Progressive (fill in the blank)
It seems the WTS makes frequent use of the concept of -and even the word- "progressive". Everything except the claimed "appointment" as the FDS is progressively enlightened and progressively revealed. Not surprisingly the positive spin is maintained while progressively changing (don't forget willingly) no matter the previous point of (required) view. Abandoning and even reversing doctrine is actually a good thing. I consider it a sure and right step for two reasons: 1) It's plain as day evidence that they were wrong (stupid) in the first place. That the "one and only" was true in the sense that they were exclusively in error. So the average witness has more opportunity to realize they were following imperfect men instead of the true Spirit of God and His Word. How the WTS words these reversals or that they simply rely on witness forgetfulness or them as the target for blame is certainly infuriating, but 2) the WTS is forced to do the right thing and "correct" their teaching. Very satisfying both.
My question is with regard to the hierarchy within the WTS. I understand it starts with publisher, ministerial servant, elder, then I can't remember how the presiding, district, ciricuit, and zone overseers rank. Can anyone straighten the list out for me and tell me a little about how they interact. Are there consequences to going over their heads? I've heard the stories about elder abuse of authority but are they all basically brothers on their level and respect the higher positions without exception? How does the system work? Progressively?
Edited to add: I know they consider themselves above the Holy Spirit and on the same level as Jesus...it sometimes surprises me they don't get discontent with the "mother" title...so please don't exasperate me by describing the top of the pyramid. Pun definately intended.
I can't remember how the presiding, district, ciricuit, and zone overseers rank.
A presiding overseer is the chairman of the body of elders in a single congregation. Supposedly, he has no more power than the other elders, but is simply responsible for acting as chairman during a meeting of the elders. If you believe that, I have a bridge you may be interested in buying.
A circuit overseer
terrorizesoversees a number of congregations, usually 15-20. He visits each congregation once or twice a year and reports on their status to the organization.
A district overseer oversees a bunch of circuit overseers, hangs out at the assembly hall a lot, and speaks at all the circuit assemblies. He, along with the CO, usually visits the "host congregation" for the circuit assembly during the week of the assembly. Being the "host congregation" nowadays is more or less an honorary thing, since all the assemblies are usually held in JW-owned assembly halls anyway. Back when the circuit assemblies were held in public facilities like high-school auditoriums and town meeting halls, the host congregation had a lot of work to do. Nowadays, it basically means you get "honored" with a visit from the DO.
I don't think zone overseers exist anymore, having been
shot through a wormhole into another universereplaced by branch committees in each country.
Are there consequences to going over their heads? I've heard the stories about elder abuse of authority but are they all basically brothers on their level and respect the higher positions without exception? How does the system work? Progressively?
Ever worked for a large corporation? It's pretty much the same. If you go over your boss's head and he gets fired, or his wings get seriously clipped, then there's no problem. But if you try to go over his head and he remains in power, watch out! Most likely, he'll find a way to get you sooner or later.
NeonMadman, thank you for the info and the laughs. I'm not sure which I appreciated more.