If anyone is interested, here is my 'take' on that September 2007 "Kingdom Ministry" article. I've added it to the Appendix of the book... _____________________________________________
September 2007 "Kingdom Ministry"
One of the weekly meetings the men of the Governing Body have arranged for Jehovah’s Witnesses is the "Theocratic Ministry School" where they receive training on public speaking and how to conduct their door-to-door ministry and Bible studies. The guide called Kingdom Ministry provides an outline for what is to be considered at these meetings.
In the "Question Box" of the above issue the Governing Body provides the following question and answer:
Does "the faithful and discreet slave" endorse independent groups of Witnesses who meet together to engage in Scriptural research or debate? – Matthew 24:45-47No, itdoes not.
The first thing I notice is that the men asking and answering this question are again hidden behind the expression "the faithful and discreet slave." It isn’t some abstract "slave" and certainly not an "it" who is saying these things. The men of the Governing Body are responsible for everything in this article.- See Chapter 6, p.45
The second thing I notice is that they immediately refer to the most important Scripture in their theology (Matthew 24:45-47), which is the basis for the concept holding everyone captive. As usual they preface what they are saying by reminding Jehovah’s Witnesses that this information is coming from ‘God’s faithful and discreet slave organization.’ And to Jehovah’s Witnesses that means it is coming from God.
– See Chapter 2, page 18
But if the men of the Governing Body would express themselves according to what they really mean, their question and answer would look more like this…
Do WE (the men of the Governing Body) endorse independent groups of Witnesses to meet together in order to privately study the Bible together? No, WE do not.
This rendering now shows that what is being said is coming from a few elderly men in Brooklyn New York rather than from God in heaven.
In order to make sure that Witnesses clearly understand what they are not suppose to do, these men go on to explain…
The "faithful and discreet slave" does not endorse any literature, meetings, or Web sites that are not produced or organized under its oversight. – Matthew 24:45-47
They again hide behind the above "slave" and refer to Matthew 24:45-47 as the Scriptural basis for what they are saying. But here too, if they would say it according to what they really mean it would look like this…
WEdo not endorse any literature, meetings, or Web sites that are not produced or organized under OUR oversight.
If we could ask the Governing Body why they don’t what Jehovah’s Witnesses reading anything about the Society that isn’t written by the Society, or to meet together privately in order to study the Bible and do research outside their oversight and control, what would they say? I suspect that they would explain that they are only trying to protect the Witnesses from misunderstanding the Bible and/or from being misled.
But if you ask those who have done what the Governing Body does not endorse most explain that they discovered they had already been misled, not by the ones the Governing Body says they are protecting them from ("apostates"), but by the last people on earth they ever thought would mislead them – the men of their Governing Body. – See Martin Merriam’s reaction when he discovered this. p. 93
Some former Witnesses have concluded that these men are no different than the religious leaders of Jesus’ day. Those scribes and Pharisees likewise didn’t want those under their oversight to privately meet together in order to study and research the one claiming to be God’s Son. Jesus called those men "hypocrites, serpents, and off-spring of vipers."– See Matthew 23
But others feel that the men of the Governing Body are just as captive of their organizational concept as are the millions of Witnesses under their oversight. This may explain why they will say whatever they need to say that enables them to keep themselves and their millions of followers convinced that the Watchtower Society is God’s faithful and discreet slave organization.
As mentioned previously, the answer for their conduct may have something to do with what Paul explained about those he was referring to at the time…"Because they did not accept the love of the truth …that is why God lets an operation of error go to them that they may get to believing the lie."– 2 Thessalonians 2:10,11
Back on page 10 the following reasoning was offered as a possible explanation why the men of the Governing Body do what they do...
Only God knows if this is how He has been dealing with these men but if this is what is going on it would explain a lot. Once they "get to believing the lie" (that the Society is God’s organization) then the lie becomes the truth in their minds. And once that happens it doesn’t matter what the Bible says or what went on in the Society’s history. Nothing will be allowed to disprove the lie. Anything that is contrary to it will either be ignored, as is done throughout their "Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom" book, or else it will be manipulated to force it to apparently fit the lie, as is also done throughout their "Proclaimers" book. And yet they will do these things while thinking they are being candid in their efforts to uphold the truth. Apparently this is one of the strange ways the human mind is capable of working when "God lets an operation of error go to them that they may get to believing the lie."Finally, the March 15, 1998 Watchtower was quoted previously where the Governing Body said the following:
Some may have been told that Jehovah’s Witnesses belong to a religious organization that enslaves its members, exercises authoritarian control over them (and) unduly restricts their freedom. – See page 100 and footnotes 187 and 188.
. The September 2007 Kingdom Ministry proves to be another example which shows that those who feel this way are correct. It is obvious that the men of the Governing Body want to totally control and restrict what Jehovah’s Witnesses read, research and study about the Bible and the Watchtower Society.
Although they only say that they "do not endorse" any literature, meetings or Websites that are not under their oversight, that’s all they need to say. They have carefully groomed Jehovah’s Witnesses to believe that whatever comes from "the faithful and discreet slave" is coming from God Himself. And what "true Christian" would ever want to do anything what God does not endorse?
If their reasoning doesn’t make any sense it because those hearing it are not captives the Society’s God’s organization concept. But for those who are captives it makes perfect sense.
Don Cameron [email protected]