Sunday, September 11, 2011

Watchtower issue: to join or not to join an organization?

*** w53 3/1 p. 143 par. 12 Integrity Leads to Life ***

We must seek to be genuine Christians in every sense of the word. Does that mean we have to join a church organization in Christendom? Ask yourself now, Did Christ Jesus, who set our example and told us to follow his example to gain life, join any church organization in his day? No, God does not require us to do that; but he requires us to worship him, to preach the good news of the Kingdom, to be Christians, to follow the example Jesus set, living in unalterable devotion to Jehovah God; to praise God and respect his supremacy, to resist all efforts to turn us from decency and to endure in faith. We have the Bible to show us the right way. Certainly it is not necessary for a person to become a member of a church to gain everlasting life.—John 3:16-18; 17:3.
But this is just talking about joining a "church" right?  Certainly, to be a true Christian one must join the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, right?

Consider the April 22, 1957 Awake! magazine (published by the Watchtower) on p. 12:

This would seem to be consistent with the 1953 Watchtower quoted above.  But what about one's dedication to the organization?
*** bh chap. 18 p. 183 par. 24 Baptism and Your Relationship With God ***
Remember, too, that you have made a dedication to Jehovah God himself, not to a work, a cause, other humans, or an organization. Your dedication and baptism are the beginning of a very close friendship with God—an intimate relationship with him.—Psalm 25:14.
But when one becomes one of Jehovah's Witnesses, where must his dedication and loyalty be?

*** w65 7/1 p. 412 Faithful and Loyal to God’s Organization ***

Jehovah God being The loyal One, it is but fitting that he should require loyalty of us. (Rev. 15:4) However, we cannot be loyal to God without being loyal to his visible earthly organization, the “faithful and discreet slave,” and the local Christian congregation which represents that “slave.”
If one isn't loyal to the Governing Body, then one isn't being loyal to God.  And just in case this isn't clear, the Governing Body teaches that one's loyalty to them must be absolute and unquestionable.

*** w10 9/15 p. 23 par. 8 “Your Leader Is One, the Christ” ***

The anointed and their other sheep companions recognize that by following the lead of the modern-day Governing Body, they are in fact following their Leader, Christ.
There you have it.  If you aren't following the Governing Body, you aren't following Christ.  Would anyone agree that there appears to be some dissonance between the quotes above?  Perhaps some bait-and-switch for those newly "joining" the organization?

(ht: Marvin Shilmer)


Razor Swift said...

Great article Mike! I have not seen that April 22, 1957 Awake before. Very revealing.

Anonymous said...

*** Watchtower Magazine November 1,2008 p. 28 Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe That They Are the Only Ones Who Will Be Saved? ***
Our Readers Ask
Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe That They Are the Only Ones Who Will Be Saved?
Jehovah’s Witnesses think that they have found the true religion. If they did not think so, they would change their beliefs. Like adherents of many religious faiths, Jehovah’s Witnesses hope to be saved. However, they also believe that it is not their job to judge who will be saved. Ultimately, God is the Judge. He decides.—Isaiah 33:22.
God’s Word reveals that those who would be saved must not only want salvation but also cooperate with the Savior. To illustrate: Suppose that a hiker becomes lost in a wilderness. He desperately wants to find his way out. Will he perish, or will he survive? The outcome depends on the way he responds to help. Out of pride, he may refuse the help of a rescuer, or savior. On the other hand, he could humbly accept help and reach safety.
In a similar way, salvation belongs to those who cooperate with mankind’s Rescuer, Jehovah God. Salvation is a gift from God, yet not all people will attain it. God’s Son, Jesus, said: “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will.”—Matthew 7:21.
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that God saves only those who exercise faith in the ransom sacrifice of Jesus and closely follow Jesus’ teachings. (Acts 4:10-12) Consider three important requirements for salvation that are revealed in God’s Word.
(1) “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves,” Jesus told his companions. (John 13:35) Jesus’ own example of giving his life in behalf of others stressed the importance of love. Those who love others are demonstrating a quality vital for salvation.
(2) “I have made your name known to them,” said Jesus in prayer to his Father. (John 17:26) Jesus knew how important God’s personal name, Jehovah, was to his Father. Jesus prayed for his Father’s name to “be sanctified.” (Matthew 6:9) Sanctifying God’s name includes knowing that name and treating it as important and holy. Like Jesus, those seeking salvation need to use God’s name. They also need to teach others about God’s name and qualities. (Matthew 28:19, 20) In fact, only those calling on God’s name will be saved.—Romans 10:13.
(3) “My kingdom is no part of this world,” Jesus said to Pontius Pilate. (John 18:36) Few today demonstrate faith in God’s Kingdom, or government, of which Jesus is King. Instead, they place their trust in human institutions. By contrast, those who will be saved loyally support God’s Kingdom and teach others about how it will liberate all faithful mankind.—Matthew 4:17.
After learning some of the requirements for salvation, Jesus’ disciples said: “Who possibly can be saved?” Jesus answered: “The things impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:18-30) Jehovah’s Witnesses diligently try to meet these requirements for salvation. They also work hard to help others to be saved.