helps us to overcome bad tendencies and unwholesome inclinations. In addition, our Christian publications may shed light on a problem with which we may have been struggling and show us how we can overcome it.” Paragraph 6 continues: “All such warnings are really evidence of Jehovah’s loving, watchful care for us as individuals.” [Underlining added]
That being the case, what about publications from other Christian denominations? If a Baptist publication offers counsel based on Scripture about avoiding the snare of pornography or improving marital relations, is that not also evidence of Jehovah’s loving care? Or do we feel that only our publications can offer such evidence? If we are to esteem the Organization for the use to which it is put by Jehovah to help us, should we not esteem other Christian religions for the help they provide through their publications and discourses? If not, if we say that Jehovah does not speak through them, then how do we know the same doesn’t apply to us? If we say, they teach falsehoods like the Trinity and Hellfire, and that negates any good they can do…well, we also teach falsehoods as we’ve seen from our studies, so where does that leave us?
Wouldn’t it be better to give all credit to God, his Son Jesus and to the inspired Word, rather than use these opportunities to focus attention on an Organization run by men?

Our Caring Father Corrects Us

(First of all, we just had a Watchtower study article telling us that only the anointed can call him Father. For the rest of us, he is only a friend. Why do we teach one thing, then blur the line by implying he is something we are taught he is not. He’s the Father of roughly 0.1% of all Jehovah’s Witnesses and the friend to the remaining 99.9%. That is what we teach.)
Paragraph 8 opens with the words: “We may become especially aware of Jehovah’s care when we receive correction. (Read Hebrews 12:5,6.) The next two paragraphs show us how Jehovah offers this correction through human counselors.

A Friend Who Helps Us Endure Trials

Building on the foundation of paragraphs 8 and 9, paragraphs 13 thru 16 show how resentment against one who has counselled us can hurt us. This is a valid point. Paragraph 14 uses an example, which has been previously expressed in past articles, of an occasion when former GB member Karl Klein was reproved by Brother Rutherford. Now it may be that the reproof was unjustified, and even if justified, it is altogether likely that it was delivered in a tactless manner. Brother Rutherford’s history would certainly incline us to that notion. After all, the man was sued for using the publications to shamelessly libel a fellow elder. The Society lost that law suit, appealed, lost again, appealed again, and lost a third time. Nevertheless, the counsel in our magazine is valid. Resentment is a poison you concoct for another and then drink yourself. Jesus will judge. It is regrettable that to make this valid point, they choose the Rutherford/Klein story again, given that Rutherford is such a spotted character historically. With the exposure his antics have been given by the internet, this may be a poor attempt at damage control.
The point the article fails to make—the one many us would love to see acknowledged—is that this correction from Jehovah given through “human counselors” is not vertical and unidirectional—from the top down. Rather, it is horizontal and omnidirectional for we are all on a level playing field. (Ro 12:43; Mt 23:8)
If those who so often encourage us to humbly accept the counsel from God delivered through human counselors would themselves humbly accept counsel, we would be far more disposed to listen. However, if we offer counsel up the chain of command, we will be rebuked and accused of being presumptuous.

A Final Point

Paragraph 6 makes an excellent point: “True, the words of the Bible have been there for centuries, the publications are written for millions, and the counsel at the meetings is intended for the whole congregation. Still, in all these cases, Jehovah directed your attention to his Word so that you could adjust your inclinations. Thus it can be said that this is evidence of Jehovah’s loving personal care for you.” It is entirely true that Jehovah’s loving care is expressed personally for each of us. It is not expressed through an Organization, but individually. Likewise, our relationship with him does not depend on an Organization, nor does our salvation. If we can take anything away from this week’s study about Jehovah’s watchful and loving eye upon us, let it be that.

Meleti Vivlon

Articles by Meleti Vivlon.
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