Sometimes I wonder if the Governing Body remembers their own history. But then again, i’ve come to expect them to be less than honest, which is quite unfortunate. Though there might be some who would love nothing more than to have a “gotcha” moment in pointing out yet another less-than-honest statement by the Governing Body, I would much rather them demonstrate some humility.
Given the recent false prediction by Harold Camping, I was actually hoping the Governing Body would leave this one alone. Otherwise, it would not be the first time they have applied a double standard in accusing others of making false predictions that didn’t come to pass.
However, in the February 1, 2011 Watchtower on p. 25, the leaders in Brooklyn had this to say,
First of all, this statement is not completely accurate regarding Camping’s prediction. Like the Watchtower’s pre-1914 predictions, Camping’s was based upon his faulty interpretation of the Scriptures. And as far as I know, Camping didn’t claim any type of non-biblical divine revelation that God had personally given to him.
In fact, any claims to authority Camping would have made could only pale in comparison to what the Watchtower had and continues to claim for themselves. The point is, the reader of the Watchtower may have gotten the impression that Camping just made up everything or had some type of inspired revelation from God.
Second, the prediction made by Camping is described as “hollow.” I agree. The problem is, where did the Watchtower ever describe their own predictions in this manner? At the very least, did the Watchtower ever apologize for their false predictions which resulted in a severe disappointment for many? Consider only a few,
“The year 1925 is a date definitely and clearly marked in the Scriptures, even more clearly than that of 1914.” –The Watchtower July 15, 1924 p. 211
“Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews chapter eleven, to the condition of human perfection.” –Millions Now Living will Never Die 1920, p. 90
If you are a young person, you also need to face the fact that you will never grow old in this present system of things. Why not? Because all the evidence in fulfillment of Bible prophecy indicates that this corrupt system is due to end in a few years. –Awake! 1969 5/22 p. 15
Shortly, within our twentieth century, the “battle in the day of Jehovah” will begin against the modern antitype of Jerusalem, Christendom. –The Nations Shall Know that I am Jehovah p. 216
The purpose of Awake! is stated clearly on page 4 of each issue: “This magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away.” Certainly such a magazine deserves as wide a distribution as possible in our house-to-house ministry! –Kingdom Ministry 10/93 p. 8
Could these false predictions be described as anything short of “hollow?” If so, then where were they ever appropriately described as such? If they weren’t, then would such neglect be what one would expect from “God’s organization?”
This is information that I would encourage some to share with their JW friends and family. Do so with caution, humility, and love. But never do so at the expense of the gospel and pointing to Christ as “the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) Remember, your goal is not to create an ex-JW, but a Christ follower.