Russell started the religion to be Jesus Centric, but Rutherford changed this focus to Jehovah and the Organization. Of course Jesus is regularly mentioned, but not with the amount of focus Jesus is shown in the bible or other Christian religions.
From a spiritual viewpoint the most damaging aspect is that the Watchtower Society usurps the role of Jesus by placing itself as spokesman, intermediary and mediator between God and Man. The Bible plainly states that it is Jesus alone that fills these roles. By granting these rights to the leaders and removing them from the followers the Watchtower makes the followers dependant on the leaders for spirituality and salvation. Close association with the Organization and the leaders is essential. By speaking of following the Organization attention is diverted from the one person attention should be fixed on; Jesus.
Who is our mediator … the Faithful Slave
Jesus said that he alone is the mediator for mankind and it is only through him that a person can have a relationship with God. The Watchtower claims he is only mediator to the leaders; all other people need to align themselves with the leaders to receive these benefits.
Bible - 1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus”
John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Watchtower 1979 November 15 p.24 “So Jesus Christ in heaven is the Mediator between God and the spiritual Israelites. … There are still more than 9,000 who profess to be spiritual Israelites in the new covenant. … To keep in relationship with “our Savior, God,” the “great crowd” needs to remain united with the remnant of spiritual Israelites.”
Watchtower 1981 November 15 p.21 “…come to Jehovah’s organization for salvation”
Fix our Eyes on … the Organization
Bible - Hebrews 12:2
(NWT) “look intently at the Chief Agent and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus…”
(NIV) “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”
Watchtower 2003 February 15 p.31 “Jehovah’s people today carefully fix their eyes on the progressive Bible-based instructions that Jehovah gives through his earthly organization. (Psalm 123:1, 2) Yes, they act on his direction, being alert to whatever Jehovah indicates through “the faithful and discreet slave.””
Whom do we go to … the Organization
Peter said whom could we go to apart from Jesus. The Watchtower states that whom means where.
Bible - John 6:68 “Simon Peter answered him: “Lord, whom shall we go away to?”
2 Corinthians 1:21 “But he who guarantees that YOU and we belong to Christ and he who has anointed us is God.”
Watchtower 1975 September 1 p.531 “Where could we turn if we would leave God’s organization today? There is nowhere else! (John 6:66-69)”
Who are we baptized to … the Organization
When a Jehovah’s Witness gets baptized the second baptism vow asks that you wish to be identified with God’s Organization. This is in conflict with biblical guidance on baptism; no mention was made of joining an organization consisting of earthly intermediaries.
Bible - Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit”
Watchtower 1985 June 1 p.30 “Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?”
Rejection of Christ’s memorial
Each year the Other Sheep gather for the memorial. Their passing the bread and wine uneaten amounts to a rejection of Christ’s sacrifice.
Bible (John 6:51-57) . . .I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread he will live forever; and, for a fact, the bread that I shall give is my flesh in behalf of the life of the world.” 52 Therefore the Jews began contending with one another, saying: “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 Accordingly Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to YOU, Unless YOU eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, YOU have no life in yourselves. 54 He that feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I shall resurrect him at the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 He that feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood remains in union with me, and I in union with him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me forth and I live because of the Father, he also that feeds on me, even that one will live because of me.
*** w88 2/1 p. 31 Questions From Readers *** Today there remains alive on earth only a small remnant of those chosen by God for heavenly life. Only such ones who are in “the new covenant” are authorized to partake of the emblems, the bread and the wine, during the annual Memorial celebration.