[From ws15/06 p. 25 for August 24-30]
“Your Father knows what you need.” – Mt 6:8
I grew up in an era when my religion shunned the idea of “creature worship”.[i] However, this is an outdated notion in today’s Organization, as evidenced by not one, but two members of the Governing Body gracing the title page of this week’s article. What exactly does the Governing Body have to do with the theme of living in harmony with the Model Prayer? As we’ll see, quite a bit.
The article opens with an account of a pioneer sister stranded because of an unexpected flight cancellation. She prayed that Jehovah would give her a chance to preach and then for a place to stay. At the airport, she encountered an old school chum whose mother kindly offered to put her up for the night, giving her a chance to preach to them.
Were these prayers answered by God or was this just the result of happenstance? Who can say? I, for one, do believe that prayers are answered, but I also believe that stuff just happens, and it is often difficult to distinguish one from the other. However, I have to ask whether Jehovah would cause a plane flight to be cancelled just so a sister could preach about the particular hope Jehovah’s Witnesses teach? After all, we’ve seen that 1914 is not a true doctrine and that the earthly hope which excludes people from being adopted sons of God is in conflict with Scripture. So would Jehovah help someone to preach such things? Would he help people to make disciples knowing that the teachings of the Organization are designed to get people to put faith in the words of the Governing Body?
“Give Us Today Our Bread for this Day”
There is nothing in this portion of the prayer to indicate that Jesus is talking about anything more than material provisions. However, the article in paragraph 8 speaks of spiritual bread as also being part of this request. It quotes Jesus as saying, “Man does not live by bread alone.” So if you don’t think about it very deeply, you can be persuaded to believe he is also telling us to pray for spiritual food.
Jesus knew that the uncertainty of life in this world could cause his disciples to become overly concerned about where their next meal would come from, and how they were going to pay their bills, and how they were going to provide for their families. So he was telling them that it was alright to pray to God to ask him for the necessary material things, but only for the needs of the day.
Did he also think they’d be concerned about where their next spiritual meal would be coming from? Do the uncertainties of the world threaten our spiritual provisions? Of course not. We could be out on the street, destitute, and still be fed from God’s word. So why does the paragraph end with “we should continue to pray that Jehovah will keep on feeding us with timely spiritual food”? What is the message? Why is this here when the Model Prayer doesn’t speak of spiritual food?
Well, who supposedly gives us timely spiritual food? The faithful and discreet slave. (Mt 25:45-47) And who is the faithful and discreet slave? The Governing Body.[ii] So who should we be praying for? Apparently, we should be praying that Jehovah keeps the Governing Body functioning and publishing.
Subtle, isn’t it? Now it makes sense why the pictures of two Governing Body members are featured prominently on the title page. According to them, Jesus told us to pray every day for the publications with which we are being fed.
“Do Not Bring Us into Temptation”
In explaining the meaning of this phrase, paragraph 12 explains:
“Questions needed time to be settled. For example, was something wrong with the way God created man? Was it possible for a perfect human to uphold God’s sovereignty regardless of pressures from “the wicked one”? And would mankind be better off independent of God’s rulership, as Satan implied?”
I was not able to find any place in the Bible were the first question was raised. Perhaps you, gentle reader, will be able to explain this to us. For the present, it seems this is a question the writer of the article assumes is on the table, but that does not appear to be the case scripturally. In other words, there seems to be no evidence that God has allowed 6,000 years of human rule to prove that there was nothing wrong with the way humans were created.
The second question is also not to be found in Scripture. If “upholding God’s sovereignty” is so important, one would expect the Bible to say so. However, the word sovereignty does not appear in the Bible anywhere. What does appear is the question of loyalty to God and faith in God. But these are placed in the person of God, not in some abstract concept regarding his right to rule. In short, the character of Jehovah God was questioned which is why the very first request of the Model Prayer is, “Let your name (“character”) be sanctified.” Therefore, the questions that have to be resolved relate to whether a human can be loyal to God and put faith in God. However, by focusing on the fabricated issue of sovereignty, the Governing Body has turned the question into one concerning loyalty to a concept, that of divine rulership. Once that is accepted, then it is possible for them to insinuate themselves into the chain of command and make loyalty to the Organization and ultimately to them part of the universal question.
This brings us to the third question. Obviously, being independent of God’s rulership—as Satan implied—would be a bad thing, and since God’s rulership is now expressed though his appointed channel of communication, aka the Governing Body, independence from their dictates is a bad thing.
Again, nothing is stated overtly, but the subtle implication is there to influence our thought processes.
This brings to mind a passage Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
“For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful by God for overturning strongly entrenched things. 5 For we are overturning reasonings and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are bringing every thought into captivity to make it obedient to the Christ; 6 and we are prepared to inflict punishment for every disobedience, as soon as your own obedience is complete.” (2Co 10:4-6)
Human thought is often wild. It needs to be captured. It needs to be brought into captivity. But that only benefits the human when the captivity is to the Christ. If we become captives of men, or captives to the concepts of men, then we are lost. It is only through critical thinking that we can guard ourselves. A Beroean Skeptic (try the anagram) will question all things in the light of Scripture, for we do desire to be captives, but only of the Christ.
[i] “And what creature worship was extended to Pope Paul VI when he visited the United States and the United Nations! A literal frenzy of adulation was showered upon him by 90,000 as he rode around Yankee Stadium in an open auto.” (w68 5/15 p. 310 Beware of Idolizing Creatures)
“Awake! protects us from the creature worship that worldly magazines encourage by featuring personalities.” (w67 1/15 p. 63 Why So Much to Do?)
“Many times failure to receive God’s spirit is caused by relying on men rather than God. Even in the days of the apostles there were some who were inclined to look more to the individual than to God or Christ. This is a form of creature worship.” (w64 5/1 p. 270 par. 4 Fortify Yourselves for Future Activity)
[ii] For a full discussion of this topic, see “Who Really Is the Faithful and Discreet Slave?”
Should we be concerned about receiving accurate spiritual bread? (Matt.6:11; 24:4-5,24-25) “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. People will stagger from sea to sea And from the north even to the east; THEY WILL GO TO AND FRO to seek the word of the LORD, But they will not find it.” (Amos 8:11-12) “always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (2Tim.3:7) This wandering for… Read more »
Great Review my brother, this new site is Awesome.
Guardians of Doctrines, all you need to say, and that will answer the whole article, really, giving yourself that Title, I mean I guess Christ has Prince of Peace, and Son of Man already taken, it is amazing how this organization is going so so so so so out of control.
Here’s something interesting: The Bible in the collage at the beginning of the article is opened to Psalm 146. Hmmmm.
Interesting review again. When reading paragraphs 1 and 2, I noticed that it was a so-called non-believer (non-jW) who showed true hospitality. It would have been a benefit to the reader if it was emphasized in par. 4 that those pleas have to be made via Jesus. Par. 5 sounds very selfish. Yes, the circuit overseer is supported by all the congregations but who is supporting the poor in those congregations? Paul did work to support himself. He was concerned about the poor (Gal 2:10 They requested only that we remember the poor, the very thing I also was eager… Read more »
They just seem to keep mentioning that issue . Im not sure wether its that discreet to do so . Paul did say let fornication and uncleaness not even be memtioned among you . Why do they feel the need to try and police the brothers ? Why rake up this topic over and over again many must find it embarrasing . Especially in a study that includes really young children at the meeting . Any christian with a resonable knowledge of the bible should be able to make a personal evaluation of thier habits and realise how to use… Read more »
A scripture that WT uses to keep everyone in line: 1 Corinthians 1:10 “I appeal to you brothers and sisters, in the name of our lord Jesus Christ that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” At the time Paul wrote these words, although there were problems of course, the situation is different today as we have so many different established doctrines and religious organisations. And if the Church had adopted that attitude we would still be under… Read more »
Its just incredible again how the watchtower has used 1 corinthians 1 v 10 to reinforce obedience to its own doctrines . Even a casual look at the context shows the real concern that paul was highlighting it was the problem of following mere men instead of the christ . Yet the scripture has been used to do just that .
WT does lip service to shunning the idea of creature worship, which on the surface is not a bad idea; our worship belongs to God, not to any human. However, in practice, WT has tolerated creature worship, and then fostered it, in the very name of trying to oppose it. Charles Taze Russell surely knew that individual Bible Students were idolizing him. That trend got a strong push when his wife promoted the idea that he was the faithful and wise servant – a thing that he himself didn’t promote, but didn’t speak out against, either. It is unclear whether… Read more »
Try an interesting experiment: substitute the word “organization” for the word “Jehovah.” This includes written materials, talks at the KH, preaching work and even public prayer. The results are shocking. The only place it fails to fit is in Hebrew scripture where the clear context is actually God, referred to by his personal name. Other than that, it becomes clear that Jehovah’s Witnesses have transformed themselves into Organization Witnesses. Their personal knowledge of God and relationship to him is blocked by their failure to make him “our Father” by coming to him through the Christ. The “Imitate Jesus” regional conventions… Read more »
It is instructive that the narrative in Isaiah where “you are my witnesses says Jehovah” is found is primarily a call to the nation of Israel to abandon its tendency towards idolatry and to give exclusive devotion to God. Today, the GB wants exclusive devotion to itself. They imagine and fashion themselves as if “Christian”, and yet Christ did not tell his followers to be witnesses of his Father, but of himself (Jesus). As noted elsewhere, neither God nor Christ asked anyone to uphold or defend the “sovereignty” of God. If in fact this ever question needed to be resolved… Read more »
Quote: “JWs are baptized, not in the name of the Holy Spirit, but in the name of the so-called spirit-directed organization” – “He was permitted to give a spirit to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could both speak and cause whoever would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.” Rev 13:15 “To whom would you liken Me And make Me equal and compare Me, That we would be alike? “Those who lavish gold from the purse And weigh silver on the scale Hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into… Read more »
Haha. Beroean Skeptic. Thank you, I wondered where the name came from!
? I love anagrams.
Although I sometimes worry that my skepticism is becoming a bad habit, I do feel reassured that someone else sees the subtle influences that stick out like a sore thumb to me these days.
Paragraph 6 gets me meleti in response to give us this day our daily bread refering to asking for help to feed our poor brothers and sisters and then acting on that prayer by contributing to the worldwide work knowing that such funds will be used wisely . Does the watchtower really do that provide funds to feed our poor brothers and sisters on a daily basis? Perhaps at bethel, but what about in the territory ? Its really upsetting though to hear how the funds are being used ( wisely ) in dealing with these court cases they have… Read more »