Why Modesty Still Matters

– posted by meleti

[From ws1/17 p. 17 March 13-19]

“Wisdom is with the modest ones.”—Pr 11:2

The theme text shows there is a strong relationship between wisdom and modesty.  If “wisdom is with the modest ones”, it follows that the opposite is also true.  Immodest people are neither wise nor discreet.

There are many points we should keep in mind as we review this particular article and the characteristic indiscretion of the immodest is one of them.

Key Points

The question for the opening paragraphs is: Why was a once modest man rejected by God?

The man under consideration is King Saul of the ancient nation of Israel.

Now, here is an important point to remember.  We are talking about the top man in the nation.  This man, who governed the entire ancient organization of Jehovah, carried out a “series of presumptuous acts” and as a result things went badly, very badly, for him and for the organization.  Paragraph 1 shows that he acted immodestly and presumptuously by doing things “he was not authorized to do.

Another thing to bear in mind is that Jehovah did make attempts to correct King Saul, but instead of repenting, he made excuses.

So, to review:

  1. The governor

  2. Became presumptuous by doing unauthorized things

  3. Made excuses when warned by God

  4. Then lost God’s approval, was killed, and the nation suffered.

Does any of this seem familiar?  Perhaps not.  Let’s continue:

Paragraph 4 defines “presumptuous acts” as “when someone rashly or impertinently does something that he is not authorized to do.”  Rounding out our understanding of “presumptuous acts”, paragraph 5 lists three important elements.

  1. The presumptuous one fails to honor Jehovah.

  2. By acting beyond his authority he will create conflict with others.

  3. Embarrassment and humiliation will follow presumptuous acts.

Since a lack of modesty results in presumptuous acts, paragraph 8 tells us that there are warning signs to beware of:

  1. We might be taking ourselves or our privileges too seriously.

  2. We might be drawing attention to ourselves in inappropriate ways.

  3. We might be advocating strong opinions solely on the basis of our position, connections, or personal thinking.

Changing the Focus

This article and the next one focus on how the average Jehovah’s Witness can develop and maintain a modest attitude and avoid presumptuous acts.  However, the Bible examples given in the articles all refer to prominent individuals like King Saul.  What happens when we turn the spotlight on the prominent individuals in the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses?  What happens when we look at the modern-day equivalent of King Saul, those men who today govern a “mighty nation” numbering more than eight million?

Let’s start with the last point: 10) “We might be advocating strong opinions solely on the basis of our position, connections, or personal thinking.

Does this fit with the opinions or teachings of the Governing Body?  Take, for instance, the judicial system which the Governing Body advocates; or the teaching of 1914 as the start of Christ’s presence; or the belief that the majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot call Jesus their mediator.  Now if you disagreed with any or all of these; and further, if you were able to prove your understanding from the Bible and told others about your findings, what would be the result to you?

According to a letter to the Circuit and District Overseers drafted on September 1st, 1980, you could be disfellowshipped.

Therefore, if a baptized Christian abandons the teachings of Jehovah, as presented by the faithful and discreet slave [now synonymous with the Governing Body], and persists in believing other doctrines despite Scriptural reproof, then he is apostatizing.

Punishing someone for disagreeing with you, especially if they are right, surely qualifies as “advocating strong opinions solely on the basis of your position, connections, or personal thinking.

A supporter of the Governing Body will likely state that these are not opinions, but teachings based on God’s word.  If that were the case, then why does the Governing Body not provide the Scriptural foundation for them?  An opinion is, after all, an unsubstantiated belief.

Let us continue our discussion on signs of immodesty and presumptuousness.

Returning to our 10 points, we’ve already established that the Governing Body is in a position of authority similar to that of King Saul (Point 1).  What about point 2?  Have they exceeded their God-given authority?  Have they acted presumptuously by doing things Jehovah has not authorized them to do?

Jesus clearly told the disciples that they were not authorized to know the times and seasons of his return as the King of spiritual Israel, the Greater David.

“So when they had assembled, they asked him: “Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” 7 He said to them: “It does not belong to you to know the times or seasons that the Father has placed in his own jurisdiction.” (Ac 1:6, 7)

The Governing Body has, throughout the history of the Organization, disregarded this clear injunction.  They claimed 1914 would be the start of the Great Tribulation and Armageddon, then claimed that 1925 would mark the return of Christ, then that 1975 would mark the return of Christ, and now claim that the current members of the Governing Body will not die before Christ returns.  This is clearly a presumptuous act because they have not been authorized to know these things.  This folly has resulted in embarrassment for them and for Jehovah’s Witnesses in general (Point 7) and has brought dishonor on the name of Jehovah, the God they claim to represent (Point 5).

As Jehovah did using such prophets as Jeremiah and Isaiah, the Governing Body has been counselled and warned by spirit anointed Christians of the error of the ways, but they excuse such fiascos (Point 3) as merely the result of well-meaning imperfect individuals all the while continuing headlong on their presumptuous course of action.  Proof that there is no repentance comes from the persecution they visit upon any who dissent, using the weapon of disfellowshipping as a tool to silence any voices raised in protest.  This presumptuous course creates unnecessary conflict and no end of bad press that again reflects upon the name of God which they presume to carry and represent (Points 5 & 6).

All of the above points as well as 8 and 9 can be seen to apply in recent years to one of the most significant acts of immodesty to have come along in the history of Jehovah’s Witnesses: The presumptuous self-declaration of the Governing Body as the faithful and discreet slave approved of and appointed by Jesus Christ.

Jesus gave us this principle:

“If I alone bear witness about myself, my witness is not true.” (Joh 5:31)

Clearly, neither Jehovah nor Jesus are bearing witness about the Governing Body’s so-called appointment; only they are.  Additionally, Jesus makes it clear that the appointment only comes when he arrives, which he has yet to do.  To declare themselves publicly as appointed to the highest office ever afforded any human is clearly to take themselves and their privileges too seriously (Point 8) and to draw attention to themselves in inappropriate ways (Point 9).

I cannot recall a more self-condemnatory Watchtower study article in recent memory.

There is a notable piece of irony at the end of paragraph 8: “Often, when we act like this, we may not even be aware that we have crossed the line from modesty to presumptuousness.

Clearly this self-condemnation is unwitting, but to the perceptive eye, it gives further evidence of how careful we must be about accepting any teaching from these men without careful and thorough Bible scrutiny.

Archived Comments

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  • Comment by vinman on 2017-03-13 10:05:29

    My brother and I were talking yesterday. We have drawn the conclusion that the gb of today are in fact not Jehovah's Witnesses as defined by the religion. They are a separate entity that has no faith in anything. "Jehovah's Witnesses" only exist on the lowest levels. As we all know, as you begin to climb the ladder, like oxygen levels dropping as you climb a mountain, "spirituality" drops. Just moving from publisher to elder,that becomes apparent. As you climb,it becomes more about business and organization, and less about God. No need to listen to these crap spewing men. They are not"Jehovah's Witnesses" as the average JW thinks. That is why the hypocrisy is beyond comprehension.

    • Reply by katrina on 2017-03-13 22:45:20

      Very interesting comment vinman, I tend to agree, I think the organization has been taken over by the devil like all organizations, JW are in bondage to BTG. I can't believe that God or Christ would have anything to do with this GB and their lawyers, but for those that really love truth and Gods word they will wake the rest are like Korah and his men, sadly most JW have become followers of men and the org has become their idol the GB their leaders in place of Christ, obey the slave as if the word of God the GB have become their mediator.

      • Reply by vinman on 2017-03-13 23:05:36

        My conclusion for saying that is really based on just a few simple things. As we all know when we discovered that the Watchtower was not the truth, it had a traumatic effect on our lives. We have gone through years of much cognitive dissonance as we doubted things but we tried not to think about it because we wanted this to be the truth. Then later we find a lie or two and it's overwhelming because this is supposed to be the truth. When we learn those things then it became a very tragic situation in our life. But here we have the governing body who reads apostate websites. They know more about the corruption and lies then we would ever know. But it has no effect on them. It is obvious that they are not the rank-and-file Jehovah's Witnesses. I believe they really are faithless men concerned with their own interests and lifestyles.

        • Reply by katrina on 2017-03-14 00:11:00

          they are like the wicked priests that Jeremiah prophecied against, Jeremiah is my favourite he was an outcast they wanted to kill him, his message was truth against a wicked nation, the GB has a nation the 8million and they are the kings or priests ruling over them, I think they actually believe they are chosen and special they think God will turn a blind eye, faithless yes but believing the lie God has let them to believing the lie, they are in darkness.

          • Reply by John S on 2017-03-14 09:56:05

            Yes yes....Meleti

            "As Jehovah did using such prophets as Jeremiah and Isaiah, the Governing Body has been counselled and warned by spirit anointed Christians of the error of the ways, but they excuse such fiascos (Point 3) as merely the result of well-meaning imperfect individuals all the while continuing headlong on their presumptuous course of action. Proof that there is no repentance comes from the persecution they visit upon any who dissent, using the weapon of disfellowshipping as a tool to silence any voices raised in protest. This presumptuous course creates unnecessary conflict and no end of bad press that again reflects upon the name of God which they presume to carry and represent (Points 5 & 6)"

            And I agree with the following 6 comments concerning the 'operation of error', that the Org. has become.

            These statements made by all of you would put yourselves in a category of 'Apostate' just as sure as putting your handprints and initials in a wet concrete sidewalk.

            Many JW's are now being awakened, as I was 10 years ago, to the fact Jesus is not King over the WT religion, nor are the principles and teachings of He and his Apostles being observed, OR EVEN STUDIED! I saw the number 2 talks in the Ministry School years ago were skirting the Bible verses of utmost importance, such as John 3:1-5, into passages that had little import for Christian doctrines of...guess what? Receiving the adoption of the Holy Spirit. Yet, this is a very important and one of the foremost...teachings Jesus left earth with as his final admonition, isn't it?

            Then I also saw how Franz changed the Bible translation of Wescott and Hort to fit the 'Great Crowd' 'gospel' that he pushed since 1935.....

            And today! WT teaches 'only a remnant...replacements of the fallen 144,000' exist in the earth. And these are only those who partake at Memorial (JW Memorial only)

            How does that fit with Jesus' teachings that the "harvest is a conclusion of a system of things" ?

            The "Slave" also teaches JW's to avoid going into churches, as they are dwellings of demons(Rev. 18)

            Really? What are they afraid you'll find there?

            I started going into churches over 10 years ago while still a JW, just to see what they are like. I found most to all were studying their Bibles, worshiping God, and Jesus in all sincerity, and were good and wholesome people too, trying to raise their children , godly, and wanted to become better people.

            Now, years later, I still will go door-to-door, but going right into churches to associate in a loving manner, and worship together ALONG WITH TEACHING A MORE CORRECT UNDERSTANDING, but as tactfully as I can...

            I reach people directly, and really am in the fast lane now, compared to wasting needless hours in NH searches. And the membership trust me, and even love me...because they feel my sincerity, and respect my knowledge of the scriptures. I also get amens every time, as I give my experience of how I was a JW, but realized from reading the Bible how wrong, and misled I was.

            This honest recant is something new to these church-goers, and lays the groundwork for my encouragement to them to begin looking more closely at what THEY are understanding (or misunderstanding), and how important for all....JW, and other churches...to analyze the church doctrines, and motives.

            (like the Beroeans did)

            The Holy Spirit....that is the big deal. getting it, keeping it in us, and listening to it's guidance, not just the comfort. Remember, Jesus said it is the teacher, reminder, also.

            "He will bring back to your minds all the things I taught you." , Jesus said.

            Awesome! We can take THAT to the bank, and cash it, can we not?

  • Comment by Robert-6512 on 2017-03-13 12:15:06

    post removed

  • Comment by Mike West on 2017-03-13 12:56:07

    The 2010 'Shepherd the Flock of God',the guidebook for elders only, reaffirms the 1980 letter you cited about DF'ing a brother or sister who publically disagrees with a WT teaching. Page 65, under the chapter 'Determining Whether a Judicial Committee Should Be Formed',quote "Deliberately spreading teachings contrary to Bible truth as taught by Jehovah's Witnesses". I think this is common knowledge among JW's, but worth noting in light of this fine commentary.

    • Reply by AndereStimme on 2017-03-17 17:12:34

      And one of the references at the end of that section is the 1986 WT, showing that it is still considered current, even though some of the required beliefs have been "new-lighted".

      *** w86 4/1 p. 31 Questions From Readers ***
      Approved association with Jehovah’s Witnesses requires accepting the entire range of the true teachings of the Bible, including those Scriptural beliefs that are unique to Jehovah’s Witnesses. What do such beliefs include?

      That the great issue before humankind is the rightfulness of Jehovah’s sovereignty, which is why he has allowed wickedness so long. (Ezekiel 25:17) That Jesus Christ had a prehuman existence and is subordinate to his heavenly Father. (John 14:28) That there is a “faithful and discreet slave” upon earth today ‘entrusted with all of Jesus’ earthly interests,’ which slave is associated with the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Matthew 24:45-47) That 1914 marked the end of the Gentile Times and the establishment of the Kingdom of God in the heavens, as well as the time for Christ’s foretold presence. (Luke 21:7-24; Revelation 11:15–12:10) That only 144,000 Christians will receive the heavenly reward. (Revelation 14:1, 3) That Armageddon, referring to the battle of the great day of God the Almighty, is near. (Revelation 16:14, 16; 19:11-21) That it will be followed by Christ’s Millennial Reign, which will restore an earth-wide paradise. That the first to enjoy it will be the present “great crowd” of Jesus’ “other sheep.”—John 10:16; Revelation 7:9-17; 21:3, 4.

  • Comment by tyhik on 2017-03-18 20:16:17

    Thank you Meleti for the article. You very clearly showed that the Governing Body acts immodestly, violating the principles and guidelines they themselves tout in the article. Did they just somehow forget to apply their counsel to themselves? Here's the beginning of the Par 11:

    "Modesty really starts with acknowledging our place in God’s arrangement. As a God of order, Jehovah gives each one of us a place or sphere of operation in his household."

    How much modesty does it take to acknowledge the topmost place in the "God's arrangement", the arrangement they themselves have invented. This WT article is all about knowing your place, being happy about it and keeping quiet. This indeed takes modesty. But the GB has exempted themselves. Their place in God's arrangement requires them to provide the food for the flock and if this involves crazy speculations on important Bible teachings then it has nothing to do with the lack of modesty.

    • Reply by AndereStimme on 2017-03-21 14:51:02

      I think they're confusing modesty with subservience. Keeping quiet is not, in the Christian context, an example of modesty. Who keeps quiet in the NT? Not even the Greek widows. If we're encouraged to 'make sure of all things', are we really supposed to keep quiet if we find something wrong? Modesty is about knowing and not going beyond one's limitations. It's not about creating limitations that the scriptures say we shouldn't have, and then carefully staying within those limits.

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