Part 6: Summary
Posted by Seeker on June 11, 1997 at 08:35:13
I do not know where I will go, although I'm certainly going to avoid human organizations. That's not the point. One doesn't need a new destination to know when it is time to leave a wrong organization.
If you disagree with the above, if you can live with the deception, then I will respect your decision. If you feel that thinking the way I do means I am an apostate, I also respect your feelings. Be assured, however, that I am not interested in drawing others after myself or away from the Society. That is a personal decision and one I do not choose to influence. For that reason, if you are reading this document, it is because you explicitly asked me to see it despite my warnings. I ask that you show it to no one else. I do not want this document spread about. I wrote it to explain my actions for any friend who was interested. What you do with this information is up to you.
Still, as I said in the beginning, even if one accepts all of the above, there are still some nagging questions that come up for any Witness considering leaving. I will deal with some of those questions in the Appendixes.
"The Society doesn't claim inspiration, so why can't they make mistakes?"
Please note Part 4, and see that they do claim to have been inspired, so that is one problem. The main answer to this, however, is that I don't care so much about the mistakes they made, but I do care about the way they have reacted to those mistakes. In Part 4 are some quotes leading up to the year 1925. Note how dogmatic they are, how definitive they are. Then see what they say shortly after 1925 came and went. The Society blamed the friends for wrong expectations! That is a very bad thing to do. Think about the generation change. They made the change and said that perhaps some Christian's expectations had made them try to count years from 1914. Well, of course we all calculated years! The Society had taught us to, until they changed the definition.
If the Society really admitted to their mistakes, instead of blaming others, I would admire them. Instead they sound like Adam, blaming God for "this woman you gave me" who ate of the fruit. The Society blames the friends for wrong expectations while rarely admitting that they were the source of those expectations in the first place. That is the mark of dishonesty.
Instead of showing the candor and honesty of the imperfect apostles, they try to pretend they never made the mistake in the first place. Yes, I know they sometimes admit mistakes, but always with an excuse, and never to the full extent of what they earlier said. It is this attitude that I find inexcusable.
Some will argue that these are examples of the 'light getting brighter' or of 'tacking'. But is that really the case? Unfortunately, those examples both imply a steady progress. Either the day is dawning and the light is gradually increasing, or you are in a sailboat going against the wind and tacking to the right and left, but always making progress. You never go backwards. However, the Society has on many occasions gone back and forth on an issue, not made steady progress. The light has turned brighter, then darker, then brighter. Is this because Jehovah changed his mind? Of course not. So was Jehovah trying to trick his people? Of course not. How else then can you then explain the light turning on and off as these examples show:
A. Are the anointed ones under the new covenant arrangement? In 1880 the answer was No. In 1881 it was Yes. In 1907 it was No. Finally, after Rutherford became president, it became Yes.
B. Will the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah come back in the resurrection?
C. Can it be OK to perform alternative civil service? Originally the answer was Yes. Then it became No for a long time. Now again the answer is Yes.
D. Who are the superior authorities of Romans 13? Russell said it was the secular rulers of the nations. Rutherford said it was Jehovah and Jesus. We now say Russell was right.
"The organization is so unified and full of love so it must be from God."
Unity does exist, but think about why. Let's take as an example a person in the world who has feelings of racial prejudice.
When a person full of racial prejudice joins the organization, suddenly he is forced to associate with persons he never would have chosen before. He sees that they really are just like him and his old way of thinking changes. Many persons in the world never associate with anyone but persons just like themselves. Prejudice can flourish when you never deal with the group you dislike. By being forced to confront those issues head-on, most reasonable persons can see their prejudices have no basis in fact.
Or maybe they aren't able to think things through that much, but they are also taught that God wants them to love others, so perhaps he changes his heart in order to please God, even if he still has reservations.
With the more stubborn ones, however, it is also pointed out that if they don't change their ways God will kill them. What do you know? He changes his ways! Either love for God, or fear of Him has made his prejudice disappear.
Or has it? In some cases, yes, it really does disappear from their hearts. In most cases, however, the prejudice is still there, just not showing. As an elder, I have on many occasions seen brothers and sisters show an incredible level of prejudice and hatred for each other. Did it really disappear? No, it merely got hidden away from the elders until some provocation brought it out into the open. What we see in this case is a typical human response to being pressured to conform to a group mentality in order to fit in. The same sort of thing would happen with worldly persons if you fit them into similar surroundings.
And is the organization really that full of love? Haven't you noticed how many 'love' their brothers without really 'liking' them? How much gossip occurs in the congregation? How many brothers only associate with others when they have to at meetings? How many times there are 'personality conflicts' or downright feuding? Again, we are forced to love each other, but what is in our hearts sometimes never changes.
So the unity we see is the unity that is constantly being forced upon us by endless Kingdom Ministry articles telling us not to save seats and the like!
"We shouldn't question the Faithful and Discrete Slave."
What if they are wrong? How would you ever know?
Granted, if God appointed the Faithful and Discrete Slave, then it would be wrong to question them. The problem is, if they are not appointed from God, how would you ever know if you didn't question them? You would be trapped into following the leadership of men and would have no way of knowing this!
There is only one way to know if they are from God or not and that is to question them by means of the Bible. If you are sincere in your search, why would God be upset with you any more than he was with the Boereans in the first-century? In both cases, you are carefully examining these things to see if they are so.
"But this is where we learned so many truths about God's word, so it must be God's organization."
We've all heard this one, but think it through. Any religion that teaches the Bible will teach some good and some truths. The Catholics will teach you not to murder, steal, commit adultery, etc. Those are all good things. You could read the King James Bible and learn God's name is Jehovah. How do we react out in service when a Catholic, confronted with the wrongdoing of his church in the past, responds by saying 'Yes, but look at all the good things my church does?' We respond back that all those good things do not excuse the wrong conduct, and that's correct.
As the Society says about other religions, if they have many good things but some bad, you must get out of them. I'm just applying this same principle. Yes, the Society taught me many good things, but they also involved themselves in wrong conduct, and so I follow their own instructions and leave.