First things first!
Let us define our terms: Doctrine and Dogma.
Doctrine: a codification of beliefs, taught principles, or positions.
Dogma a set of principles laid down by an authority (in this case, the Governing Body, acting as the Faithful Slave of Christ) as incontrovertibly true.
In the Catholic Church, Dogma never changes but Doctrines have over time.
This sets me to wondering. Would the Governing Body admit to holding any incontrovertible Dogma? Or is it all up for grabs?
The Governing Body has often had to state the obvious but with a sense of discovery.
"We are not infallible" is one such statement. It doesn't count as humility inasmuch as it is the most provable assertion in the world.
The issue of Blood transfusion has been incrementally fuzzed into confusion over time and the loosey-goosey double talk might suggest personal conscience might one day be the bottom line.
Voting, Conscientious objections, homosexuality, abortion, tight pants--you can put whatever you like on this list---is it Dogma or Doctrine?
What do JW's hold to be incontrovertible?
Jehovah's Witness core Doctrine has changed over time. Has Dogma changed?
First things first!
The main dogma is that the GB are sanctioned by the Bible and God as Jesus' brothers (this cannot change) and arbiters of all doctrine.
That dogma is the source of the the latest hard line doctrines and Bible exegesis which are incontrovertible. (until next week)
Nice catch on that one!
Yes. If anything is bedrock--it is that.
New light through god's holy spirit only comes to his chosen earthly arrangement ....us
we, the rulers rule,
" .....that the GB are sanctioned by the Bible and God as Jesus' brothers (this cannot change) and arbiters of all doctrine."
"Yes. If anything is bedrock--it is that. "
I agree with the above 100%. But that "bedrock" is easily made to crumble away to nothing when the claim is examined in the light of Facts, History and Rational Thinking.
There are a few core things they can never change, which they themselves often quote when they are accused of constantly changing doctrine (usually because time has proved it wrong, as it will their latest definition of generation). Those core things are; no trinity, a mortal soul, no hell, that sort of stuff.But the one dogma they will never change, which follows on from their being sanctioned by god is this – “we are always right at any given time, even when we're not."
In 1914, God & Jesus looked down on the earth and examined every Christian-based religion. During the next 4 years or so, they decided that a new religion created by a U.S. millionaire businessman (whose predictions of Armageddon & rapture failed miserably in 1914 & 1915) was the best of a bad bunch. In 1918-9, the religion was the subject of a coup d'état by a lawyer who used it as a great business opportunity. (but whose predictions of the Biblical resurrection in 1925 also failed miserably!) This was good enough for God and Jesus, so they decided that JFR and his cronies would be divinely appointed as "the faithful slave" within "God's earthly organization."
All of the above is factual and provable by scriptures! No arguments - otherwise I'll shun you.
They may not be consciously aware of it, but far as the leadership and the loyal rank-and-file are concerned, doctrine and dogma are the same thing.
Maria Russell has been attributed by the Watchtower as having asserted that the
Faithful and Wise Servant ss the doctrine of empowerment (she included herself with her husband for the logically mystical reason the two are one.)
Russell kept the money, the property, the power and made all decisions.
Rutherford made all the decisions as he transformed the shell of leadership into yes-men of his selection.
Knorr and his bosom companion F. Franz made all the decisions until lunacy and a brain tumor sputtered to a halt.
Franz (having failed utterly at his 1975 fiasco) was voted up into the GB leadership--BUT--after a committee coup wherein the power was diluted into a voting group.
Fast forward through eruptions of GB apostacy (Ray Franz) and the purge.
Modern times have brought the spooks out of the dark old house of GB-dom into the artificial light of studio broadcasting.
They've taken a scythe to so many tenderly held beliefs, it is like Gettysburg after Sherman.
The "responsibility" of ownership of power has been magically unplugged from GB members for purposes of shielding them from a direct lawsuit.
Like Santa himself, the GB have "helpers".
Lawyers run this engine and the inmates of the sanitarium await sacred pronouncements like the press watching for white smoke at a new Pope's appointment.
I would say this: DOGMA in this religion is as slippery as KY jelly and used for the same purpose.