Another question about the Governing Body

by dgp 38 Replies latest jw friends

  • dgp

    I was checking my copies of "Crisis of Conscience" and "Apocalypse delayed". According to James Penton, the Governing Body was ALWAYS supposed to be a mere administrative body. It was created after Ray Franz and others were given authority to prepare the "Aid to Bible Understanding" and they questioned the fact that the congregations were run by "little dictators". Apparently many witnesses felt uncomfortable with this, and then Knorr gave in and accepted the creation of a body, without giving any real powers to it. Over time, however, it became more powerful.

    Many decisions made by the Governing Body back then, however, do not seem administrative to me. I don't think that a decision on, say, disfellowshipping someone because he had oral sex with his wife is an administrative matter. It feels to me that it's a matter of doctrine. The two should have never been confused. Matters of doctrine should have been handled separately from matters of, say, how many chairs one has to buy for a new Kingdom Hall. And it should be self-evident that no one should have the authority to send someone off to hell. Disfellowshipping is wrong not just because of the pain it causes, but for the enormous power it gives to a few men.

    To me, this shows the dictatorial nature of the Governing Body. It was supposed to be a way to control the power that until then had rested on one man only, but things just went from the power of one single man to the power of a group of men, someone among whom is more equal than the others (hiya, George Orwell!). These men have all the power in their hands, even if they have to share it among them. I wonder if the situation was ever any less dictatorial at lower levels. I don't know about this, but, would a branch representative have any checks and balances? Could anyone complain about what they do? Would a real inquiry be made if someone accused a branch representative of abusing his power?

    I'm sure Ray Franz saw this, too. I remember he wrote that the matter with the Governing Body is not who are the members, but, rather, the role those members are expected to play. I don't remember where he wrote that, but I know I read it.

  • Botzwana

    I thought the Bible talks about disfellowshipping...Don't even eat with such a man ring any bells?

  • dgp

    That's what happened, lunatic and all. I wasn't there but that's what I read.

  • dgp

    In my opinion, responding to Botzwana's post requires going a little beyond the topic.

    Disfellowshipping might be something that appears on the Bible. Many Christians wouldn't agree, and it would be the command of a cruel god, but, for the sake of argument only, let's say it is instituted in the Bible. Does that mean that group of men should have administrative and religious power over you?

  • clarity


    Haven't you noticed the little 'slight of hand' borg manouvers. Ask any JW today who their mediator is.....and they'll say Christ. Oh nooo! went right over their collective heads in 1979 that the GB is their meditator now!!!!

    Same thing with inventing a governing body in 1971. We were kept so busy, and while our attention was directed elsewhere they sprinkled fairy dust all around and bingo........we suddenly started to refer to the GB like they had always existed!!

    They are experts with the fairy dust.


  • wobble

    Didn't Mad Freddie Franz give a talk, after the GB was an established entity that curtailed his power and influence,especially doctrinally, that showed the concept of a GB in the first century was not scriptural ?

    I don't think this was a big venue type talk, but if my memory serves, he did do it. Trying to put a spanner in the works,but it had no effect,they had spiked his guns.

    (Boy, how many metaphors is that ?)

  • designs


    Yes it was a talk to one of the Gilead classes.

  • james_woods
    Which brings us to the question of why it was necessary to take power away from Fred Franz if he was led ONLY by Jehovah. Or why Jehovah would need several men to make sure no one took advantage of his position as "slave".
    This is pretty much as the College of Cardinals: the Holy Spirit sometimes needs several votes to make sure he communicates correctly with so many cardinals. And even then the Holy Spirit makes obvious mistakes.
    Not that many of us need convincing, but it seems easy to see that this is just an administrative matter.

    DGP, that was just about the most clear and concise explanation of what is wrong with the whole "faithful discrete slave" and "governing body" institution that I have yet read. It is really just plain human politics imitating the College of Cardinals.

    That's what happened, lunatic and all. I wasn't there but that's what I read.

    I wasn't exactly in the room at Bethel, but yes - that is what happened, and Ed Dunlap told me all about it personally. The elite of the society were deathly afraid of what might happen after Knorr passed away and left total power to Freddy. The GB was a direct result of it.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    I thought the Bible talks about disfellowshipping...Don't even eat with such a man ring any bells?

    You thought wrong. Show a single scripture that mentions disfellowshipping. You can't because it doesn't exist, not even in the Fred Franz Translation.

  • PSacramento

    The "don't even eat with suh a man" was thepassage from 1Corinthians were Paul, giving his own pesonal opinion about a higly specififc problem in their church ( A man doing his step-mother, eww...).

    Paul pointed out that the church must explain to this person what he is doing wrong and IF he understands that what he is doing is wrong and continues to do so, that they should send him on his way and not deal with him at all.

    You won't find Paul advocating shunning or anything liek that ANYWHERE else nor find him or any other apostle saying to shun anyone in any general outlines.

    And, fare more importantly, you will NOT find anywhere that Jesus advocate anything of the sort.

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