How do you know when the Governing Body speaks for itself, and when it is supposed to speak for Jehovah?

by dgp 26 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • dgp

    In the Catholic Church, the pope is considered "infallible" when he speaks ex cathedra. That is to say, he is not infallible when he speaks about things that don't have to do with religion. For example, he may say whatever he pleases about Economics, but no one will hold that Catholic economists will have sinned against God if they consider that the pope is wrong.

    The important point here is that the pope is thought to be infallible only when he speaks about matters strictly related to the Church.

    The Wikipedia has this:

    Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church which states that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error [ 1 ] when he solemnly declares or promulgates to the universal Church a dogmatic teaching on faith as being contained in divine revelation, or at least being intimately connected to divine revelation. It is also taught that the Holy Spirit works in the body of the Church, as sensus fidelium, to ensure that dogmatic teachings proclaimed to be infallible will be received by all Catholics. This dogma, however, does not state either that the Pope cannot sin in his own personal life or that he is necessarily free of error, even when speaking in his official capacity, outside the specific contexts in which the dogma applies.

    Now, I wonder if the Governing Body has ever claimed to be infallible. I know that in practice it is held to be, and that, in practice again, whatever they say is to be obeyed. But, how would one know when it is Jehovah that speaks through them, and when it is they themselves who are speaking?

    By the way, if Jehovah were speaking through those men, I would assume Him to speak with ONE voice. That is to say, everyone would agree on everything and there would be no rule that winning a debate requires two thirds of the vote.

    Does the Governing Body claim to be infallible? Or does it act as if it were? If so, can a witness, however fanatic, actually believe that they never make a mistake, or that they always speak for God and not for themselves?

  • talesin

    dgp --- If so, can a witness, however fanatic, actually believe that they never make a mistake, or that they always speak for God and not for themselves?

    They believe that the GB always speaks for G*d --- when they change a policy, it's never a mistake,,, it's "New Light TM ".


  • AwareBeing

    Even when they speak for themselves, they include God in there!

    Unusually when their ranting on about being "the faithful and discreet slave",

    "God's only approved channel', and "representatives of Christ here on earth"!

    They also won't interject into their tirades, their sins as an organization.

    Proving that the members of WT's board are not like Moses, who's imperfections he wrote about!

    Like apostate priests during the days of the prophets, they hide their bad deeds with gag orders;

    local elders copy this example. But of coarse, they bring God into the argument by saying:

    "We have Jehovah's spirit." Yeah, like wicked king Saul; God's spirit was strong against him too!

  • wobble

    You know when they are speaking for themselves, it is when their lips are moving.

    No man , not even Jesus, spoke for god .

  • Awen

    To my knowledge the GB has never claimed to be infallible. However the insist that their "New Light" must be adhered to as if it were. Disloyalty to the GB (be it questioning oficial policy or doctrine) is considered by them to be disloyalty towards God. Yet in the Bible there were many cases of those who questioned the established authority and were considered loyal to God.

    Christ said that his "yoke was kindly and his load was light". Does the actions of the GB mirror this statement or does it seem to be in opposition?

    Are they like the Pharisees of Jesus' time who won't even lift a finger to help others with their load?

    Personally I do not believe that the GB speaks for God, nor have they ever. Jesus said that no one could come to the Father except through himself, yet we are supposed to believe that God would use a group of men who constantly contradict themselves.

    There is no place in the scriptures where God ever changed His teachings. Nor did his Son. Jesus may have added to what was already established, but he never abolished the old teachings. Yet repeatedly this has been so with the GB.

    Clearly the GB serves themselves and are afraid of losing their authority (much like the Pharisees who sought Jesus' death) and so they enforce harsher and more strict rules. There seems to be little choice for them in this matter for where would such aged men go? They have only their holdings in Brooklyn and New York and without them would be on the street (much like the ones they cast out in the 80's). So rather than owning up to their lies and taking the chance that they would lose their power. They instead tighten their grip all the more. But history has shown what happens to such ones. It may take a while but every despotic regime falls. Even the GB will fall and along with it the entire WTBTS organization.

  • Greybeard

    "However, the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. And in case you should say in your heart: "How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?" when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it." Deuteronomy 18:20-22

  • punkofnice

    Nothing is interpreted but the interpretation comes from God and is then published.
    (WT 1943 July 1 pp. 202-203)

    Angels deliver what is published.
    (PREPARATION 1933 pp. 36-37, 64)

    THE WATCHTOWER publishes "no man's opinion".
    (WT 1931 November 1 p. 327; 1936 March 15 p. 85)

    "To it (this organization) alone...the Bible is not a sealed book." The WTS is "the only organization on earth that understands the 'deep things of God.' "
    (WT 1973 July 1 p. 402)

    The leaders are "spirit directed" (WT 1988 March 1 p. 10) and "God's channel."
    (WT 1969 January 15 p. 51; 1960 July 15 pp. 439, 442)

    "It is vital that we appreciate this fact and respond to the directions of the 'slave' as we would to the voice of God, because it is His provision."
    (WT 1957 June 15 p. 370)

    C. T. Russell founder of the WTS, called himself "God's mouthpiece" (WT 1906 July 15 p. 229); claimed that compared to reading his books Bible reading is "a waste of time" (WT 1910 September 15 p. 298), and that his books "harmonize...every statement in the Bible."
    (DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES 1886 p. 348)

    God uses and directs the WTS.
    (VINDICATION Book 1 1931 p. 77)

    "The 'slave' class has served as God's sole collective channel for the flow of Biblical truth to men on earth. Just as the early Christian congregation collectively served as the channel of communication from heaven to earth, so in our time."
    (WT 1960 July 15 p. 439)

    "As Jehovah revealed his truths by means of the first-century Christian congregation so he does today by means of the present-day Christian congregation. Through this agency he is having carried out prophesying on an intensified and unparalleled scale. All of this activity is not an accident. Jehovah is the one behind all of it." (WT 1964 June 15 p. 365)

    "Therefore, in submitting to Jehovah's theocratic organization, we must be in full and complete agreement with every feature of its apostolic procedure and requirements."
    (WT 1967 October 1 p. 593)

    1 Punk 1:1 = Obey the Governing Body and DO MORE or Jehovah will lovingly murder us SOON* (Using anti-matter from Alcyone). How Happifying.

    *(Terms and conditions apply and are subject to 'overlapping' or ‘New Light’™or which ever makes the GB appear much higher than God!)

  • blondie

    When I was a jw, I felt that I had to compare what they said to what the bible said; if it didn't match up...less and less does the WTS even bother to use any other scripture but Matthew 24:45-47 and sometimes not even that when the sent out the non-letter about taking a blood transfusion switching from a df offense to an act of DA. The WTS deliberately does not delineate what they say from what God says. They leave it open for them to speak out of both sides of their mouth.

  • dgp

    Thanks to everyone for posting. My opinion is that, as Wobble says, the Governing Body only speaks for itself, and that is how everyone should understand it. I think the same is true of the Pope and of every other person who has ever claimed to speak for God, or who has ever claimed that God speaks through him. Even the prophets.

    Let´s do some "reverse engineering" of the concept of papal infallibility. The Pope is considered "infallible" when he speaks in matters of faith. The Pope has only used such a prerogative three times: to define his own infallibility, as in "I'm infallible because I'm infallible, for Christ's sake (pun intended)", in the case of the Immaculate Conception (the Virgin Mary was free of sin from the moment of conception), and in the Assumption (the Virgin Mary was taken to the Heavens; now, she didn't do that by herself, but was instead lifted). The Pope does not claim to be infallible, but, as is the case with the Governing Body, he expects people to think he is.

    But there is an ambiguity that all this envoys of the Lord can exploit. They can make a statement, and then they are uniquely positioned to say that they spoke only as mere mortals (I was only giving my opinion) or claim they spoke because God inspired them (I was speaking ex cathedra). Which is like saying that they, and they alone, can decide when the Lord is speaking and when he isn't. As if the Lord had a "mute" button that only they could push at will. I can but remember what a Mexican cartoonist wrote once: "God can control everything, except His ministers".

    It would be different if God suddenly came to them, "possessed them", and made them speak. But in this case one could suspect epilepsy, I guess.

    But then, if the Faithful and Discreet Slave (or the Pope), let's write down His word as we did with the Bible, and face the embarrassment of having clear proof that, for example, God said millions living in 1914 would not die, but that is clearly not so.

  • leavingwt

    dgp: It's as simple as this. If you publicly disobey the GB, you will be excommunicated from the WT religion. This will cut you off from your friends and family, and is equal to a death sentence, should Armageddon arrive today.

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