The #3 Student Talk in the Theocratic Ministry School has changed as of this year. Now it includes demonstration parts with two brothers discussing a Bible topic.
Last week and this week it is taken from pages 8 and 9 of the newest edition of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT Edition 2013). The theme is: How can you learn about God?
Here are the Scriptures which the students are expected to use for the discussion. They are discouraged from straying from the source material.
- Joshua 1:8 – Message: Read the Bible
- Nehemiah 8:8 – Message: Listen to those teaching you the Bible
- Psalm 1:1-3 – Message: Don’t listen to the world, but read the Bible
- Acts 8:30, 31 – Message: We need someone to explain the Bible
- Romans 1:20 – Message: Creation teaches us about God
- 1 Timothy 4:15 – Message: Meditation helps us to learn about God
- Hebrews 10:24, 25 – Message: We learn about God from our meetings
- James 1:5 – Message: Pray for wisdom
Now there is nothing wrong with any of this reasoning. It is, after all, biblical. However, something is missing, something vital. “Vital” refers to something that is “maintaining, supporting, or sustaining life.” What life-sustaining element is missing?
The writer of Hebrews tells us that Jesus “is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact representation of his very being…” – Heb. 1:3
He told the Corinthians that while no one can truly know the mind of God, we do have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:16)
He gave this gem to the Colossians, treating it as a cautionary warning.
“Carefully concealed in him are all the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge. 4 This I am saying that no man may delude YOU with persuasive arguments.” (Col 2:3, 4)
Since Jesus is the exact representation of God; since we can only know God’s mind through the mind of Christ; since all the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge are found in Jesus; why are men excluding him from the message of the Good News being preached from our new Bible? Those twenty topics at the start of our new NWT Bible are intended for the preaching work and Bible study instruction of beginners. The second topic presumes to teach us how to learn about God, yet completely ignores the “Chief Agent and Perfector of our faith, Jesus.” – Heb. 12:2
The reasoning that is to be presented in these two student talks on the TMS program will sound most persuasive to the audience members, because it follows the Organization’s agenda: Read the Bible, listen to what the elders and publications teach, meditate on what you are taught, keep attending meetings and of course, pray in line with our Kingdom message. But if this message slowly distances us from the true treasures of wisdom and knowledge bound up in the Christ – if this vital element is missing – then what will sustain our spiritual life through times of real trouble?
Paul’s warning to the Colossians should be resounding in our ears.
Since the #2 study topic in the NWT asks “How you can learn about God?”, we can answer that you can learn about him by learning about the one who is his image and in whom are concealed all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge so that no man (or group of men) might delude you with persuasive arguments that wisdom and knowledge can come from another source, their source.
I have always felt that in an effort to be different from christendom churches who worship Jesus as God the organisation has gone too far in the other direction & not given Jesus enough emphasis
Meleti, don’t you think following and imitatingJesus is included in reading and listening to the Bible? I do so, so actually there’s nothing missing.
True, but every point made in Topic 2 is included in reading and listening to the Bible. So why do they make points about meetings, and meditation, and prayer, and obeying the elders, if all those points are included in reading the Bible? The fact is, simply telling someone who wants to learn about God to “read the Bible” isn’t particularly helpful, so Topic 2 chooses to point the reader in the right direction by highlighting those portions of the Bible that give specific counsel on how to best learn about God. Given that, why overlook the very best way… Read more »
Also true 🙂
I must say i have enjoyed your comments about these watchtower articles thanks .
Yet again its all geared to accepting the GB as gods spokesman your acts 8 v 30 to 31 . What they have missed it was a prophesy about christ .verse 35 phillip declared the good news about the christ . As to the eunuchs statement how could i understand unless someone guided me may carry some truth among those who are new to christianity . It should not be true of a mature christian . What of 1 john 2 v 26 and 27 . These things i write to you about those who are trying to mislead you… Read more »
This talk was an eye-opener for the reasons you posted. I handled it as a follow-up to placing the January Awake on the question of “How Did Life Begin.” Presentation at door for the original placement: “Life can only come from life and a creator of life.” (That was my take on how to use the great cover Hubble-photo update on the “finger of God.” as visible evidence of creation of life.) This week’s #3 featured only the last four scriptures of the eight, and I was obligated to use those. With only 5 minutes, there was no time to… Read more »
Well done, Rufus, though isn’t it a shame we have to walk such a delicate line?
Very fine comments Meleti.
I do try to be cautious. However, there are some “theocratic” terms I never use in any of my parts, comments, or prayers-governing body; organization; FDS. All to often Jesus is ignored and considered of no consequence. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I have this part tonight, Meleti, and I’m going to conclude it by mentioning The One through whom all the wisdom of God is revealed………..Christ Jesus.
Let us know of the reaction if you can do so safely.