using the term rank and file

by JeffT 16 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • JeffT

    Does upper management at the WTBS actually use this term, has it appeared in the literature? Have any good stories about elders/CO's/DO's talking about the little people that way?

    More writing research under way.

  • serenitynow!

    I never heard it till I came here. The WT just refers to the rank and file as the great crowd.

  • journey-on

    I think it's a JWD/JWN term kind of like "borg" or "dubs".

  • Rank&FileGuy

    *** w71 12/15 p. 754 pars. 28-29 Theocratic Organization with Which to Move Forward Now ***
    28 Is that visible earthly organization eager to do that grand work? Look! The appointed elders and overseers of the congregations are actively working in that behalf. The ministerial servants of the congregations are cooperating in that behalf. The rank and file of the congregations, the dedicated men and women and their children, are taking part in the work, both from house to house and publicly. The governing body over all these theocratic congregations is whole-souled behind this evangelizing work and is making every arrangement for getting the work done within the time divinely allowed. The “faithful and discreet slave” class of today has been appointed over all the Kingdom interests belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ, and, as a faithful steward of his interests, it serves out spiritual food through the evangelizing work.
    29 This worldwide evangelizing organization is not tailored according to any present-day legal corporation that may be required under the laws of man-made political governments that now face destruction in the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon. (Rev. 16:14-16) No legal corporation of earth shapes the evangelizing organization or governs it. Rather, it governs such corporations as mere temporary instruments useful in the work of the great Theocrat. Hence it is patterned according to His design for it. It is a theocratic organization, ruled from the divine Top down, and not from the rank and file up. The dedicated, baptized members of it are under Theocracy! Earthly legal corporations will cease when the man-made governments that chartered them perish shortly. But the theocratic organization will live on, serving its Supreme Theocratic Ruler. Under his protection it will enter into his righteous new order. It will be right there on hand, as soon as the “great tribulation” is over, and be instantly ready to serve as His instrument in his new order.

  • yknot

    I have heard it all my life.... but I have noticed those who use it most are older pre-1980 JWs and conscious class JWs (kinda like the use of 'Mother' for the WTS)

    w86 9/1 p.28 Must You Be in the Limelight?

    A similar situation exists in the Christian congregation. Some individuals are used quite prominently, but others play rather inconspicuous roles as rank-and-file publishers of the Kingdom message. Should these ones feel, however, that they are somehow less important because they are not in the limelight? Should they be unduly disturbed if they do not attain prominence?

  • ABibleStudent

    Hi Rank&FileGuy, very nice post about how the WTBTS leadership views the R&F. I wonder if the GB and WTBTS leadership has spent so much time reading the WTBTS literature that they have forgotten what Jesus Christ promised his disciples (and everyone else) in John 14:15-31. Why would Our Father need an organization when he sent the Holy Spirit to his disciples and everyone else.

    John 14:15-31

    15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be [c] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

    22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

    23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

    25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

    28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, 31 but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,


  • serenitynow!

    Wow, I didn't know that term appeared in the literature.

  • JeffT

    Thank you

  • steve2

    I'm astounded that the Watchtower has used a term as rank and file to refer to the so-called "great crowd". "Rank and file" originated in the military to described (I think) foot soldiers. I shouldn't be astounded though because the Watchtower does take a rather uninformed and inconsistent approach to its borrowing worldy terms when it suits.

  • JeffT

    Steve, you are right, it's a military term. It refers to marching in ranks and files (horizontal and vertical rows). Also called "cannon fodder." Although those troops will tell you that being the ones with mud and blood on their uniforms, they are the ones that actually fought and won the war.

    Actually the "mud and blood" part might well describe the average witness.

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