>>Today's Watchtower Study (Feb 15, p17):
>>Jehovah's witnesses R&F are exhorted to remain faithful and to 'seek Jehovah'. How? Paragraph 5 states that "'Seeking Jehovah' today involves developing and maintaining a warm personal relationship with him in association with his earthly organisation."
>>A similar point is repeated in paragraph 19 which states; "...by displaying a meek, submissive attitude toward God and his arrangements for salvation?"
>>This does not seem to 'gel' with Jesus, words recorded at John 17:3"This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge (or, "knowing you") the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ."
Nor does it gel with the very theme text on which this study article claims to be based. Zephaniah's prophecy states quite simply the requirements for salvation: "Seek Jehovah...Seek righteousness, seek meekness." Period.
>>The question may be asked "If salvation resulted from knowing Jehovah and Jesus in the first century and this was the good news or gospel, and nothing else, why is that not sufficient in the 21st century?"
And conversely, the question may be asked "If salvation in the first century resulted from a warm personal relationship with Jehovah *'in association with his earthly organization'* and this was the good news Jesus and his disciples preached, why was there never any such mention anywhere in any of the gospels for those of us seeking in this 21st century?"
>>It is not explained with scripture references in the Watchtower article how the organisation is linked to salvation.
Not in this article nor any other that I've ever read. Salvation's link to association with the organization is always adamantly asserted with never an unambiguous scriptural citation ever provided in support.
>>Also, not explained, are the "arrangements for salvation" that it's necessary to show submission to. Could this be 'code' for the organisation again?
I hilite my mag in two different colors. Light green for that with which I have no problem, i.e., am satisfied with the scriptural support. I use my flourescent yellow for the fishy stuff and that which is pure moonshine. The "in association..." and the "arrangements for salvation" are two insertions I hilited bright yellow in this article. They were just such glaringly spurious assertions.
>>Did anyone else come away from today's Watchtower Study feeling that the scriptural backing for these statements was lacking?
I certainly did. I am very offended by the manipulation and tampering the WBTS shamelessly and arrogantly passes off as "food at the proper time."
I've got editorial notations all over the margins of this article. I found myself, during the meeting, looking around, appalled, at so many trusting and decent and humble folks in the KH grazing through the WS
Q&A, offering up their scripted "fruit of the lips" seemingly semi-conscious after the "special" talk. I did manage to chuckle once, though, at one poor young brother. He mouths the organization-speak so effortlessly, and unthinkingly, that he submitted the irreconcilable pairing of two of our favorites when he responded to one question, toward the end of the lesson (presumably to get his one "comment" in before the bell rang) with "Jehovah's day will come quickly, in His own due time."
While on the subject, I had a coupla other problem with this article in addition to the two already referenced by ozzie.
Under the sub-heading "Woe to Insolent Wrongdoers", par 16 states:
"Says Zephaniah 3:1,2: 'Woe to her that is rebelling and polluting
herself, the oppressive city! She did not listen to a voice; she did not accept discipline. In Jehovah she did not trust. To her God she did not draw near.' How tragic that Jehovah's efforts to discipline
*his people* went unheeded!"
The article is clear, at this point, that this denunciation is directed at Jehovah's own people, Judah and Jerusalem. The paragraph continues:
"Deplorable, indeed, was the ruthlessness of the princes, nobles, and judges. Zephaniah decried the shamelessness of the religious leaders, saying: 'Her prophets were insolent, were men of treachery. Her priests themselves profaned what was holy; they did violence to the law.'" (Zephaniah 1:3,4)
Strong condemnation of God's own people, no? The question for par 16,
though, amazingly, asks "What did Zephaniah's prophecy say about Judah's princes and religious leaders, and why do these words fit *Christendom*?"!
Par 16 continues: "How well those words fit the situation of Christendom's prophets and priests today!"
So who exactly represent God's "own" people today? According to this Watchtower, it is Christendom who has rejected Jehovah's efforts to discipline "her" and, thereby, fullfill Zephaniah's prophetic judgements today. But, if that's true, that would make "her" God's "own people" today. But we know that JWs, of whom I am one, claim that they are God's "own people." How can we claim to be God's only "own people" when the scriptures promise and describe wonderful blessings in store for the faithful but avoid applying the denunciations that are to come to God's "own people"? They are trying to have it both ways, as usual.
One last take on yesterday's WS. Par 17 states:
"Jehovah considerately warned his ancient people regarding the action he was about to take. He sent his servants the prophets---Zephaniah and Jeremiah, among others---to urge the people to repent."
Zephaniah and Jeremiah and the other prophets warned Jehovah's own people, right? And if JWs represent Jehovah's people today, why does par 17 make the following modern-day application?
"A similar waringing is being sounded at this time. If you are a publisher of the good news, you are having a share in this *warning work*. Keep on declaring the good news without letup! Whether the people listen or not, your ministry is a success from God's standpoint as long as you are carrying it out faithfully; you have no need for shame as you do God's work with zeal."
How can the preaching work being done today by JWs toward all non-JWs parallel the warning work Jehovah's ancient prophets did among and toward his own worshippers and religious leaders?
>>Wishing they would be honest,
As do so many of us who are still, for various reason, trapped between the lie and the half-truth and not "encouraged" by it.
Thanks for your post. Obviously, it resonated.