November 15th, 1950 Watchtower, page 439, "Subjection to the Higher Powers":
"The clergy also quote the apostle's writing at Romans 13:1: "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." This scripture, they explain, declares that Caesar and like political authorities are the higher powers ordained by God, and Christian souls must be subject to them, rendering full obedience to them."
Of course, this article contains part of what the current doctrine is, which is that Christians should obey God rather than men if the government tells you to do something wrong; it's just that the 'higher powers' are viewed as God and Christ rather than the government. Upon examination, one could argue that they had it half right, from the current JW point of view. It just seems odd that even while being dead wrong about this issue, they basically downed the clergy for having the correct understanding of who the 'superior authorities' were, when arguably, both Christendom and the JWs were half-wrong. It just underscores the idiocy of religious bickering to me.
Same article, page 441:
"Up till 1928 they [Jehovah's Witnesses] too had held to the ecclesiastical interpretation of Romans 13:1-7 concerning the higher powers. But that year this scripture was taken under examination, especially in view of the fact that the times of the Gentiles had ended A.D. 1914 and God's kingdom by Christ had then been established in the heavens to bring in a new world with eternal blessings for obedient men of goodwill. The conclusions arrived at were published in the June 1 and 15, 1929, issues of The Watchtower in the article, in two parts, entitled The Higher Powers...The expression 'the higher powers' is now understood to mean primarily the Most High God and his reigning Son Jesus Christ. Surely there are no powers or authorities higher than these."
"The political powers of this world are, therefore, not the superior authorities to whom Christian souls are to be subject in every demand they make...Any law and demand made in conflict with the superior laws and commandments of God they will not obey, for that would mean to render to 'Caesar' what belongs to God." <--Hence what I mean by saying they were 'half right' at that time.
Note the aftermath of the adjustment, which comes after they realize they were wrong about the identity of the 'higher powers'. May 1, 1972 Watchtower, page 272, "How Your View of Authority Affects Your Life":
"Sometimes persons speak against the understanding of certain Scriptural teachings that the Watch Tower Society has set forth. For example, there were those who had difficulty accepting the change of understanding regarding the "superior authorities" of Romans 13:1. Some even stumbled from their dedicated relationship to Jehovah over this matter. They did not have the proper view of the authority of Jehovah's organization for providing spiritual "food at the proper time." When some of the disciples had difficulty accepting what Jesus was teaching on one point, saying: "This speech is shocking; who can listen to it?" they "went off to the things behind and would no longer walk with him." Peter, with the right view of Jesus' teaching authority, realized there was no other place to go for truth and so remained in the way of life.--John 6:60, 66-69."
There's a propaganda technique in there somewhere. Probably more than one. First, those who speak against the Society are demonized as people who apparently don't want to recognize the Bible's teachings or they even stopped serving God altogether. They then go on to assert that their authority is the relevant issue, and whether they are right or not, they have authority, and that alone justifies following them without question. They even successfully replace Peter's decision to continue following Jesus, a person, with the organization, a place to go.
In other words, if you can't deal with our teaching something that requires us to reinvent the Christian wheel, you have the wrong view of our authority. Which, by the way, is total, absolute, and to be accepted without question, despite the fact that we are certainly not infallible.
Not to mention the false analogy--Jesus was not teaching falsehood and then in need of revising his words. He merely said something that was misunderstood by some in his audience as literal and not symbolic. Unless the governments were symbolically Jehovah God and Jesus Christ from 1929 to 1962, this analogy is completely devoid of meaning.
There. How many Governing Body members does it take to replace a light bulb? Well, for now, it's 9.