I wonder why they don't want the hard copies in case of persecution...like they will have access to a computer and electricity.
BOE letter: "presiding overseer" becomes "coordinator of the body of elders
james_woods, You make a great point. Someone else mentioned about how the new Family Study night is similar to the LDS Family Home Evening program. Actually, they would be a good model for the WTS to follow. They are a very high control religion just like JWs are. I've actually spoken with Mormon missionaries at my door and they agree that while the doctrines are different, they sort of view JWs as kindred spirits. If that's the ultimate goal, they would need to sink quite a bit into the infrastructure of the congregations. LDS has stuff for little kids, youths and adult programs that the WTS just doesn't seem to care about. I just spent a little time on their website and its much better than the WT website in setting forth their views. I don't agree with them, but I was impressed. They give the impression of being a mainstream religion yet I know they are even more controlling (no coffee comes to mind) than the JWs, they practice shunning as well.
Thanks, Doubting Bro. Yup, you got one that I forgot - "family activity night"/"family study night". Except that I thought the Mormons were supposed to just play games, have popcorn, and do family fun things, not necessarily "study". I guess that the Mormons have had about 50 years more to get their act together than the JW, and they did have (finally, after U.S. Government intervention) the guts to nominally disfellowship the plural marriage enthusiasts, and disband the murder gangs of the old west. But there are still many eerie similarities - neither one of these religions can make much of any claim to being "Christian" in any normal sense of the word.
"coordinator of the body of elders."
O.K., now instead of P.O. he could be called CO-ED., as in, "Hey, Bob, should we appoint brother Holdsmike to elder?" "Maybe, Joe, let's ask the CO-ED."
Maybe the other elders could be under-coordinators.
Snakes, thanks for the summary. A couple thoughts:
First, I think that they will be getting rid of the "Special Pioneer" arrangement. Why? Well, of course it's mainly about money and liability. As a Special Pioneer, you have "special full-time servant" status, like Bethelites, COs, DOs, and Missionaries. So you get stipends and health insurance. However, there are plenty of R&F members who are happy to spend their own money to go help where the "need is greater," many of them elders, and do the exact same thing the Special Pioneers supposedly do. Also, why lay off Bethelites and COs, only to re-appoint them as Special Pioneers? Doesn't make sense, from a financial point of view. You can already see this with the Bethelites being laid off -- very, very few of them are being re-assigned as Special Pioneers. My own brother (at Bethel for over 10 years), who had very good connections and was known as a very loyal company man, was just given the boot. They tried to get "re-assigned" with some sort of designation, but no luck. Also, getting rid of the "Special Pioneer" designation fits in with their attempt to *look* more egalitarian.
Second, there's been some talk on here about how this is a move by the Society to simultaneously reduce liability and yet retain centralized control. However, I don't think it's going to work over the long term. I think that the organization will become even more fragmented at the lower levels, and by extension, decentralized, detached from HQ. The simple reason is that none of these moves changes the local elders' responsibilities to keep the flock in line. They're still going to be the ones with the power to disfellowship and reinstate, and even if the Society now has local elders to report back to Mother and take over the COs duties, these men will have LESS loyalty to HQ, simply due to the fact that they will not be getting taken care of, as the COs were.
With that said, and just to reiterate some excellent points made in this thread, there's nothing that the COs did that can't be done by certain elders. Except these elders will do it for free. However, this move doesn't tighten the layers of authority. It removes men who are more loyal to the HQ because of their heavier indoctrination and because they can't "bite the hand that feeds them." Now, those reasons for loyalty will be gone, and the Society will get power-hungry patriarchs in their place.
Is the power flow chart changing??
Jehovah is the Supreme Overseer, and he has appointed Jesus Christ as head over the congregation. (Eph. 1:22; 1 Pet. 2:25) Congregation elders serve as shepherds, cooperating together with Jesus Christ and the faithful and discreet slave class for the advancement of Kingdom interests and for the good of the entire congregation.--
In view of this, the designation "presiding overseer" is being changed to "coordinator of the body of elders."
Except that in their true (internal use only) org chart, Jesus Christ, the FDS, and the Governing body are all actually the same box.
Internal use only? .... what a novel idea
It is so amazing that the cult GB thinks the whole world should be according to their orwellian chart
Interesting points regarding the organizational flow chart. By the way, that flow chart published by the Society reminds me of one of those convoluted flow charts used to outline the authority structure in a large governmental agency. It's interesting how the New Testament's emphasis on a New Covenant and a personal relationship with Christ Jesus has been pushed aside to make room for a corporate style management structure. It's like a multi-level marketing enterprise on steroids. But, I digress . . . .
It is interesting how they can so eloquently proclaim Jehovah God as appointing Jesus as head of the Christian congregation while the Governing Body are becoming more vocal in their demands for obedience. This letter sounds very nicey-nice on the surface, but I am convinced that there is a very cynical motive behind it.
I do not believe that this will have a decentralization effect on the organization. The Watchtower leadership is very sophisticated in devising ways to solidify it's power while displaying a sheepish appearance. Everything that the Watchtower leadership does comes down to two core agendas: 1) Cutting costs. 2) Strengthening its control over the flock. I believe that everything the Society does today fits under one of these two objectives in one way or another.
When we study the statements made in the Watchtower study articles and Governing Body talks, we see every indication that there is going to be a tightening of the screws; of eliminating any possibilities of individualism or autonomy. We may see a decentralization in certain business functions, but certainly none when it comes to enforcing unanimous thinking and behavior. The Watchtower has had over 100 years practice in how to control behavior and enforce uniformity. With this much practice, I believe that they are getting better at camouflaging it from the flock.
I agree. The governing body has less holy spirit than a dog has
I agree. The governing body has less holy spirit than a dog has
LOL . Yes, at least when a dog chases it's own tail, it learns to give up after a while.