Hi all, this post comes from the E-watchman site, when I get the mags, I will post further.
The following is taken from the Watchtower of January 15, 2006, page 23 under the heading 'Resist the Foremost Apostate':
'Because of listening to the Devil and not rejecting his lies, the first human pair apostatized. So, then, should we listen to apostates, read their literature, or examine their Web sites on the internet? If we love God and the truth, we will not do so. We should not allow apostates into our homes or even greet them, for such actions would make us 'sharers in their wicked works.' (2 John 9-11). May we never succumb to the Devil's wiles by abandoning the Christian "path of truth" to follow false teachers who seek to "introduce ruinous ideologies" and try to 'exploit us with well-turned phrases.' - 2 Peter 2:1-3, Byington.
This is taken from the study article, for the week February 13-19 2006 - Do not Allow Place for the Devil.
The above has certain implications.
The Watchtower, in its condemnation of apostasy uses 2 John 9-11 as the foundation for conveying to the reader how apostates are to be treated.
However, the context of that verse specifically addresses the influence of the anti-Christ, and those refusing to believe Christ came in the flesh, and whose teaching was liable to corrupt the congregation and the validity of Christ's sacrifice and resurrection.
True, we must be on guard from those who want to undermine the very foundations of Bible truths, but when issues open to interpretation and change are used as the basis for belief control, then it becomes cultlike not Christ like, and has no scriptural backing to impose the sanctions the Apostle John mentions.
The Watchtower has redefined what apostasy is, using its own theology and interpretation as the framework of what the teaching of Christ is, and yet cannot admit that it itself has 'apostasised' from God's word on a number of occasions in the past by its own erroneous speculation and unfounded prophetic interpretation.
At the end of the day, over the years, many of JW's are guilty of apostasy, a communial guilt, for allowing themselves to be duped by those who have spoken 'twisted things' in the guise of the 'faithful and discreet slave.' We could cite various examples, but many on this DB are familiar already with the Watchtower's embarrassing history on certain matters.
This follows onto another point. The Watchtower is undoubtedly aware of the existance of various 'apostate sites'. While some sites are run by outright embittered former JW's, there are a few who just relate the facts about the Watchtower, its development and doctrine to the discomfort of Watchtower apologists and the majority of our brotherhood.
The Watchtower cannot get away from the fact the internet is a very popular medium through which those searching to understand religion and the Bible are going to use. It is a reality, and the Watchtower has to face up to the challenge the internet is causing it.
We know of course how the Watchtower endorses 'unity at all costs', even if it means sacrificing truth, or the exposure of error, but another interesting development is to suggest one who loves God and truth would not read or be openminded enough to consider anything outside the Watchtower. Cultlike? Possibly, but it also shows how the Watchtower is elevating itself now to decide who is an apostate and what material is apostate i.e. everything outside the Watchtower's doctrinal and prophetic framework.
This too is a test for active JW's, non-disfellowshipped and attending regularly a congregation.
According to this Watchtower article, such ones would not even examine the websites of apostates.
Thankfully, that means that we can expect the Judgmentites, known to be critical of all here, yet visit this site to find out what is under discussion, will be no longer visiting here. To do so, according to this Watchtower, is disloyal and shows no love for God or for the truth! Time will tell how they accept this Watchtower counsel!
The JW's on this DB will now have to decide where they stand, and if they are prepared to accept the Watchtower's interpretation of apostasy, and continue or discontinue contributing to this DB. Personally I have made my decision.
Additionally, when this article is studied in the congregations, again it will do much to arouse suspicion and fear of any who question or debate the Watchtower's stance and reasonings on Biblical matters and prophecy. It seems open discussion is going to be even more stifled and eventually non-existant.
The article refers back to the example of C T Russell and one who exposed Christendom's apostasy, yet fails to highlight that by today's Watchtower standards, C T Russell would be an outstanding example of an 'apostate'.
How do you feel?