*** g96 2/8 p. 6 To Trust or Not to Trust ***
What can you do? The Bible gives some good advice on this matter. “Anyone inexperienced puts faith in every word,” says Proverbs 14:15. This is not destructive cynicism. It is a realistic reminder of the need for caution. Only a very naive, inexperienced person is going to trust blindly every word he hears. With good reason the Bible proverb continues: “But the shrewd one considers his steps.” English playwright William Shakespeare wrote: “Trust not to rotten planks.” Anyone who thinks that the planks on a bridge over a deep drop may be rotten would be very foolish to step on them. How, then, can you ‘consider your steps’ so that you do not misplace your trust?
The Bible encourages us to test out what people say rather than just blindly accept everything we hear. “The ear itself makes a test of words, just as the palate tastes when eating,” it says. (Job 34:3) Isn’t that true? Don’t we usually taste food before we swallow it? We should also make a test of people’s words and actions before we swallow them. No one who is genuine will take offense if we check his credentials.That we should check to see that something is genuine is supported by the Scottish proverb that says: “He that deceives me once, shame fall him; if he deceives me twice, shame fall me.”
The apostle Paul advised: “Put all things to the test.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, Today’s English Version) The word used by the apostle Paul for “test” was also used in connection with testing precious metals to see if they were genuine. A prudent person always tested to see if what he was buying was genuine. Otherwise he might have ended up with what was called fool’s gold—something that looked like gold but that was, in fact, worthless.
This is excellent advice from the Watchtower. However, are Jehovah’s Witnesses supposed follow it?
*** w57 5/1 p. 284 par. 14 Trust Your Proved, Faithful Brothers ***
Showing respect for Jehovah’s organization really resolves itself down to our attitude toward God’s visible channel and the trust that we place in our proved, faithful brothers. If we have become thoroughly convinced that this is Jehovah’s organization, that he is guiding and directing his people, then we shall not be unsettled by anything that happens. If something comes up that we do not understand we will wait patiently until it is made thoroughly clear to us. If we feel sure something is wrong we will ‘keep the commandment’ of our Father and take whatever theocratic steps are open to us and then wait on Jehovah. We will not ‘forsake our mother’s teaching’ by immediately beginning to criticize and find fault. We will realize that Jehovah knows what is going on in his organization, and if he is willing to permit it, who are we to insist it should be different? If we really have faith, we will know that if it is wrong he will straighten it out eventually, and we are far safer inside his organization even with these minor difficulties than we would be on the outside where only chaos and destruction await us.
Is the Watchtower being consistent? It would appear that they are not. The inconsistent application seems to be, “Question us, but don’t question us. Believe anything and everything we tell you.” But to be fair, its not as if the rank-and-file will accept anything without a basis. Obviously, the Watchtower is going to display a verse or two to “back up” their claim. But is the rank-and-file going to think to themselves, “hmm…I wonder if these cited verses really line up with what they’re telling me?” Perhaps some will, but many or most others may not. It will likely be accepted without question, since the words of the Watchtower are not coming from men, but from God.
***w31 11/1 p. 327 Taught of God***
The Watch- tower recognizes the truth as belonging to Jehovah, and not to any creature. The Watchtower is not the instrument of any man or set of men, nor is it published according to the whims of men. No man’s opinion is expressed in The Watchtower.
***yb41 Sept. 19***
The Watchtower Society is acting orderly under the direction of the Lord Jesus Christ, and such is the visible part of God’s organization. The commands or orders to that organization come from the Lord, and not from any man, although men are used to have part in transmitting these to others of the organization. The Lord directs the minutest details, even selection of the year text as used by his people.
***w42 1/1 p. 5***
The Lord does not say to speak the words of wisdom of man, nor to be influenced or guided by the word of man. Those who are convinced that The Watchtower is publishing the opinion or expression of a man should not waste time in looking at it at all, because a man’s opinion proves nothing except when that opinion is based wholly upon the Word of God. Those who believe that God uses The Watchtower as a means of communicating to his people, or of calling their attention to his prophecies, should study The Watchtower with thankfulness of heart and give Jehovah God and Christ Jesus all the honor and credit and give neither honor nor credit to any man.