"The Faithful Steward and it's Governing Body"
This study will set the tone for future-proofing the Watchtower Society Doctrine that their Governing Body is is the voice of "the faithful slave" mentioned in parable by Jesus in Matthew chapter 24.
I thought as I read the study article starting on page 20 that the most important thing about this piece is what is missing, what is not said.
The first paragraph sets the tone of what they are trying to convey.
"While giving the composite sign of the last days Jesus said, "who really is the faithful and discreet slave?""
I believe what they are doing with the opening paragraph is placing the authority and position of "the slave" within the context of the signs of the times thus attempting to validate it in a modern setting without mentioning specifically WHEN they, (the wts's Governing Body) were appointed as the voice or "channel" of this class.
They then say that Jesus would "reward" and appoint this slave over all his belongings. Again crucially no time frame is given for this event. In paragraph 6 it's stated that Jesus had already "appointed" the slave class back in 33 C.E.
So who is left to be "appointed" in 1919? It would seem they are trying to convey the thought that this has been an ongoing role and the Governing Body are merely the spokesmen and the latest incarnation of something that has always existed in the same way as they have consistently said that the slave class has always been around. This would help to explain why there is no mention of the year 1919 in the article. It makes it a much more seamless doctrine , with no ugly date-setting from the last century. It also removes the argument that Jesus would never have appointed them in 1919, "look at all the wrong things they taught and were involved in".
The change allows a floating doctrine that is not constrained by the parameters of time and past false teachings.
As the article progresses the usual warnings and spiritual "food" is of course served.
Look at paragraphs 6. under the heading " The slave appears".
" It came into existence in 33c.e." They use a legitimate Bible event and claim that was Jesus "starting off" the "slave Class" in Pentecost.
The stuff that's then discussed about who did the teaching is beside the point, the real question is do they have the modern right to be THE TEACHERS?
So how do they move through the gears and apply this on-going "class" to themselves in modern times?
Usually we would find a dogmatic statement like " Jesus appointed this faithful slave in 1919 after he arrived in kingdom power in 1914"
It is nowhere to be seen!!!
I firmly believe that since it is a provable fact that 1914 is being mentioned less and less in the WTS publications then it would follow that the year 1919 also will be devalued and mentioned less too, as the two dates are inextricably linked.
This article would be the perfect place to reinforce the 1919 dogma to the rank and file JW's in a private study article.
Of course there are no scriptures that support the assertion that Jesus arrived in 1919 and appointed the WTS Governing Body or President to such a position, but since when did the Bible get in the way of a good WTS doctrine?
The title of the article is "The Faithful Steward and it's Governing Body". This is quite a statement considering Jesus did mention a faithful steward but did NOT mention a "Governing Body". In fact many Witnesses may be surprised to know that this phrase does not even appear anywhere in the Christian Greek scriptures. So mixing these two phrases together shows a level of manipulation regarding what Jesus actually said and that The WTS also have an agenda to fulfill.
The Governing Body is well aware of the weakness of their chronology which begins with the year 607 B.C.E. and ends with 1914 C.E. The 2520 year formula is not even a Jehovah's Witness doctrine, it was introduced to C.T. Russell by his friend and associate Nelson Barbour ,a fact documented in the "Proclaimers" book. Nelson Barbour never became a "witness". Russel was so impressed he started teaching it and Jehovah's Witnesses have taught it as Biblical fact ever since. Incredible , but true.
The book "gentile times reconsidered" delivers a fatal blow to the significance the wts attach to 607 B.C.E., thus destroying the notion that 1914 was the year the kingdom was born. They know this. They have the manuscripts, sent in by the author Carl Olof Johnsson in the early 1980's.
This man was an Elder in the Organisation and spent decades researching their claim that 607 B.C.E. was the year Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar II. He sent in his research to the Governing Body in Brooklyn , which showed all the evidence pointed to 587 B.C.E. ,and was eventually disfellowshipped for holding a different view on the matter.
I firmly believe they are moving away from these dates and the claims associated with them. Instead they are using something altogether more tangible.
Please look to paragraph 11 where they make the link between the opening statement in par. 1 and the claim that the "slave" "appeared" in 33 C.E.
This paragraph states that "Jesus words clearly indicate that there would still be a faithful and discreet slave class living on earth at the time of the end"
What words of Jesus? Matthew 24:45 " Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics to give them their food at the proper time?"
Where in this verse which they quote from is Jesus referring to a "class"?
Where does Jesus say "clearly" they would be "living on earth at the time of the end"?
These are suppositions that the WTS have to insert to validate the claims which are made in this paragraph.(11)
"As a group this remnant has been appointed over all of Christs belongings here on earth."
What would these "belongings" be?
This is the most important point which is in my opinion hidden in the rest of the flannel this article contains.
The "belongings" are the "kingdom's earthly subjects". Yes the 7 million Jehovah's Witnesses are proof that this slave has been appointed!!!
The belongings are also "the material facilities used in preaching the good news" Yes, all the Kingdom Halls, Assembly Halls, Branches, Printing operations and the worldwide Headquarters in Brooklyn N.Y. are PROOF THAT THEY WERE APPOINTED!!!
What more proof does an honest-hearted person need than that?
We exist so therefore we are what we say we are. Classic circular WTS reasoning. Who can argue that there are NOT 7 million JW's around the world and that all the of the "material facilities" exist?
This is a far easier position to substantiate and maintain than the 1919 "appointment" dogma considering 1919 has no scriptural , historical , archaeological ,not to mention rational thought behind it. It is becoming almost laughable to mention the date of 1919 in relation to their claim of God-given authority considering we are a decade into the 21st century, and slowly creeping up on the year 2014.
I now think that this is the new "Proof" of their authority. The rank and file Witnesses themselves aren't going to be hard to convince as most of them cite these reasons as to why they believe it's "the truth", so why not base your authority on it as well? It makes sense.
I asked my brother about the scriptural validity of the 1919 appointment and he said "well yes, it was around about then, but we don't want to be dogmatic about it".
It is a bit late to say that , or is it?