The "Imperfect Men" Argument

by steve2 30 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • steve2

    One of the most common "defences" of JW organization is that "the brothers" are imperfect yet still strive to follow God's Word.

    "Sure, they make mistakes," so the argument goes, "but so did God's people in the past, including in Bible times." The key point is their readiness to keep studying God's Word and learning from their mistakes."

    Nice and elegant argument. Who can argue with that disarming line?

    The more it becomes obvious that there's something not quite right with JW doctrine (e.g., the 1914 "generation" and the literal 144,000), the more the rank and file resort to the "imperfect" argument.

    This "argument" stifles the motivation for discussion: When sincere but imperfect men are trying their best, criticizing their attempts to better apply God's Word appears harsh and unkind. It is as if the admission of GB (and, by extension, elders) "imperfection" absolves the rank and file from 'making sure of all things' because no matter what the GB says, they are sincere and doing their best to follow God's Word. No need for discussion - or argument. Or if you do try to argue the point, you are seen as weak or proud or both.

    This is literally what JW organization has "come to": The "imperfect-men" argument is little more than a flaccid defense of the indefensible. At every turn, out comes the "We're imperfect men" line.

    It is also a highly hypocritical line: Imagine if members of the churches, upon hearing JWs' rote criticism of Christendom, replied, "Our ministers are not perfect but they remain sincere men of God."

    Even if the JW did not challenge churchgoers on this defense, he or she would have lots of inner judgements about the irrelevance of the argument. A doctrine is either true or false - it has nothing to do with men's "imperfection".

    JWs of bygone years would not have tolerated the "Imperfection" defense of their organization. Take Chapter 3 of the old "Truth" book, "Why It Is Wise To Examine Your Religion". It presents a compelling argument - although shrewdly directed at people in other religions - If you have the truth, you have nothing to fear from examining your religion; on the other hand, if you don't have the truth, you owe it to yourself to examine your religion.

    It appears that JW publications seldom use that argument anymore because they know it could be re-directed at their own doctrines and teachings - and frankly those doctrines and teachings cannot stand examination. So, out come the deflecting arguments, of which the Imperfect-men defense is the commonest.

    From Chuck Russell's outspokenness against Christendom's falsehoods, through Rutherford's amplified and more brazen outspokenness through to the current feeble defences of JW organization which reflects an organization that has painted itself into a corner.

  • Ding

    They're imperfect men.


    So why are we supposed to believe everything they say and obey them without question?

  • sir82

    They're "imperfect men", but you are expected to obey them as if they were perfect.

    If you point out their mistakes, complain, criticize, fail to obey - you get DF'ed.

    The WTS values obedience and loyalty to men as infinitely more important than truth or morality (the real definition of "morality", not the WTS corruption of "morality" as simply "sexual chastity").

  • Hanged Man
    Hanged Man

    They're done...they HAVE painted themselves into a corner...and there really is "nowhere else for them to go."

    There are cannonballs hitting the tower from all sides.....and they are powerless to do anything about it......and know what?.......I fucking love it.

  • Phizzy

    " A doctrine is either true or false - it has nothing to do with men's "imperfection".

    Great point ! I think not so deep down, just below the surface, today's JW's know that what you say is spot on, they also know they cannot defend what they teach as "truth".

    The proof of this is that I have challenged several Elders, and lastly an ordinary Joe to prove that what they teach now is the "truth", not one has attempted to do so !

    I think all of them now are in it for the social side, their family and friends are there, truth has nothing to do with it, despite their constantly calling it that !

    The "imperfect men" excuse simply does not fit with "god's spirit directed organization", how can the Governing Body even know that what they teach is the truth ?

  • Giles Gray
    Giles Gray

    If the GB speculate about fundamental doctrines and err, they are just zealous imperfect men trying their best, and the flock should be patient and understanding without murmuring.

    If the Rank & File so much as speculate about any doctrine, they are 'running ahead of God's organisation' and subject to disciplinary action, and unless they repent, they will be cast out of the congregation.

    If I'm not mistaken, that is known as a double standard.

  • Londo111

    With this, they can eat their cake and have it too.

    They are spirit-directed, but not spirit-inspired. Their directives are to be viewed as coming from Heaven, but they are not infallible. We must be ready to obey, even if it doesn't make sense, our lives depend on it! Unity at all costs! If we say this green book is black, it's black!

    And if you do not accept any of this...say goodbye to your friends and family. The cost of treating them as imperfect men with imperfect directives is quite high.

  • stuckinarut2

    Brilliant thread steve2!

    Well said.

  • DesirousOfChange

    They're imperfect men.

    So why are we supposed to believe everything they say and obey them without question?

    Because they are the ones God is using to direct his Organization today.

    If God is "directing them", then why have they made so many mistakes in doctrine?

    Because they're imperfect men.

    So why are we supposed to believe everything they say and obey them without question?

    Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

  • sparrowdown

    Try playing the "imperfect" card in a JC and see how far you get. The only men that get to be "imperfect" are the GB.

Share this