Society tells us to stop asking questions...

by cedars 60 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • cedars

    I was just glancing at the back of the October 15th Watchtower and the Questions From Readers. The question under discussion is "What should I do when I have a question about something I read in the Bible or when I need advice about a personal problem?"

    The article goes on to discuss how we should consult the Watch Tower Publications Index among the many 'tools' that have been provided by the Faithful and Discreet Slave whenever we have a question that is not directly discussed in the publications.

    One statement really caught my eye, because it's the first time I've ever seen the Society actually dissuade people from writing in with questions. It reads as follows:

    "Neither the branch office nor world headquarters is in a position to analyze and answer all such questions that have not been considered in our literature."

    For decades the Society has supposedly had unlimited resources, facilities and manpower at its disposal around the world. Surely answering sincere questions from fellow worshippers that are not touched upon in the publications is part of their duty as God's channel of communication etc. Suddenly, they are no longer in a 'position' to fulfil their obligation to "feed" their brothers on a personal level when unusual questions arise. Is this an admission on their part that Jehovah is no longer blessing them with sufficient resources to fulfil their normal day-to-day administrative functions, or are they simply telling the worldwide brotherhood straight to shut up and stop asking impertinent questions, because if it isn't in the publications it shouldn't be worth asking about???

    Thoughts please!

  • designs

    So glad we have the Bound volumns, how could we have navigated through life without the divine wisdom...

  • NewChapter

    One time I lost my bound volumes and I stared at the wall for 3 days.

  • AwareBeing

    I remember when our family read that article; shock and anger!

    We knew this was just another put off, because we've had dealings like this when calling questions in to NY, Bethel.

    Every thing has to be written down and read by wrote; if there's any inconsistencies, people will write them again!

    Never mind the fact that someone is in desperate need to fix a problem causing "tribulations"; just "pray, and tell your elders"!

    Guess what? The Bible commands us to help one another, apparently God is talking to the flock.

    Because no pretend GB, or elders are going to lift a pharisee finger!

    Since WT already has too many people at HQ to worry about, and the local BOE have meetings to prepare for.

    There's still a few good ones left in the org and they need to "get out of her soon my people!"

  • blondie

    Based on the various response you could get depending on which unofficial jw you asked, the WTS is just covering its religious behind by making sure that everyone gets the same answer. From my earliest years in my family, I remember being told that the only "correct" answers are in the publications. If it is not in a WTS publication, it is someone's personal opinion even if they are a GB member. Even if it is said from the platform it is not official. Of course, we know that even if you find it in a publication just this year, it can be labeled old light.

  • cantleave

    Bounds volumes are great for propping up a broken bed leg!

  • Reopened Mind
    Reopened Mind

    EVIDENTLY the "faithful and discreet slave" does not have enough food to feed the entire flock.

    Some of us are on special diets and want to be fed the genuine truth.

    Reopened Mind

  • edmond dantes
    edmond dantes

    When you hand over your mind to a dictatorship you will not be allowed to ask questions which is what happened in Natzi Germany .

    The authoritarian will tell you what is good for you no questions asked.

    I was told years ago that questioning the Society reflected my mind set and that I had been in the Truth long enough to know they were right I was told I should not be even thinking the Society was wrong.

    I have been out of that mad organisation for a long time now thank goodness and looking back it would be laughable if it wasn't a serious matter.

    Its all a fantasy after all something mad which was dreamt up by either plain stupid men or clever evil twisters likened to snake oil salesmen.

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    What they meant to say was...

    "The Faithful Slave and it's Governing Body are too busy selling real estate and siphoning money into off-shore accounts to answer all of your questions. Please stop bothering them... just send them your money."

  • NewChapter

    LOL Billy---Less service for the same money! What a ripoff. I'll have to take my business elsewhere.

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    Maybe technically they are correct.

    It is my understanding that the role of the GB is to teach the FDS (the 144,000) ("feed my sheep")


  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite


    I don't think they want any questions about their lousy 607 farticles!

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    Hi Billy,

    They might not want questions, but they are going to get them from me!

    My retort to their recent (October) farce is not too far off.


  • cedars

    I'm actually quite shocked. I haven't really read any Watchtower articles objectively since I made my decision, and I've just finished leafing through the July study Watchtower (to be considered during September) which deals with, among other things, how to view apostates and how to treat disfellowshipped family members. It amazes me how hate-filled and delusional the language is, accusing apostates of being "mentally diseased", and like an illness that must be eradicated by Jehovah the "Great Physician" (not sure how scripturally based that name is).

    Family members who are disfellowshipped are to be shunned and viewed in the same way as Aaron's sons who were struck down by Jehovah for offering up illegitimate fire, a shockingly flawed application of scripture. In both cases (apostasy and disfellowshipping) no firm scriptural support is given for such extreme views, nor is any effort made to explain why apostates may feel justified in leaving the organisation. It's just hate, hate, hate all the way. Makes me feel sick!

    The bullish refusal to answer any more questions addressed to world headquarters seems irrelevant in comparison! Sheesh.

  • blondie

    Note this in a 1952 WT regarding executing wrongdoers in the congregation:

    *** w52 11/15 pp. 703-704 Questions From Readers ***

    In the case of where a father or mother or son or daughter is disfellowshiped, how should such person be treated by members of the family in their family relationship?—P. C., Ontario, Canada.

    We are not living today among theocratic nations where such members of our fleshly family relationship could be exterminated for apostasy from God and his theocratic organization, as was possible and was ordered in the nation of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai and in the land of Palestine. "Thou shalt surely kill him; thy hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him to death with stones, because he hath sought to draw thee away from Jehovah thy God, . . . And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is in the midst of thee."—Deut. 13:6-11,


    Being limited by the laws of the worldly nation in which we liveand also by the laws of God through Jesus Christ, we can take action against apostates only to a certain extent, that is, consistent with both sets of laws. The law of the land and God’s law through Christ forbid us to kill apostates, even though they be members of our own flesh-and-blood family relationship. However, God’s law requires us to recognize their being disfellowshiped from his congregation, and this despite the fact that the law of the land in which we live requires us under some natural obligation to live with and have dealings with such apostates under the same roof.

    God’s law does not allow a marriage partner to dismiss his mate because his mate becomes disfellowshiped or apostatizes. Neither will the law of the land in most cases allow a divorce to be granted on such grounds. The faithful believer and the apostate or disfellowshiped mate must legally continue to live together and render proper marriage dues one to the other. A father may not legally dismiss his minor child from his household because of apostasy or disfellowshiping, and a minor child or children may not abandon their father or their mother just because he becomes unfaithful to God and his theocratic organization. The parent must by laws of God and of man fulfill his parental obligations to the child or children as long as they are dependent minors, and the child or children must render filial submission to the parent as long as legally underage or as long as being without parental consent to depart from the home. Of course, if the children are of age, then there can be a departing and breaking of family ties in a physical way, because the spiritual ties have already snapped.

    If children are of age and continue to associate with a disfellowshiped parent because of receiving material support from him or her, then they must consider how far their spiritual interests are being endangered by continuing under this unequal arrangement, and whether they can arrange to support themselves, living apart from the fallen-away parent. Their continuing to receive material support should not make them compromise so as to ignore the disfellowshiped state of the parent. If, because of acting according to the disfellowship order of the company of God’s people, they become threatened with a withdrawal of the parental support, then they must be willing to take such consequences.

    Satan’s influence through the disfellowshiped member of the family will be to cause the other member or members of the family who are in the truth to join the disfellowshiped member in his course or in his position toward God’s organization. To do this would be disastrous, and so the faithful family member must recognize and conform to the disfellowship order. How would or could this be done while living under the same roof or in personal, physical contact daily with the disfellowshiped? In this way: By refusing to have religious relationship with the disfellowshiped.

    The marriage partner would render the marriage dues according to the law of the land and in due payment for all material benefits bestowed and accepted. But to have religious communion with the disfellowshiped person—no, there would be none of that! The faithful marriage partner would not discuss religion with the apostate or disfellowshiped and would not accompany that one to his (or her) place of religious association and participate in the meetings with that one. As Jesus said: "If he does not listen even to the congregation [which was obliged to disfellowship him], let him be to you just as a man of the nations and as a tax collector [to Jehovah’s sanctified nation]." (Matt. 18:17, NW) Hurt to such one would not be authorized, but there would be no spiritual or religious fellowshiping.

    The same rule would apply to those who are in the relation of parent and child or of child and parent. What natural obligation falls upon them according to man’s law and God’s law the faithful parent or the faithful child will comply with. But as for rendering more than that and having religious fellowship with such one in violation of the congregation’s disfellowship order—no, none of that for the faithful one! If the faithful suffers in some material or other way for the faithful adherence to theocratic law, then he must accept this as suffering for righteousness’ sake.

    The purpose of observing the disfellowship order is to make the disfellowshiped one realize the error of his way and to shame him, if possible, so that he may be recovered, and also to safeguard your own salvation to life in the new world in vindication of God. (2 Thess. 3:14, 15; Titus 2:8) Because of being in close, indissoluble natural family ties and being of the same household under the one roof you may have to eat material food and live physically with that one at home, in which case 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 and 2 John 10 could not apply; but do not defeat the purpose of the congregation’s disfellowship order by eating spiritual or religious food with such one or receiving such one favorably in a religious way and bidding him farewell with a wish for his prosperity in his apostate course.

  • WTWizard

    I think we get better answers asking the questions here than we would ever get asking at the Kingdumb Hell anyways.

  • Open mind
    Open mind

    This QFR is just trying to act as a filter to keep the sheep who aren't Elders from directly contacting Bethel.

    1. If you have a question, try looking it up yourself.

    2. If you can't find anything, try REALLY hard.

    3. Either shut up or..

    4. Ask an Elder.

    (This next step wasn't spelled out in the QFR but it's the way things were at least up until a couple years ago.)

    5. If the Elder is stumped, the Body of Elders will decide whether it's worth contacting the Branch.

    I'm pretty sure I remember similar instructions in the past, but, I'm too lazy to look it up. Maybe I'll call Bethel.


  • rocketman

    Looking at the QFR Blondie posted, in regard to treatment of apostates, it might well be better if the WTS didn't want to answer questions. Let's face it, when they do, by and large, they end up writing something that grates people - active jws included - more than having had simply let the matter alone in the first place.

    And not to turn this around and play devil's advocate, but I'm not all that bothered by that quote from the Oct 15 WT cited by the OP. One can only imagine the questions they get bombarded with. But they, in fact, have fostered a dependency on the Society on the part of jw rank and file. They tell us to consult them before making a decision, then turn around and in effect say 'figure it out for yourselves' on other questions. They've created a society of people that can't (or dare not) think for themselves.

  • cedars

    Hi rocketman - I agree with your statements, particularly that they have cultivated a dependency on their teachings. My issue is mainly that of 'how can they keep going on that Jehovah is providing for them abundantly and blessing the organisation when they are no longer in "a position" to answer a few sincere letters'? How much does it take in resources to continue to maintain this provision, given that the brothers assigned to reply to correspondence do so free of charge? And how can they claim to be our spiritual stewards when they are not prepared to fulfil this role on a personal level, only through mass publication? Would the apostles have dissuaded ordinary fellow believers from approaching them with questions? Did they say "everything you need to know is in our letters, please don't approach us personally"?! Was that Jesus' attitude? Did he dissuade people from approaching him, even if they were children? Why would he be happy with his faithful and discreet slave ignoring his example? It's the contradictions thrown up by the quote above, and the clear evidence of hypocrisy that really riles me!!

  • darth frosty
    darth frosty

    it has truly become 'the animal farm'

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