WT development of Disfellowshiping. (part 2; 1883 to 1887)

by Aussie Oz 1 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    Watchtower 1883

    page 552

    We also find Jude writing to the churches warning them against certain men who had crept in unawares, turning the grace of God into self-exaltation, taking advantage of the spread of truth to add to their own influence and apparent wisdom, and introduce their own false teaching. He wrote to put them in remembrance of things which they already knew, but from which they were in danger of being turned aside by these false teachers, exhorting them to “contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints;” and while he would have them shun the evil influence of these he exhorts the Church to make a difference between these wilful enemies of the truth, and those weak saints who had been partially overcome by them-“pulling them out of the fire.

    Watchtower 1887

    page 923 April 1887

    Nor should we ignore the assistance of any of god's children in seeking an understanding of the scriptures, but we should give attention to them only so far and so long, as they teach and explain the bible, in harmony with the bible. Whenever we find a brother, a teacher, either of high or low degree, in learning or talents, ABLE TO EXPOUND and to harmonize the bible with itself, our attention should be earnestly given; for such a one is a teacher sent by god, and we are safe so long as we prove all things by the word of god, and accept of theories and interpretations not because of the teacher, but because of the scriptures, which his teachings show forth and harmonize.

    But religious leaders of today would be almost ignored, if this rule were followed, for they know little of the bible except some passages committed to memory in youth, and some looked out for special occasions. And three-fourths of all the discourses, delivered in Christian pulpits, if examined by the average hearer in the text chosen and its connections with the preceding and succeeding verses, would be found at wide variance and often directly contradictory of the word of God. But satisfied with their sect ,the many ''at ease in Zion'' think not of searching the scriptures, nor of proving or disproving the doctrines proclaimed.

    As for the teachers, with many it is a business or rather a ''profession'' merely. They were taught in seminaries not how to search the scriptures, but the reverse, --not to study the Bible, nor to expect to learn anything from it; for if they should learn anything new by their search, it would be of necessity something their sects would not endorse, and hence they would come into conflict with their party and its theology and be cut off. They are taught the theology of the sect controlling the seminary, and are expected to know and teach neither more nor less so long as they are in its ministry. in fact generally they are bound by a solemn vow to believe and teach according to the creed of the sect strictly. Why then should they urge their students to ''Search the scriptures?'' Rather, like the church of Rome their influence is exerted to restrain investigation within the sectarian limits. With the implied threat of disfellowship, they urge their ministers and students not to search continually for truth, but to accept the voice of their sect as infallible. They do not openly proclaim their sectarian infallibility and the bondage of their ministers for very shame, remembering that this the very ground on which their founders originally protested against the church of Rome, claiming the right of individual judgement in the interpretation of the scriptures-- hence the name protestants.

    I notice again critical comment against the Catholic Church for using the threat of Disfellowshipping to stop students searching for truth


    page 954 ''discipline in the church''

    Such is part of the painful duty of the present hour. Some who once walked with us in the light of truth, clothed in the righteousness of Christ imputed to-them “through faith in his blood ''have since taken off that robe and appeared in their own filthy rags, boldly inviting others to do likewise . While it is the duty of the stronger members of the body of the Christ to protect the weaker, in every way possible against these baneful influences it is their duty to bind the offenders and cast them out-in other words, to disfellowship them -to show up their true standing, and thus bind them hand and foot by putting others on their guard, thus restraining their influence upon the church. Sooner or later they will either put on the robe or withdraw from the light which

    reveals the filthy rags of their own righteousness.

    Mrs C.T.R

    This article attributed to Maria Russell is the first real pro disfellowshipping stance i found in the Watctower

  • pirata

    Thank you Aussie Oz! I look forward to the remaining parts.

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