Saturday, 19 April 2014

Asking Questions

The PDF document can be downloaded here.

I found the document as I was watching a video on Youtube:

In the video a Jehovah's Witness elder, when questioned, stated they did not shun but they did disfellowship. This document I'm guessing was in the list of results because instead of shunning the word eschewing is used - which means shunning. So basically some legal loophole word play by the Governing Body.

Anyway, back to the document.

Back in 1976 some Jehovah's Witnesses wanted to ask the Governing Body some questions. And they did. But they state that with regard to getting answers the 'Society' was unresponsive. As the document is anonymous it is not possible to say with 100% certainty that the authors of the document are indeed Jehovah's Witnesses. But it really makes no difference. The authors of the document ask intelligent questions, based on scripture, regarding certain teachings of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

I read the document and much of what they wrote in 1976 is relevant to the Watchtower Society and Jehovah's Witnesses today.

"Many throughout our organization have become deeply concerned over the disturbing issues that have surfaced in recent months. We, the writers, are Jehovah's Witnesses in good standing - some of presently or in the past  have been elders, ministerial servants, assembly speakers and pioneers - and we are equally distressed.

Legal suits are being brought against committees with increasing frequency and the governing body is in litigation for their alleged responsibility in the disfellowshipping, calumny and defamation of a brother in Canada. This case, and its increasing publicity, has the potential for embarrassing us more than when Brother Olin Moyle, former legal counsel for the Society, sued the president and Board of Directors of the Society for libel against him in their unjust disfellowshipping of him, and won in 1944 receiving a judgement of $15,000. There are increasing numbers of people, concerned with our secret committee trials and aschewing of disfellowshipped ones, who are putting increasing pressure on the American Civil Liberties Union and the Senate Subcommittee on UnAmerican Activities, to investigate alleged violation of individual brother's Constitutional rights. The I.R.S. has even been alerted to the seeming discrepancy between the huge income of the Society from contributions and literature profits, and their relatively small expenses.
" (1976 Questions By Jehovah's Witnesses, Page 1)

If it hadn't mentioned the Olin Moyle case, and the $15,000 award, it could be from today. The 'Society has the publicity of the Candice Conti case, where Candice was awarded $28,000,000, and there are more and more legal cases stemming from the non-biblical rules set by the headquarters and Governing Body.

"The brothers at the Society are heavily involved in research readings in all sorts of 'outside' writings, they too must be cautious. Nevertheless, without being open, without really trusting in Jehovah's ability to lead us to Him and His truths, we could become credulous and just follow what others teach and thus become spiritually blinded. Actually, many of us would still be in Christendom if we had not opened our hearts and minds to Jehovah's Witnesses." (1976 Questions By Jehovah's Witnesses, Page 1)

38 years later and the 'Society' is still doing the same thing. Most Witnesses spend more time studying the various literature put out by their own organization rather than studying a Bible. And as for the 'Society' being able to research outside writings but others are not allowed to just screams hypocrisy and elitism.

But a great point is raised, which what a lot of Jehovah's Witnesses forget - if it wasn't for people reading literature outside of their religion many Jehovah's Witnesses would not be Witnesses. After all, in 2008 the US Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life survey found that only 37% raised in the religion continued to identify themselves as Jehovah's Witnesses. It would be like the Pope, sitting in Vatican city, saying: "Only read the the literature we tell you to read. Read anything else and we'll excommunicate you and when you die you'll be trapped in Purgatory or Hell you filthy heathens."

The writers of the document continue:

"Dozens of scriptures telling us clearly that we are not to follow any man or group of men, but to rely on Jehovah and His Word, take on particular meaning when we realize that the blindness and stiff-necked attitude spoken against in the Bible was on the part of God's people, those in His organization. God's people in the past have always been told by their leaders to listen to only them, and more often than not, the sheep have deferred and acquiesced to their own detriment. We as God's people are obviously not exempt from the blindness and errors of His people in the past. If we don't learn from Bible history, we may be condemned to repeat it. Why not take the same attitude that Peter and the apostles took when confronted by the leaders of the first century Jewish organization: 'We must obey God as ruler rather than men'? Acts 5:29" (1976 Questions By Jehovah's Witnesses, Page 2)

This is one of the parts that make me believe that the authors of the document are truly Jehovah's Witnesses. Because, although they question the Governing Body and the right to examine 'outside' sources they do so by quoting scripture and using scripture as an example of how the Jehovah's Witnesses are blindly following the Governing Body - something the Bible teaches against.

But the introduction is not the only part of the document that is still relevant. Many of the questions raised have never been answered by the Governing Body. Those that have been answered have had the answer changed at certain times in the past 38 years.

The questions are:
  • How To Count To Seven
  • Christ - Here Or Near?
  • Look! I Have Forewarned You
  • Coming Vs Presence
  • The Ark, Peter's View
  • An Interesting Quote
  • Who Were Philetus And Hymenaeus?
  • "Gentile Times" For What?
  • Peace And Security! Who Makes The Claim?
  • Where Does The "Man Of Lawlessness" Sit?
  • Get Out Of Her My People
  • Signs Of Apostasy
  • Where Are The Sheep And The Goats?
  • Who Really Is The Faithful And Discreet Slave?
  • Have We Rejected The Invitation?
  • Organization - Jehovah's Plan Or Nemesis?
  • Persecution, Brought On By Whom?
  • Will We Receive Our Judgement Without Mercy?
  • Marriage
  • Mental Illness - Why So High Among Jehovah's Witnesses?
  • Blood
  • Is The "Good News" Being Preached?
  • Elders
  • Unity - Enforced Or Spontaneous?
  • Is The Bible Our Authority?
  • Examining - Have We Quit?
  • Infallibility
  • The Test Of A Prophet
  • Accept Or Be Worthy Of Death?
Whether the document is written by Jehovah's Witnesses or not is irrelevant. The document asks questions regarding various teachings of the organization. It does so in a polite manner, and uses the New World Translation as the basis of scripture when asking the questions.

The purpose of this post is twofold. Firstly, to highlight the document so people can read it. Secondly, so that people can question not just the Governing Body but any Jehovah's Witness with regards to teachings being practiced that clearly are in contradiction of scripture or not present in scripture at all.

I'll close the post with a quote from the document; which is itself a quote from the organization's literature:

"Jehovah, the God of true prophets, will put all false prophets to shame either by not fulfilling the false prediction of such self-assuming prophets or by having His own prophecies fulfilled in a way opposite to that predicted by the false prophets. False prophets will try to hide their reason for feeling shame by denying who they really are." (Paradise Restored, pages 353 & 354)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. Please note that all comments are not moderated and as such are not the responsibility of this blog; or its author.