79 thoughts on “New Light on the “Faithful and Discreet Slave”

  1. Octavio says:

    This “new light” still holds the lie that Jesus chose the leaders of the Watchtower in 1919 as his sole channel on earth. The main leader was in fact Joseph Rutherford. This man would be the appointed “faithful and discreet slave”. This is simply unscriptural and can’t be supported by historical facts which happened between 1914 and 1919. In 1917 The Watchtower published the Finished Mystery which proclaimed many events for some dates, claiming to have “the Lord’s guidance”. No one of these events happened, so this is a clear signal of “indiscretion”. For instance, this book on page 485 prophesied that in 1918 God would destroy all church members by millions. Of course, it did not happen. Also, Rutherford, as a president of the Watchtower Society, imposed loyality to this satanic book as a condition to maintain the position of elder in a congregation (ecclesia). This was unscriptural. God does not impose loyality to false prophesies. Furthermore, the Society was taught by Charles Taze Russell to maintain neutrality in political issues, however, in 1918 Joseph Rutherford published a prayer in favor to US against Germany, as well as an endorsement for buying war bonds. This of course, broke the neutral position of the Bible Students, and many of them left the Society on account of this fact. ….Indeed, Joseph Rutherford was a stumbling block, a false prophet, instead of a faithful and discreet slave. On the other hand, the Watchtower now says that “the faithful and discreet slave” (FDS) is only composed by the goberning body members. This is not a new light from God, because, Raymond Franz, a former GB member, wrote long before in his books that the doctrine of “FDS=remnant of 144000” was impracticable, because the GB never consulted the anointed remnant to make decisions.

  2. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Mke,

    Anytime that you would like to discuss the particulars of your article to see if it will stand the test of scrutiny, let me know. I would be most willing to do so.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham,

      I would really like that. Just waiting for a consistent stream of time in my schedule to do so.

      I would just hate to get something like this started and then have to wait weeks before I have time to write a response.

      But just for kicks, let me know what you would propose as far as a format and a debate proposition.

  3. ivanmonroy1 says:

    Good article Mike.

    With this new teaching that only the GB is the FDS, where does that leave the other so called anointed? I mean, for nearly a century these anointed claimed to have been what they in fact proved NOT to be.

    A group of people claimed to be chosen by Jesus Christ, but now say they weren’t. Doesn’t that make them frauds?

    Imagine if you claimed to be chosen by Jesus in 1918-1919 and then some 85 years later say… nah, I really wasn’t.

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Good points Ivan.

      There simply has to be a point where the line is crossed and the discerning Christian (possibly one who is faithful and discreet perhaps?) has to call something for what it is: a bunch of fallible professing Christians who really aren’t that significant after all.

      And that sort of describes all of us in a way doesn’t it? Fortunately, we don’t demand absolute unquestionable obedience to everything we put in print.

  4. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Mike,

    I would simply like to demonstrate to you and others that the new understanding is in harmony with Biblical precedent and pattern and is what we should expect to see by way of a governing element within Christianity, in connection with the last days. The structure of the Christian congregation in the last days should mirror as well as possible the first century structure.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Hi Rotherham,

      I’d be very interested in seeing that demonstration as the Watchtower has raised far more questions than they have answered on this point.

      But what I was asking for in my last comment is what you propose as far as a debate/discussion?

      Again, I don’t know if I can commit to a consistent exchange, but I would at least like to see what kind of format you would propose. My only condition is that there be some form of Q&A/cross-examination.

      1. rotherham2 says:

        At truetheology.net Ivan and I had these two questions as a format for discussion.

        Was there a governing body in the first century?
        What/who is the faithful and discreet slave according to Matthew 24 and parallels?

        Ivan has apparently decided not to finish that discussion but those two questions seem to be good ones to get at what you and I have been discussing. It was to be structured in the following manner.

        (1) Opening (2) Rebuttal (3) Submit 5 questions
        (4) Rebuttal to answers (5) Rebuttal to response to answers
        (6) Closing

        That seemed good to me but neither am I married to the idea. This is just to give you an idea of what we would be debating. If you prefer a different format, then just let me know what it would be.

        Regards,
        Rotherham

  5. Octavio says:

    The Watchtower is now affirming, by this new light, that Jesus appointed in 1919 his “faithful and discreet slave” over his congregation, that is, over all congregations associated with the Watchtower Society. Then, after the battle of Armaggedon, Jesus will appoint the anointed leaders of the Watchtower Society over all his belongings, that is, the whole earth. It means that there was no “faithful and discreet slave” before 1919. It would mean that when Jesus told what was written in Matthew 24:45, he thought in the leaders, or mainly, the leader, of an american religious society led by Joseph Rutherford in 1919. Of course, the Watchtower Society holds this extraordinary understanding, because they still hold that the last days started, not in 1799 as Russell stated, but in 1914. This was the date for which the Bible Students predicted THE END of the battle of the Armageddon, which supposedly began in 1878.

  6. ivanmonroy1 says:

    I recall that another topic that I had discussed to debate was the faithful and discreet slave teaching. It would have been interesting to have debated that because in retrospect those arguments would now be invalid. It illustrates the point of how fragile a doctrinal system is when it is based on shifting winds.

      1. theapologeticfront says:

        I’d also add that those who have been shown to not exactly be consistent with their views should be more humble in their demands that all true Christians must agree with them on everything.

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham-

      Let’s move forward with that using the format you proposed. How about word limits? Maybe we can use whatever you and Ivan did.

      Also, let’s figure out a proposal/resolution. I’m pretty open as long as the following can be discussed within the topic constraints:

      -the JW governing body is exclusively the FDS
      -No FDS existed prior to 1919
      -the FDS is a class and not individuals
      -Exegesis of parallel accounts with Matt. 24:45
      -Jesus made an inspection and chose the JW leadership in 1919

      1. rotherham2 says:

        Hello Mike,

        OK, but what do you mean by a proposal/resolution? You mean like an opening statement as to what one proposes to establish?

        In Ivan’s opening statement there were 2,409. We could use 2500 words per entry as a limit. Its not a problem if it goes a bit over that to complete a point. I seriously doubt that very many of our posts will come near that.

        Regards,
        Rotherham

      2. theapologeticfront says:

        By proposition, I mean the very question we are debating. For example:

        “Resolved: the JW Governing Body has exclusively been the FDS since 1919.”

        Doesn’t have to be this, but I’d like it to be broad enough to discuss the issues I listed above.

        I’m fine with that word count for the openings. If you wouldn’t mind, can you propose the full debate with word counts for each section? Once we agree on that and then figure out a title/proposition/resolution, I’ll make an announcement on the blog so everything will be official.

  7. Octavio says:

    The Catholic Church claims that all must obey the Pope becuase he is Peter’s successor. This is an historical controversy, although it is not difficult to prove false, even if Peter was in Rome. However, The Watchtower Society is more audacious by claiming that Jesus came, in a recent date, such as 1919, and appointed them as his sole channel. It is easier to prove false. However, I would want to read how the witnesses could defend such belief.

  8. rotherham2 says:

    Is this happening on your blog or on Truetheology.net? I don’t like the second billing feature that blog responders get on a blogspot. And then there was the time when everything was erased and lost. That’s worrisome to me for such efforts to be erased at some time. On Truetheology, it is permanent and publicly available and everyone gets equal billing within the debate. On a blog, all that is really highlighted is the blog owner’s words.

    I think the 2500 word limit should apply across the board for each post. Naturally, many will be shorter than that, but if needed, that amount would be available. Why don’t you propose the full debate since I want to be sure that you are comfortable that everything you want to cover will be covered. And maybe then I will understand better what you are asking about.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      I’m totally fine with all this happening on TrueTheology as long as you can assure that it won’t be removed.

      I’ll probably make the whole thing into a PDF and post that on my blog though.

      I’m good with that word limit. Let me think of a topic resolution and then hopefully we can get the ball rolling on this.

    2. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham-

      I would like to propose the following topic for our debate/discussion:

      “Is the Watchtower’s interpretation of the faithful slave found in Matthew 24 and Luke 12, as articulated in the July 15th, 2013 Watchtower, accurate?”

      Let me know your thoughts. If you agree, then let’s go ahead and move forward unless there’s other details to work out.

      1. rotherham2 says:

        Hello Mike,

        Sounds good. However, when it comes to prophetic elements, accuracy will sometimes be in the eye of the beholder. Maybe a better name would be “Can the Watchtower’s interpretation of the faithful slave found in Matthew 24 and Luke 12, as articulated in the July 15th, 2013 Watchtower, be adequately defended?” Or something like that, but if you want to leave as is, that’s OK too. Let me know.

        Regards,
        Rotherham

      2. theapologeticfront says:

        Rotherham-

        Unfortunately, that alternative is too subjective for me to agree to. If it’s ok with you, let’s keep it as is. Either the interpretation is accurate or it isn’t.

  9. rotherham2 says:

    I assure it wont be removed as long as the site is around. I think making a pdf of the interchange is a good idea. As soon as you give me the topic resolution I will set up the forum for our discussion.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  10. rotherham2 says:

    OK. I will set it up. We’ll iron out the details in the course of the discussion. It should be ready today.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Great! Thanks for taking care of the setup. No hurry though, because I’m going to be out of town all week at an apologetics conference and won’t be able to start anything until at least Monday.

  11. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Mike,

    If you could go to the “registration” tab and fill it out, I can go ahead and get you listed for access. Thanks.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  12. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Mike,

    Let me know when you are ready to post your opening remarks. Mine should be ready by Monday sometime. You will see our section at the bottom of the page on Truetheology.net. It is in the forum entitled “Structured Discussion #2”.

    Everyone can read this forum.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham,

      Will we be posting our openings in a particular order or at the same time? If you have an order for the full discussion, please post it here or on the forum. I’d like to make the announcement on my site so others can know what’s going on and follow along.

  13. rotherham2 says:

    We should attempt to post the opening statement as simultaneous as possible. I will not post mine until you tell me that you are ready to post, then we can try and time it together as best that we can. Just be sure to clearly identify your post in the title of the post as to what it is. Don’t start new topics, just stay in the established topic and append it to the thread, which is what the program naturally does anyway. You can try some test posts which I can remove once you see how it all works.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  14. rotherham2 says:

    That sounds good for me too. 12 noon, Dec. 4. After that the next step is the rebuttals which don’t have to be synchronized. They can post anytime.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Sounds good!

      FYI, I’m happy that you quoted me but I would really appreciate a citation or a link. Not just for my sake (I can’t even remember what I wrote last week sometimes), but for the audience. Otherwise, I’ll have to locate the citation myself and post it in the rebuttal.

  15. rotherham2 says:

    I supplied the link:

    My rebuttal is ready when you are. No hurry. Your probably right, we should try and synchronize the rebuttals as well. After that, the questions are ordered so no synchronization is necessary. We should also synchronize our concluding remarks too.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Thanks for posting the link. I agree, the rebuttals should either be synced or ordered. I’m good with either.

      I don’t agree with the concluding remarks though. In most debates they are shorter as they are geared towards summarizing rather than rebutting or presenting new arguments. I’m open to persuasion but I’d actually lean towards making them shorter rather than longer. So let’s just keep it to our original agreement if that’s ok.

      I think I’ll have time in the next two days to post my rebuttal. I’ll let you know here.

  16. rotherham2 says:

    OK, good. We now proceed with the following. the first opponent will ask a question, there will be an answer given, then a rebuttal to the answer will be offered followed by a rebuttal to the rebuttal.

    Then the second opponent will ask a question with the same following structure.

    This will happen five times, each taking a turn at asking the questions.

    At the end of that, a summary will be offered to conclude the debate.

    Sound good? Who would you like to ask the first question?

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      That sounds good to me. I suppose our closings will include rebuttals in them as I think we’d both like that chance.

      Since I’m the slow responder, maybe you could go first in asking the first question.

  17. rotherham2 says:

    OK. Let me think about that for a a little bit and then I will post it. Since these will occur one after the other, there is no need for synchronization until the closing remarks.

    As long as the closings do not bring up NEW questions or NEW arguments, the element of rebuttal would naturally happen.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  18. rotherham2 says:

    I think I will wait a day or so just to let everybody have a chance to absorb what’s been posted today.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  19. rotherham2 says:

    I renamed our rebuttals in the subject title for the sake of clarity to the readers. We should remember to properly name our posts to help everyone keep abreast.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  20. rotherham2 says:

    Hi Mike,

    I will be traveling around until next Thursday. I wont likely be able to present my response to your rebuttal and my number 2 question until then. Catch you then.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  21. rotherham2 says:

    I posted my response to your rebuttal to my answer. I will post my question #2 on Monday most likely.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

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