[This contributed letter does not necessarily reflect all the views of our community. We post it here as a service to those who seek to worship God “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:20-24)]

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE
GOVERNING BODY
OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

 

It is with heartfelt sorrow that I observe the problems befalling Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is sad to see a people who once stood up in faithful integrity against despotic regimes and hostile democratic powers being vilified by those who seek their demise. Yet restoring the happiness and vitality of these people of faith could, I believe, be easily accomplished.

Though having brought undetermined thousands into the faith, the apostle Paul wrote that he was not the master over their faith. (2 Corinthians 1:24) If this was the attitude of an inspired apostle, how is it that a group of uninspired men elevate themselves as masters over the lives and faith of 8+ millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses? Repeatedly, the Governing Body exalts itself as “Jehovah’s organization.” How can you not see idolatry in the way this idea is promulgated? Those on whose hearts Jehovah has written His laws will obey without the goading of a ‘Mother’ organization. Jehovah does not have an organization; He has a people. Jesus died to save people, not an ‘organization.’ Abandon the use of this word and its attending concepts.

The Governing Body needs to reform its thinking to ‘servant’ mode; rebrand itself as a Pastoral Counsel, studying the Scriptures and advising the flock spiritually. Jehovah is God, and Jesus is Lord. The “servant” was instructed to feed the household of faith, not to be its governor. Over the decades, the Governing Body has out-Phariseed the Pharisees, speaking where the Bible does not speak.

First, throw out the “Shepherding” book. Jesus treated the woman caught in adultery with dignity and compassion; he didn’t check ‘the Book.’ (John 8:3-11) In dealing with members of the congregation for whatever reason, elders need to do the same.

Second, a blanket amnesty for all currently disfellowshiped and disassociated persons should be enacted. This would not mean that they are automatically reinstated to the congregations. But Witnesses could again interact with their friends and loved ones, treating them the same as those who are not and have never been Jehovah’s Witnesses. Those wanting to resume association with a congregation would inform the elders and begin attending meetings again. Shunning practices would be limited to serious sins, such as adultery, sexual abuse, murder and thievery. And certainly not to questionable interpretations.

Third, blood transfusions. According to the Watchtower, life is in the blood, and, therefore, blood must be treated as sacred. Not exactly. Life is sacred. Blood is sacred only when it represents the life lost. The blood used in transfusions is not sacred because the blood donors are not dead; that blood does not represent their lives. The policy of the Governing Body has made the symbol more sacred than the thing it symbolizes.

Fourth, having falsely prophesied – yes, falsely prophesied – the end of this world system repeatedly, your doctrine concerning 1914 and the setting of dates should be abandoned. Jesus warned, “Watch out, so that you are not led astray, because many will come in my name, saying … ‘The time has drawn near.’ Do not follow after them.” (Luke 21:8) Anyone setting dates should be avoided. We have no way of knowing when Jesus will return because his return will be “as a thief in the night.” (1 Thessalonians 5:2) This means it could happen tonight, next month, or a hundred years from now.

The Governing Body needs to repent for many of its policies. If David had not repented of the sins he committed in the wake of his immorality with Bathsheba, God would not have forgiven him. The Governing Body has voiced the view that it does not need to apologize for its errors or for changes in doctrines and practices. Jehovah says you do, or you cannot be forgiven. (Acts 8:22)

There can be a new dawn for the fellowship of Jehovah’s Witnesses; and a new day in which Jehovah God and Jesus Christ can be glorified by His people. To accomplish this, the Governing Body needs to swallow its pride, amend its ways, appeal to Jehovah’s mercy, and apologize to those harmed by its policies. Amen.

signed – a modern-day “Nathan”

Meleti Vivlon

Articles by Meleti Vivlon.
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