|Created by Christian Sparlock Freedom|
1. obey the Governing Body as if they are God himself
2. Accept and comply with all Watchtower teachings, even when they deviate from the scriptures.
The Watchtower Society's publications and the elders, etc. never stated these directives in such straigh-forward terms, but they were fully understood by the rank and file, nonetheless. Why the issue? These rules required me to obediently “follow the leader,” regardless of whether it bothered my conscience to do so. This was not what I dedicated my life to God for and, in fact, such requirements were completely incongruous with what I was preaching to individuals of other faiths. The same bible verses were recited time and time again to the Lutheran, Catholic and Mormon: "Obey God as ruler rather than men; be faithful even in what is least; be sure of all things; test every inspired expression; do not put your trust in earthling men." I wanted to help all I met in the ministry to understand that blind complacency was not acceptable according to God’s word. “True” Christians must:
1. carefully scrutinize every church policy, procedure and doctrine
2. Defy church authorities and their organizational protocols when it is evident that scriptural directives are not being followed
3. Cancel church membership if necessary.
Needless to say, the imposed double standard --do as I say, not as I do--made it increasingly difficult to engage in the door to door ministry. How could I tell anyone to do these things when I wasn’t doing them myself?
This stock answer never made sense to me, so one day I decided to do a bit of research (Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1) It didn’t take long to see that such thinking was entirely out of sync with God’s word, and the following explains why. According to the Gospels, the leaders of God’s covenant people had once again strayed from his Word by establishing their own standards of righteousness and, as in times past, Jehovah wasn’t happy about it. His feelings on the matter where made known by Jesus’ scathing denunciations, but more than anything else, he condemned them for their self-righteous arrogance and hypocritical double standards. (Matt. 3:9; 23:3, 13-32; Romans 2:17-24) As you know, the story ends with the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, God’s divine execution of justice upon his unfaithful people, his “ channel” which, interestingly, wiped out the lives of not only the Jewish religious leaders, but the rank and file, as well, in other words, those who had trusted and obeyed these men rather than God. From this information, one can draw the following conclusion: We will all be individually accountable to the Lord on judgment day, regardless of our religious affiliation (2 Corinthians 5:10). Therefore, no individual, nor group of individuals, nor religious organization is exempt from God’s judgment, regardless of what anyone may claim to the contrary (Matt. 3:9; 7:21-23). Consequently, there is no salvation, no “ark” of safety, in any religious organizations nor the leaders who guide them. (Psalms 146:3, 4). The tragic death of each and every rank and file Jew that perished in Jerusalem in 70 CE is a sobering reminder of what awaits those who think otherwise, who erroneously believe the following:
1. Membership in a particular religious organization provides divine protection and exemption from some of the scriptural requirements they teach others to live by (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:21)
2. Absolute, rather than relative subjection to their religious leaders equates to obedience to God and Christ.
Remember, giving allegiance and loyalty to anyone or anything other than Jehovah first, constitutes spiritual fornication, idolatry, something He does not tolerate. (Exodus 20:3; Ephesians 5:5; Rev. 14:4a) Think about this the next time you compliantly promote Watchtower dogma that is not supported scripturally (Ephesians 4:25), or follow organizational procedures that violate bible principles, because you have probably done these things over and over again with little or no thought as to the potential consequences. I did. For years, I tried to silence that little inner voice and faithfully do whatever I was told in order to demonstrate obedience to the “Slave” and maintain a good standing in the congregation. It’s truly ironic that for seventeen years, I was vigilant in avoiding any sort of political and/or nationalistic demonstration of allegiance or loyalty for fear of committing idolatry; and yet for those same years, I made sacrifices, not to God, but to an image, a religious organization.
1. Read and study your bible exclusively and independently
2. Independently research the history of the organization and current and past Watchtower Society doctrines, policies, and procedures, paying particular attention to the frequent flip-flopping, revisions, etc.
3. Independently and carefully verify all information that is dispensed via the publications and public talks, rejecting anything that is not solidly backed by God’s word. Be particularly on guard for statements that tell you to accept and/or comply with whatever you are told, even if it doesn’t make sense, add-up, etc.
4. Practice what you preach! Refuse to hypocritically teach others to apply bible standards that you are not fully complying with yourself (in other words, preaching 1 John 4:1 but not applying it).
5. Refuse to commit idolatry/spiritual fornication by complacently “following the leader” when you know or even sense that doing so requires, or may require, disobedience to God and his word. Remember, he who is faithful in what is least, is faithful in what is most!
6. Refuse to be intimidated and controlled by family, friends, elders or anyone else that attempts to frighten you into remaining in subjection to the organization rather than Jehovah
7. Pray to God for strength and courage to do what is right according to his word.
If you are unclear by what I mean by “independently”, let me explain. Rather than relying on the Organization’s self-published material to verify the accuracy of the Organization’s assertions, claims etc., seek out sources that are not controlled by, nor affiliated with the Watchtower. This is what Jehovah wants you to do and it’s what you tell others to do! (Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1) Verify, test, check--just as you would if you were buying a vehicle. Rather than rely on the salesman’s claims, you would consult independent and objective sources of information like Consumer Reports or carfax.com, before making the decision to buy.
The tragedy that befell God’s unfaithful anointed in the first century foreshadows future events that will befall God’s modern-day, unfaithful anointed remnant and all those (the rank and file) who put their faith and trust in them. I realize Jehovah's Witnesses are taught to believe that Christendom is modern day apostate Jerusalem, but this simply isn’t so. If that’s the case, God’s anointed remnant is in Christendom, not the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is a critical point, because it involves you on a very personal level. How? According to the scriptures, wherever the anointed are is precisely where the apostasy and subsequent judgment will occur. So then, if the remnant is located in your religious organization, the foretold apostasy will also occur within your religious organization. Ask yourself: "Why did Jehovah spare the Samaritans or the “pagan half-Jews," when He brought destruction upon His covenant people in 70 CE?
My response to elder #1 who phoned me:
|Admittedly, their own words describe them as self-appointed.|