Monday, July 19, 2010

Does God have an organization on earth today?

Is God using an organization on earth today?  If so, how many are there?  Which organization are you a part of?  Are there other organizations that God is using?  If so, then why are they dis-unified with one another?  Is your organization active in proclaiming the kingdom in hundreds of lands all over the earth?  Who else is doing this besides the Jehovah's Witnesses?  Who else is making God's name known?  
I remember several years ago when I had my first conversations with the Jehovah's Witnesses.  It was almost like it was yesterday.  Going into these conversations, I didn't know a lot about them other than some of their doctrines.  In looking back, I can humbly admit that I didn't have my ducks in a row in being equipped to answer all of their questions.  But all of it was a learning experience and it forced me to dig into the Scriptures and find out what I believed to be true on a whole host of issues.

But I can remember quite clearly the first issues that were brought up in almost every conversation I was involved in (at the time, I was involved in several book studies at different kingdom halls in addition to the many I spoke to in the meetings); it was questions similar to what was stated above.  Here I was, in their eyes, an unbeliever in every sense of the word.  To them, I was a pagan follower of "Babylon the great," (i.e. "Christendom") who was on his way to be destroyed at armageddon; that is, if something didn't change.  So here was their chance to share with me the most crucial information that could be shared.  To them, my salvation was on the line.

Keeping this in mind, perhaps you have been in a position where you felt ill-equipped to answer the above questions.  Maybe the questions seemed pretty logical to you when asked.  They did to me!  Maybe at the end of all of these questions you thought, "Well, even aside from the doctrinal disagreements I have with these people, I can't really deny these implications."  Its ok to admit this.  I did back then.  But when I would go home and have some time to think and pray about the issues we discussed, I would do the only thing I knew I could do: compare these ideas with what the Scriptures taught.

There is no denying that the organization is central to the Jehovah's Witnesses' message of salvation.  Unless all of the hundreds of conversations i've had with JW's were with the outliers (those outside the norm), the questions above or some variation thereof, were among the first and primary issues that were discussed.  And i'm sure the same has gone for you if you have been in similar situations.  But even though I wasn't initially able to refute the questions above; even though I was even forced to agree with them, I still knew that they were wrong.  How?

The Jehovah's Witnesses claim to preach the same message as the first-century church.  In fact, they seek to model everything they can after them; especially when it comes to issues like the "governing body" or door-to-door ministry (Obviously, I would dispute their reasoning for this).  But when I would open up the book of Acts and start reading, I found the early Christians to be radically different from Jehovah's Witnesses today; especially when it came to the core issues relating to salvation.  As I stated above, the organization is central to the message of the JW's.  However, no matter how stumped one might be to the above questions, it is undeniable that the early church never preached "organization."  In fact, if my memory serves me correctly, I don't recall even one instance where "organization" or some variation of this was preached.  Never did the early church, whether Paul or Peter, whether preaching to Jews or Greeks, ask questions or make arguments like the ones above.  Never did they make the organization the central message, or even a fraction of the message.  Never did they implore men to follow them because "no one else was doing this preaching work."  Never did they preach that the organization was necessary for salvation.

Instead, they preached about and exalted the person and work of Jesus Christ:

“let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead — by this name this man stands here before you in good health. “He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone.“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:10–12)
One way you can tell if an organization is a not truly Christian is if they talk about their...organization.  That is, in asking all of those questions above, even if you can't answer them, is proof-positive that they aren't true Christians.  But if Christ is being taught as the central issue for salvation, then they may very well be on the right track.

I would implore all Jehovah's Witnesses to do something very simple: read the book of Acts.  Look at every instance where the early church is preaching to unbelievers and ask yourself: is my message the same as theirs?


Anonymous said...

When reading Acts 15 it becomes very obvious that there was an organizational structure. A dispute was resolved by the apostles and older men in Jerusalem, and they sent forth Paul, Barnabas and others to issue the decree to all the congregations.

Mike Felker said...

@anonymous, I think you missed the point of the blog. There is no denying that the apostles and elders gathered in Jerusalem to discuss a problem in the church, but what does this have to do with a group of men who reside in Brooklyn, NY, that we are obligated to follow as if we were following Christ?

But even this is beside the point. Why do JW's make "organization" central to their message? Did the early church ever emphasize "organization" in their preaching work?

Mark Hunter said...

Is an "organisational structure" the same thing as an organisation, such as the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society?

And does being organised equate to an organisation? What I mean by that is, just because in Acts 15 we see the apostles and elders getting together in an organised way to pray about a situation, does that mean that they were an organisation?

rus virgil said...

YES , Jehovah has an organisation !
It is called (in Bible) "God's Kingdom"
and it is in function in Heavens , from Jesus' exaltation at the right side of His Father - the enthronement !
Christians are still praying - for this Kingdom - to come on earth , that means the Kingdom or God's organisation is not come yet on earth !
It is a next future event .

There is clearly stated that NOTHING wicked will enter in this Kingdom !
For this reason, God's clear exprimed will is " Be saints as I am saint ". 1Peter 1:16; 1Tess. 4:3
and...Ephesians 5:5

Are there in the organisation of Jehovah's witnesses wicked ones ?
Yes , there are !
This is the second reason theirs is NOT God's Organisation !

So , you Christians , do pray for God's Organisation/Kingdom to come on earth ,
while you yourself proceed to your sanctification - according to God's will ,
so that His Organisation may come on earth
and you enter in it !