My new answer to an annoying question we have all been asked.
Well new to me anyway, I'm sure someone smarter than me has thought of this before.
The next time I get asked the perennial (and tired old) question: “But you do believe that the GB are God’s channel of communication, the organisation he is using, don’t you?” or some variation thereof, I am going to reply with two verses and reason as follows:
The matter to be established: Have the GB of Jehovah’s Witnesses received divine appointment to act as God’s representatives and channel of communication on earth?
The scriptures make very clear two important principles in establishing any important matter...
- Two, preferably three, witnesses are needed:
“This is the third time I am coming to you. ‘On the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter must be established.’” - 2 Corinthians 13:1
2. The witnesses need to be independent. The one making a claim cannot be a witness for oneself:
“If I alone bear witness about myself, my witness is not true. There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the witness he bears about me is true. You have sent men to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. However, I do not accept the witness from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved... and the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me.” - John 5:31-36
So, based on those two scriptural principles they claim to follow, all I ask is this: Do you have two or three independent witnesses you can present? If you do I would be happy to asses the testimony of those witnesses. Or is it the case that the GB bear witness about themselves?
The only possible comeback that I can anticipate to this is they might try and use the context, specifically John 5:39, to try and claim that the scriptures bear witness to the fact that the GB are divinely appointed because the GB are the only ones who truly follow/apply scripture properly. However, the reality is it is not the scriptures themselves, but the GB’s interpretation of them (specifically Matthew 24:45), and application of them to themselves. Therefore we are back to square one: They are testifying about themselves by applying scriptures to themselves. Good does not testify directly about them through the scriptures - an impossibility since they did not even exist when the scriptures were written!
Aside from the obvious that we all know (that JW’s can’t/won't critically think or reason, they will come up with a twisted way to explain anything) can you see any other pitfalls in this line of reasoning that I should be aware of/prepared for?
In my experience they will usually retreat to a fallback position at this stage: reliance on anecdotal & subjective (so-called) evidence, such as “blessings,” “growth,” “number of translation languages” etc etc, instead of actual witnesses. Those Bible principles will go out the window as irrelevant without a second thought.
They attempt to support their claim of being the FDS in the Feb 2017 Watchtower.
WHO REALLY IS THE FAITHFUL AND DISCREET SLAVE?”
12. Since the Governing Body is neither inspired nor infallible, what questions arise?
12 The Governing Body is neither inspired nor infallible. Therefore, it can err in doctrinal matters or in organizational direction. In fact, the Watch Tower Publications Index includes the heading “Beliefs Clarified,” which lists adjustments in our Scriptural understanding since 1870. Of course, Jesus did not tell us that his faithful slave would produce perfect spiritual food. So how can we answer Jesus’ question: “Who really is the faithful and discreet slave?” (Matt. 24:45) What evidence is there that the Governing Body is filling that role? Let us consider the same three factors that directed the governing body in the first century.
13. How has holy spirit helped the Governing Body?
13 Evidence of holy spirit. The holy spirit has helped the Governing Body to grasp Scriptural truths not previously understood. For example, reflect on the list of beliefs clarified that was referred to in the preceding paragraph. Surely, no human deserves credit for discovering and explaining these “deep things of God”! (Read 1 Corinthians 2:10.) The Governing Body echoes the apostle Paul, who wrote: “These things we also speak, not with words taught by human wisdom, but with those taught by the spirit.” (1 Cor. 2:13) After centuries of apostasy and spiritual darkness, can anything other than holy spirit explain the rapid increase in spiritual understanding since 1919?
14. According to Revelation 14:6, 7, how do angels assist God’s people today?
14 Evidence of angelic assistance. The Governing Body today has the colossal task of overseeing an international preaching work involving over eight million evangelizers. Why has that work been so successful? For one, angels are involved. (Read Revelation 14:6, 7.) In many cases, publishers have called on individuals who had just been praying for help! * The overall growth of the preaching and disciple-making work despite fierce opposition in some lands has likewise been possible only with superhuman assistance.
15. What contrast exists between the Governing Body and Christendom’s leaders? Give an example.
15 Reliance on God’s Word. (Read John 17:17.) Consider what occurred in 1973. The June 1 issue of The Watchtower asked the question: “Do . . . persons who have not broken their addiction to tobacco qualify for baptism?” The answer was: “The Scriptural evidence points to the conclusion that they do not.” After citing several relevant scriptures, The Watchtower explained why an unrepentant smoker should be disfellowshipped. (1 Cor. 5:7; 2 Cor. 7:1) It said: “This represents no effort to act in an arbitrary, dictatorial manner. The strictness really proceeds from God, who expresses himself through his written Word.” Has any other religious organization been willing to rely fully on God’s Word, even when doing so presents a real challenge to some of its members? A recent book on religion in the United States notes: “Christian leaders have regularly revised their teachings to match the beliefs and opinions gaining support among their members and in the larger society.” If those of the Governing Body allow God’s Word rather than popular opinion to guide their decisions, who is really leading God’s people today?
I should add that much of New testament theology is from the Apostle Paul who received a personal revelation, which was also lacking in any witnesses, as per his own admission that the men who were with him saw/heard nothing specific.
@Listener, thank you for providing that quote form the Feb 2017 Watchtower, that is good context for this discussion. I would note that none of the three supports listed are the "testimony" of "witnesses." They are all just further claims based again on self testimony:
1. We claim that holy spirit is directing us, 2. We claim that angels are assisting us, 3. We claim that we rely on God's word.
What we actually require is testimony from the HS or the angels themselves!
But you do believe that the GB are God’s channel of communication, the organisation he is using, don’t you?
Stephen Lett Looks Like a Friggin Genius!
HE MUST BE THE BRAINS OF THE WBT$ GB!
Ha ha ha!!! Outlaw you crack me up!
Doubtfull1799 - really like your reasoning. Stuck and I were debating the very same "do you believe the GB is God's channel" question last night and I fell into all of the classic pitfalls. I lost the debate - Stuck "disfellowshipped" me before the end of the conversation! It was an epic fail. I might try your line of reasoning tonight on him and see how I go!
The questions you ask a JW will fall on deaf ears because they are indoctrinated not to question JW beliefs about the bible.
Your questions didnt originate from the GB , so they just dont compute.
Its like the meetings of JW`s the GB write the questions and the GB write the answers and the R&F are just expected to parrot those Q&A`s ( and they do )
They are conditioned not to think or use their reason.they will obfuscate the question to cloud the issue and throw you off track.
Some time back I used the scriptures to prove the 2 witness rule from the scriptures proved that a generation amounted to about 50 years using three bible scriptures that all said the same thing.Luke 3:23-38 ,Mat.24:34 ,
Mat.1:17,18 .simply by counting the generations listed by the time span involved and you come to a ball park figure of 50 years ,this is 3 witness (bible) accounts that should settle the matter.
However their is more.: Their are other bible scriptures that refer to a generation and generations that the WTB&TS do NOT apply the overlapping generation principle.
Sorry if I have strayed from the topic somewhat but the 2-3 witness rule got to me.yet even then the Bible 2-3 witness rule is not set in stone their are exceptions in the Bible where it does not apply as has been borne out by other posters previously.
That is #1 question that deserves this response:
No pearls before swine....but then those swine can't understand it.
(oh and don't worry Unstuck, you can apply for re-instatement again....and then we can try that question once more...)
I know you intend to disassociate and its just a matter of timing as to when it occurs. When you are ready, it will be a good note to end on.
I Timothy 2 v 5 says that Jesus is the mediator between God and man, so you don't need anyone else.