[From ws15/04 p. 9 for June 8-14]
“and the things you heard from me that were supported by many witnesses, these things entrust to faithful men, who, in turn, will be adequately qualified to teach others.” – 2 Timothy 2:2
This week we continue the study directed toward elders to help them to train brothers to serve as ministerial servants and elders in the congregation. That the Governing Body is willing to spend 16 million man-hours on a task that involves only a small fraction of the worldwide congregation instead of, say, teaching the brothers and sisters some new things from God’s Word, is evidence of the importance they place on the strength of the organizational structure.
There is little here worth spending our review time on, so just a few tidbits this week.
Paragraph 3 encourages the elders to ask the learner, “How has your dedication to Jehovah changed the way you use your life?” Notice that no mention is made of baptism. It is dedication that we focus on in the Organization. Yet, nowhere in the Bible are Christians told to dedicate their lives to Jehovah. Nowhere are those contemplating baptism encouraged to first make a dedication to God in prayer as Jehovah’s Witnesses teach. Grab your WT Library program and do a search on “dedication”. Then another on “dedicat*”. There are only a few hits in the Christian Scriptures and all relate to Judaism. (For a discussion of “dedication” vs. “baptism”, see “The Sacraments of Initiation”.)
The reality is that while the change in the questions asked all baptismal candidates does shift the focus from the “name of the Father, the Son and the holy spirit” to the Organization, it is far easier to slide our alleged dedication to Jehovah into dedication to his so-called “earthly organization”. This is another tool used to enforce the rule of man over the rule of God, and it is what these learners are being trained for—to take their part in the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy of the Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They will learn to answer to those who are placed above them in the authority structure. If this sounds like a radical or jaded point of view, please give careful consideration to the points made in both last and this week’s studies. You will see that while the training in question is said to be spiritual, the focus is entirely upon service to the organization, not in deepening one’s spiritual appreciation for what Jesus, the head of the congregation, has done for us. This fact is evident from the conclusion of this week’s study which says: “However, as you gain experience, you will no doubt share in applying changes that will help the congregation to stay in tune with Jehovah’s progressive organization.”
calling the organisation mother makes it all sound like some sort of trinity . To be honest i just cant believe how the brothers will believe just about anything and have this tendency to follow the crowd despite clear evidence to the contrary .. it just mystifies me .
I wish some of the local Elders had the courage to trash the fast food Mcdiet and allow God’s spirit to direct their teaching. The menu the GB has put together leaves me suffering from spititual hunger and malnutrition; 30 second comments; 10 minute meetings for service; 10 minute Bible highligts; 30 minute public talks. The Local Needs parts don’t really deal with local needs, but with organizational needs. Our last local needs part dealt with complying with the jw.org broadcast calling for more donations. I sat there enraged that this was being done inside the congregation. Thanks, Meleti, for… Read more »
Re: “fast food Mcdiet”. Very funny. I had a similar description of the same thing: “JW Lite”. I suppose one could add, “Less truth, more boring” but that would be belaboring the point. It seems like everything is getting ‘time compressed’ so as to prevent anyone from really thinking seriously or deeply. If you are always hurrying to the “next” thing, how will you ever have time to really understand what’s in front of you? When there is no time to question anything, it promotes an artificial unity based on the followers being in a state of constant distraction.
And let’s face it, qspf, some scriptural lessons and applications require more than a 30 second sound bite. Elders, as teachers in the congregation, and given a weightier voice, should be given at least a minute’s worth of schmooze.
Another great article brother Meleti and a lot of truth here. I really respect the elders that try to reach out and give there best. I know they are imperfect like I am and we all are. But it seems as years have gone by and now in the 2000’s it seems the elders…Not all mind you are some that I know thinking a bit much of them selves .. I remember hearing one elder say ” We are the lowiest of the. Congregation ” I had a face like…Sure OK.. Now I am not saying all think highly of… Read more »
I agree Meleti. It has always been about individuals not a group mentality, his people are his temple, all those loving his word and trying to apply his word are part of his temple, not a select few. It is Jehovah that draws us to his Son, his load is light. Christ knows his sheep and he will not leave them. I think that Jehovah is revealing truths about the organization through their own literature and broadcast, it is up to each JW to look to Gods word like the beroeans. I think its becoming obvious that we are all… Read more »
They look at meeting attendance, field service mainly, of course they have to be in good standing, they seem to be desperate for brothers, wonder where all this is going to lead, I personally think that the organization is in decline.
We have crested the hill, Katrina, and before us is the ever steepening slope. I do believe Jehovah’s spirit was with many. Not all, for he doesn’t bless an organization. He blesses people. But as more and more turn to men for salvation, he withdraws more and more his spirit. With the loss of the spirit comes the inevitable decline.
Yes Wild Olive, that’s true about many young ones. But many don’t see a problem and they DO offer themselves – only to be badly disappointed years or even decades later when they finally ‘wake up” in many cases. It’s painful to see this happening but not be able warn them beforehand when they are still only 20 or so. Those who have trusted the jw.org the most, eventually also suffer the most.
I came to the realisation 10 yrs ago that the qualification that was most sought in elders were not what’s in 1Tim and Tit, but how compliant one is with the current organizational policy’s and procedures, and this is passed of as
“spiritual”, no wonder many young ones aren’t offering themselves as in previous years, they probably can tell the difference but can’t say anything.
I think 2 Meleti its far easier 2 give an exaggerated amount of glory 2 “Gods own mouthpiece” than 2 get even remotely close 2 placing Jesus on a par near Jah. For dread of giving ANY credibility 2 the trinity doctrine. Many brothers can quote scriptures like Eph1:20-22 & Phil 2:9-11, they acknowledge Christ as head of congregation because they know they have 2 publicly,(Mark 7:6-8) ,or fear of what the majority would think(Luke 20:5,6), but in their heart of hearts they are fully prepared 2 do whatever the ‘slave’ commands. Not so much so the master…
I know quite a few elders who refer to the organization as ‘mama’. If Jehovah is the father, & the org. is the mother, than by default it becomes almost automatic for a non critical thinker 2 view Jesus the son as third in importance! Which explains why mention of him can slowly fade from the pages of the wt without notice. I also have asked some of my jw.org button wearing brethren if they would wear a ‘Christ is our savior 1John 4:14’button 2 the convention this yr. Some said they would , but thats not likely. Which tells… Read more »
What a great argument! I wish I had thought of it years ago when a C.O. referred to the Branch as mother.
“Most blessed and revered Mother we praise you”
Has a familiar ring to it don’t you think? XD
If you go on the WT Library CD, and do a search on Jehovah and God in the WT itself, and you count the occurrences over the last 65 years or so, it’s been steady or slightly increasing, but do the same with Christ and Jesus, you will see the year-by-year references showing a general decline. It seems clear they are ‘distancing’ themselves from Christ.
Whenever you hear of a brother or sister successfully exiting the Organisation, they all say the same thing, that they have come to know Jesus Christ. It’s only by knowing Jesus Christ that we can find the Truth.
Skye, that is what I noticed as well. All those who left for scriptural / doctrinal reasons say they only afterwards truly learned about Jesus and got to know Him. Isn’t that amazing when you leave a so-called Christian organisation?
(Galatians 4:26) “But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.” However we concluded that the organization is inseparably link to “Jerusalem above” has been a dogmatic presumption not unlike Catholicism’s many doctrines of unity. History repeats its errors as have we. (I include myself since I believed and preached this blindly for so many decades)
I just read through the WT issue containing the article in question, and all the other articles. One thing that struck me is the very large number of times “Jehovah” is mentioned, and the near-absence of “Christ” being mentioned at all. We are reminded about our dedication to Jehovah, but never admonished about following the example of Jesus, or if that is done, it’s only a rare, token remark scattered here and there. Jesus seems to be a bit player. It is as if “Jehovah” and the “Watchtower organization” are everything (since, they tend to equate the two), individual JWs… Read more »
I believe they are saving all the Jesus talk for the convention.
It almost seems like they know this criticism is valid and had to make a response to it. That could be a good thing, depending onif they follow through or if this is a one-time thing.
I can’t help but wonder if they are doing this in response to all the ex JW sites that point out how they have minimized the role of Christ. What will be more telling is what happens after the convention.
@qspf, interesting your take on this, I believe that most conventions and watchtower articles are a reaction to what is on exjw sites,case in point, at the international convention back in October ,in a talk given by Steven Lett, 2Cor 12:4 came up about what paradise is, my ears pricked up because this is a verse that the average JW has no interest in, as it is about heaven. Steven Lett gave a lame explanation how paradise meant heaven and earth together in perfection, but I happened to know that verse has been getting a hammering on “apostate ” sites… Read more »
Wild Olive, the passage in 2 Corinthians 12:1-7 is peculiar. We know for certain that this was discussing “supernatural visions and revelations”, and not necessarily a real thing. A “revelation” is a revealing of information. But, since its meaning is symbolic, it is difficult at best to determine what it means. Paul is being “coy” here as well, since on one hand he writes as thought this is not about himself, then it is about him: “3 Yes, I know such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body, I do not know, God knows— 4 that he was caught… Read more »
What i found interesting was how paragraph 16 emphasized Samuels reluctance being based on bitterness & resentment towards his replacement. 1st of all, Samuel was not a king but a judge. So Saul could not be a replacement, but something entirely new & different. Secondly, as 1 Sam 8 :7,8 brings out, Jehovah was not approving of human kingship but merely allowing it. Theres a difference. Samuel understood this & thus hesitated at the notion. Nothing to do with resentment/bitterness. Also paragraph 18 stresses Sauls heart preparation. A bite 2 eat, a walk, a talk, & a nap would add… Read more »
Good catch. I too felt it was a very weak example. One would think that if training brothers for administrative positions was such an important feature there would be better examples in the Bible that we could come up with.
Skye sad what you went through. Sometimes I think that its more than indoctrination, its like they are under a spell, blinded by a false light.
Thank you, Katrina. Yes they are under the spell of the Watchtower, but thankfully as we come to know Jesus Christ, that spell can be broken.
yeah ive had the same thing skye . They couldnt discuss the scriptures with me either they even admitted that i knew more about the bible . last thing they said was they were dedicated to the organisation and i wasnt so i had to be dished .
I feel for you Skye. I’ve experienced some of that myself and I’m sure it is not over. It hurts when friends you’ve trusted for decades turn their back on you because of the power of indoctrination. Of course, there are the indoctrinated and the indoctrinators. Admittedly, some of the indoctrinators self-indoctrinate. At what point does the heart turn to stone? High priest Caiaphas and zealot Saul of Tarsus both had the same evidence before them. Both acted against the Christ, but Jesus saw something in the heart of Saul that apparently wasn’t there in the heart of the high… Read more »
Yes, thank you Meleti, we live in hope.
they are being trained to be Pharisee’s for the Sadducee’s in the Sanhedrin.
Before my judicial committee (which I did not attend) I invited a young elder and his wife to my house offering to discuss the scriptures with them to show them what I was learning from the Bible. I wanted to help them because they had been good friends to me. The elder told me that he was not prepared to discuss anything with me because I had dedicated my life to Jehovah, and he walked away. A few weeks ago I bumped into another elder, who also used to be a good friend of mine, who I had always liked… Read more »
Skye, your experience seems to track many stories I have read about when people are dragged into JC hearings. They have no interest at all in the person’s views, nor do they want them to defend their position or ever cite scriptures. They want to know one and only one thing: Do you or do you not agree with and agree to obey every word from the WT and GB – yes or no. Unless you say yes, you’re out.
Some while ago an elder, who knew what was going on, appeared to be very apologetic, and he said to me, “I’m sorry, but I just do what I’m told.” We all know where we have heard that before! If we know what’s going on, and choose to do nothing and say nothing, then we are in trouble. – “Silence gives consent.”
James 4:17: “Therefore, if one knows how to do what is right and yet does not do it, it is a sin for him.”