108 thoughts on “A Jehovah’s Witness Defense of the Governing Body

  1. miken says:

    The missionary journeys of Paul were sent out from the church at Antioch under the direction of the Holy Spirit not a governing body. Likewise where Paul and his companions were to preach was directed by the Spirt. Peter and Philip were directed to Cornelius and the Ethiopian eunuch by the Spirit and an angel. At the Jerusalem council Acts 15:19 indicates that James made the final decision which reflects other scriptures indicating his authority in the Jerusalem church. The Greek word used in Acts 15:19 often translated “judge” is Krino which means to determine, resolve, decree, it is used at 1 Corinthians 7:37 translated as “settle the matter” in the NIV. There is no evidence of letters sent out by a central governing body either before or after the single letter of the Jerusalem council of Acts 15.

  2. michaeljfelker says:

    Thanks for your comment Miken. It shows that the governing body fails to parallel the Jerusalem council in almost every way, except maybe that they both met as a group. The letters, as you mention, is a great example of autonomy as well since all the letters were sent out by individuals that had binding authority on all Christians. Wonder what would happen if governing body members today did that today?

  3. rotherham2 says:

    AS I’ve mentioned in the past, responding to podcasts is not very effective and very cumbersome. There’s no way to effectively cite quotations or refer someone to a particular paragraph or statement. The written word is much easier to deal with when it comes to apologetics. I doubt very many would take the time to go back through and try to figure out exactly where this or that was said. So yes, a transcript would be great and much more effective for meaningful discussion that others can check at their leisure.

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      Maybe for you, but the vast number of podcast listeners find it to be incredibly beneficial and I would count myself among them. I see/hear dialogues happening all the time through podcasts and I can follow along just fine as do most people. If it’s not your thing, that’s fine, as i’m sure there are plenty of other sites you can interact with: meletivivlon.com being among the best.

    2. Guitarssatele says:

      On the youtube channel there is a drop down menu below the video. One of the options is transcript. It makes a transcript of the video. The dialogue is time stamped.. Its not 100 percent accurate but it does a pretty good job.

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      Figured out my Mac has a built in speech to text reader, but the amount of editing it would take (lot of jibberish)…well, that’s more time than what I have. Dragon Speak seems to be the best, but unless there’s a good sized demand for this, I can’t justify the expense at the moment.

    1. guitarssatele says:

      Not sure if you saw my post above, youtube has a transcript option.Use the drop down menu at the bottom of the video. Transcript is one of the options. You can copy and paste it., Hope that helps.

  4. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Mike,
    I finally found time to look at your rebuttal. I really feel it was an inadequate rebuttal as it did not address many relevant points that you either glossed over or didn’t even mention. The points you did address were really admissions that it could be the way I have presented it. Nothing conclusive was presented against any view presented. I have repeated below the scriptures that I think you should address in a point/counterpoint fashion so as not to gloss over or simply skip them.

    There are numerus indications that there was an overall governing element and there were letters with instructions being sent to numerous congregations from someone other than a local autonomous body of elders. Notice:

    Eph 4:11 And he gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelizers, some as shepherds and teachers,12with a view to the readjustment of the holy ones, for ministerial work, for the building up of the body of the Christ,13until we all attain to the oneness in the faith and in the accurate knowledge of the Son of God, to a full‐grown man, to the measure of stature that belongs to the fullness of the Christ;

    What did Paul say was the responsibility of these “gifts in men”? He clearly stated that it was to readjust the holy ones, to keep them united, until they all attained to the oneness of the faith, into the full grown man. The point being that these gifts in men had the authority and the responsibility to do these things in the first century.

    Hebrews 13:17 told the first century Christians to be obedient to those who were taking the lead among them. Hebrews tells us that those ones ‘will render an account for our souls’. Who would that have been in the 1st century? Would it not be those gifts in men, the Apostles, who were clealy acting as a governing element among the congregations of Christianity? Would it also not be true that these “gifts in men” would strive to be of the ‘same mind and the same line of thought with no divisions’ according 1 Cor. 1:10 and context?

    Paul said that there were those who gave ORDERS in connection with ‘how to walk and be pleasing to God’;

    1 Thessalonians 4:1,2-
    Finally, brothers, we request YOU and exhort YOU by the Lord Jesus, just as YOU received [the instruction] from us on how YOU ought to walk and please God, just as YOU are in fact walking, that YOU would keep on doing it more fully.2For YOU know the orders we gave YOU through the Lord Jesus.

    The first century Christians were said to adhere to the ‘teachings of the APOSTLES’. (Acts 2:42)
    Acts 2:42
    And they continued devoting themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to sharing [with one another], to taking of meals and to prayers.

    Was this different then the teachings of the SCRIPTURES? No, because the Apostles adhered TO the scriptures. It is abundantly clear that the Apostles had a special authority in the 1st century congregation.

    In reality, the idea of a governing element, made up of men, is everywhere apparent in the Christian Greek Scriptures. Consider the following points and questions:

    Romans 16:17 17 Now I exhort YOU, brothers, to keep your eye on those who cause divisions and occasions for stumbling contrary to the teaching that YOU have learned, and avoid them.
    Divisions in ‘what? What teachings are they in reference to? Would it not be the teachings of the Apostles? (Acts 2:42)

    2 Thessalonians 3:6 6 Now we are giving YOU orders, brothers, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to withdraw from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the tradition YOU received from us.

    Who is the WE giving the orders if there is no such thing as a Christian governing element?
    What is it they received from the US that they needed to adhere to?

    2 Thessalonians 3:13-15 13 For YOUR part, brothers, do not give up in doing right. 14 But if anyone is not obedient to our word through this letter, keep this one marked, stop associating with him, that he may become ashamed. 15 And yet do not be considering him as an enemy, but continue admonishing him as a brother.

    Where did this letter come from that they had to be obedient to? Why was it spoken of as OUR WORD, and not God’s word?

    Who was the OUR? Where was this obvious authority coming from?

    Titus 3:10-11 10 As for a man that promotes a sect, reject him after a first and a second admonition;
    11 knowing that such a man has been turned out of the way and is sinning, he being self-condemned.
    How would you know if someone was promoting a sect if there was no governing element in regard to doctrine? Who determined what the ‘promotion of a sect’ entailed?

    Titus 2:15 15 Keep on speaking these things and exhorting and reproving with full authority to command. Let no man ever despise you.

    Who had “full authority to command” and what did that mean for those under their authority?
    Notice 1 Thessalonians 4:1,2-
    Finally, brothers, we request YOU and exhort YOU by the Lord Jesus, just as YOU received [the instruction] from us on how YOU ought to walk and please God, just as YOU are in fact walking, that YOU would keep on doing it more fully.2For YOU know the orders WE gave YOU through the Lord Jesus.

    Throughout his letters to the different congregations we here Paul speaking of the ‘orders’ or ‘instructions’ that the congregations had been given by the WE. Who was the WE? Did you notice Paul didn’t say to them “God instructed you”, but he said “WE” instructed you? Why did he not say ‘God instructed them’? Why does it say that THEY INSTRUCTED them on HOW TO WALK AND BE PLEASING TO GOD?

    It should be readily apparent that the Apostles were speaking with authority to the congregations scattered about.

    Titus 1:5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might correct the things that were defective and might make appointments of older men in city after city, as I gave you orders.
    Correction. Appointment. Again, clealry indicative of an element of authority.

    And again, Hebrews 13:17 “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”

    If there was no governing element within the 1st century congregation, who were the leaders that they were to submit to and obey? How were these ones responsible for the souls of the congregation to the extent that they would have to make an accounting for them?

    This idea of a governing element within Christianity is embedded within many passages of the Bible.
    Consider: Paul said at 1Cor. 13:11: “Finally, brothers, continue to rejoice, to be readjusted, to be comforted, to think in agreement, to live peacably, and the God of love and of peace will be with you.”
    “The apostles and older men… to those brothers in Antioch… Since we have heard that some from among us have caused you trouble with speeches, trying to subvert your souls, although we did not give them ANY INSTRUCTIONS” – Acts 15:23-24

    Titus 1:5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might correct the things that were defective and might make appointments of older men in city after city, as I GAVE YOU ORDERS.

    2 Thes. 2:1,2 However, brothers, respecting the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we request of YOU 2 not to be quickly shaken from YOUR reason nor to be excited either through an inspired expression or through a verbal message or through a letter as though from us, to the effect that the day of Jehovah is here.

    Many more examples can be offered if necessary. But a careful reading of the Christian Greek Scriptures will reveal in undeniable fashion that the first century congregation continuously functioned with the backdrop of a governing element within it, primarily recognized through the Apostles. After the Apostles would pass from the earthly scene, those “gifts in men” and the function they performed would be bestowed upon evangelizers and teachers. These ones would continue in that readjustment process until the entire Christian congregation would come to the oneness of faith, which I think we all know, has not yet been achieved. So it is imperative that Christians identify who represents those “gifts in men” today.

    Regards
    Rotherham

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      Rotherham- where have I denied a governing element in the first century? Perhaps I didn’t address every single scripture/argument because it wasn’t actually an argument with my position.

      Also, I do intend to address some of the other comments in another podcast, but just haven’t gotten around to it.

  5. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Mike,

    Please take time to answer the questions asked in relation to the scriptures presented. I believe by doing so specifically and directly with all of them, the points you are missing will become apparent.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      So why not phrase all of it against my position? If you want me to answer, please rewrite your post and gear it towards my actual position; namely, that there is no established, permanent, ecclesial office consisting of non-apostles that have absolute unquestionable authority worldwide for all Christians.

  6. rotherham2 says:

    For instance, consider just this:

    Throughout his letters to the different congregations we here Paul speaking of the ‘orders’ or ‘instructions’ that the congregations had been given by the WE. Who was the WE? Did you notice Paul didn’t say to them “God instructed you”, but he said “WE” instructed you? Why did he not say ‘God instructed them’? Why does it say that THEY INSTRUCTED them on HOW TO WALK AND BE PLEASING TO GOD?

    And remember, Paul was NOT a member of these different congregations that he was giving orders and commands on how to please God. Why was he doing that? That is a denial of individual congregational autonomy.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  7. rotherham2 says:

    Eph. 4:11-17 denies your claim that there would be no continuing “gifts in men” that would function similar to the Apostles, The Apostles were listed with teachers, shepherds, evangelists, etc who would be performing the same work of keeping the congregation unified amidst different potential
    winds of teaching

    1. rotherham2 says:

      There is absolutely no evidence of a post-Apostolic deviation when it would come to the governing element within Christianity, as I said, Eph 4:11-17 speaks directly against that idea. It would continue down to the time of full enlightenment.

      1. michaeljfelker says:

        Rotherham- I answered the questions that I found to be relevant to my position. If you’re going to light up vast fields of strawmen, then you should expect that I’m not going to spend the time to correct everything.

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      The fact that there’s absolutely ZERO evidence for a non-apostolic office above the elders described in Scripture. Seems like it would have been easy for Paul to be explicit about that just as he did for the elders, deacons, etc.

  8. michaeljfelker says:

    Similar to the Apostles? Which similarities do you pick and choose from? What about all the differences? Plus, I just don’t see anything in Ephesians 4:11 which would require non-apostles who function as sort-of apostles. You are reading into Ephesians 4:11 FAR more than is there. Didn’t we already have a pretty lengthy exchange on this text a while back?

  9. rotherham2 says:

    Yes we did and you failed to navigate the text in any way that would contradict what I am saying. For instance, WHO, according to that passage would constitute “gifts in men” down through history that would serve to “perfect” the holy ones? Name them ALL.

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      Just as Ephesians 4:11 describes: it would be the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers who would fulfill the command. Obviously, the apostles died off, so it would be their teachings which would fulfill this as enforced by the others mentioned in the passage. Seems like it would have been easy for Paul to have mentioned the governing body, but that got left out?

  10. rotherham2 says:

    You say:
    The fact that there’s absolutely ZERO evidence for a non-apostolic office above the elders described in Scripture. Seems like it would have been easy for Paul to be explicit about that just as he did for the elders, deacons, etc.

    I have to say that you are really not thinking clearly about this and you are contradicting yourself. First you say the Apostles definitely did have authority over all the congregations in the first century and then you deny it. If the Apostles had that authority, it would certainly include authority over the elders as well.

    What I said above directly speaks to this. Here it is again:
    Throughout his letters to the different congregations we here Paul speaking of the ‘orders’ or ‘instructions’ that the congregations had been given by the WE. Who was the WE? Did you notice Paul didn’t say to them “God instructed you”, but he said “WE” instructed you? Why did he not say ‘God instructed them’? Why does it say that THEY INSTRUCTED them on HOW TO WALK AND BE PLEASING TO GOD?

    And remember, Paul was NOT a member of these different congregations that he was giving orders and commands on how to please God. Why was he doing that? That is a denial of individual congregational autonomy.

  11. rotherham2 says:

    Are you trying to tell me that the Reformed churches that you seem to represent do not have a central authority of any kind whatsoever. What happens if a local body of elders began collectively teaching falsehoods? Who would correct them? And please don’t say it can’t happen.

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      Anyone could correct them with the Scriptures. I could correct my elders with the Scriptures. Everyone is subject to the Scriptures. If they reject what I say, then that’s between them and God.

    2. rotherham2 says:

      Try this:
      The gifts in men, who were listed right along with the Apostles, down to the time of full enlightenment, would have the responsibility of “perfecting the “holy ones”, which would surely include correction from time to time. You claim the elders can’t be corrected outside the congregation, having full autonomy from the worldwide church. That is the same as saying they are not subject to the “perfection” that Paul says they would be, and by far more than just Apostles: evangelizers, teachers, shepherds, etc.

      1. michaeljfelker says:

        I’ve been trying to get past this and not go off on a rabbit trail, but you keep on saying it. Please provide an argument for the “gifts IN men” translation as opposed to the common “gifts TO men” one.

  12. rotherham2 says:

    I believe your position is contradictory to scripture and logic overall. Here’s one reason why:
    You claim that the Apostles were the only ones to have authority over the elders in the congregations. However, Ephesians takes that further to include others who would do a similar work of the Apostles, one of “correcting” “perfecting” the holy ones down through history, keeping them unified before God.

    You claim that post apostolically, there is no authority over a local elder body. They could collectively teach whatever they want and there is no authority to correct their deviance. If that’s the way you think God has it set up, I really feel bad for you and those like you. It is a perfect formula to be misled.

    1. rotherham2 says:

      You ask: Where did I say the elders couldn’t be corrected from outside the congregation?

      That’s what “Congregational Autonomy” is! The elders have the final say without exterior influence. If not, then WHO has the authority to correct them and to make it stick?

  13. rotherham2 says:

    You ask:
    I’ve been trying to get past this and not go off on a rabbit trail, but you keep on saying it. Please provide an argument for the “gifts IN men” translation as opposed to the common “gifts TO men” one.

    I’ll give you the translational allowance but surely it doesn’t change the meaning either way. If so, how?

  14. rotherham2 says:

    In the Greek, IN or TO is not there. It could be either but doesn’t change the meaning. Surely if he gave gifts to men in the form of this authority to “perfect” the holy ones, the gifts would likewise be in them.

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      Ok, i’m not going to go after the translational issue if you’re ok with either rendering. I just wasn’t sure if the “IN” was integral to your case.

      Anyway, back to the issues. Let me state this as clearly as I can: there’s no authoritative ecclesial office over the elders in the post-apostolic age. This in no way suggests that the churches aren’t subject to the teachings of the Apostles. They certainly are. And by claiming that each church is autonomous, it doesn’t mean they aren’t subject to correction by the Scriptures (i.e. the teachings of the Apostles). So if I were to correct an elder of another church, I wouldn’t be doing so as any kind of authority above them. Rather, i’d be appealing to the authority of the Scriptures themselves (i.e. the authority of the Apostles). They could choose to listen to me or not.

      1. michaeljfelker says:

        Even if that were true, that doesn’t prove the Governing Body. Also, that criticism cuts both ways. Why? Because even authorities themselves can be vulnerable to being carried away by every wind of teaching.

  15. rotherham2 says:

    What proves it is there is no Biblical pattern for individual congregations to be autonomous. Every congregation in the first century was subject to the Apostles, prone to correction or “perfecting”, that pattern is carried forward via Eph 4:11-17. Your situation and the situation of Christendom worldwide, a disunified mess, bespeaks the foolishness of a religious system that promotes congregational autonomy.

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      I agree that the first century, along with every single Christian ever since, is subject to the teachings of the Apostles. I don’t care if you call it a disunified mess. It doesn’t prove the Governing Body from the Scriptures. Plus, I could care less about “unity” if those who boast unity are unified in false doctrine.

    1. rotherham2 says:

      You have never proven anything that we teach to be a false doctrine. On the other hand I believe fully that I could demonstrate to you the Trinity and other doctrines are false from the standpoint of Biblical pattern and precedent, but you will not engage.

      1. michaeljfelker says:

        I’ve never proven anything to you to be false, yet all it would take is the Governing Body to say it’s false, and then it would be false. But aside from that, you’re missing the principle of my point: unity doesn’t matter if it’s unified false doctrine. Surely you’d agree with this in principle? Think about the Galatian church. Perhaps they were all unified in teaching circumcision. But who cares if their teachings were false?

    1. rotherham2 says:

      Hello MIke,
      Of course unity in truth is absolutely important. Doesn’t even need to be said. The governing body can not contradict the Bible or they would not be the governing body. You have never demonstrated where they contradict the Bible. On the other hand, the churches, including your own, are riddled with serious, fundamental errors, which can be proven beyond any reasonable doubt with scripture.

  16. rotherham2 says:

    I think you know what I mean Mike. Let’s put it this way, they can not contradict fundamental, absolute truths from the scriptures. The churches, including yours, do and that can be proven scripturally. Any recognized contradiction, by the true church, in other areas must be corrected. Christendom fights to sustain error. The fundamental, foundation teachings are even listed for us at Hebrews 6:1,2.

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      How about the concept of the GB? Seems like that’d be a pretty foundational truth, if it were actually true. But that’s what we’ve been discussing and I’ve yet to find anything remotely convincing.

  17. BobR. says:

    Many translations of the NT translate the Eph.4:8 reference as: “gifts to men” A much more accurate rendering from the original Greek.

    Reading the context of this passage at verse 7. Question for JWs. To whom are these “gifts to men” or “in men” actually given to? Verse 7 notes in the RNWT: “undeserved kindness was given to each of us, according to how Christ measures out the free gift”. “Grace” is a more accurate rendering. Not undeserved kindness. Free gift is grace. Undeserved kindness is grace, without imputing to the recipient that they do not deserve this blessing from Christ. Christ and the Father do not impute this upon their children.

    So the gifts to men are given to each and every individual Christian, and not any select group or class. Christ decides which gifts listed in verses 11 and 12 and to whom, and are given freely to those he chooses.

    Christians are commissioned by Christ to feed one another out of love and truth, not any forced “uniformity” that JWs promulgate. As the scriptures say, “we are all brothers.” There is no scriptural basis for any governing element in true Christianity today. True Christians live by the law of love, but not “under law” This does not lead to anarchy and lawlessness, as JWs would say. To not see this, is actually denying Christ and his spirit, and his position as head of the Church.

  18. BobR. says:

    With all due respect to Rotherham? and his flawed Pharisaic/Sandedrin court absolutist like views and outlook, he seems to think he knows more about JW theology than someone such as Mr. G. Jackson, who didn’t know how to fight out of a wet paper bag at the recent ARC hearings. He says he is one of Jesus “brothers”. Yet he doesn’t believe that their JW GB is Gods sole channel of communication for mankind today and that it would be presumptuous to believe. Will he deny Jacksons statement to the ARC? or even acknowledge it, or care.

    Its funny though that when there will be inevitable “new light” on many matters in JW land, through a simple GB vote, he will just follow long in his own darkness, in lock step with the other blind guides.

  19. rotherham2 says:

    Hello BobR,

    If you can assure me that I am not going to be discussing things with a current or former JW, I will be willing to engage with you the topic of your choice.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  20. BobR. says:

    I was born into this, but never was baptised. So I associate with family who are JWs, and am striving to show them how they have been misled. So that is my focus. I try and do this tactfully and respectfully. They give me lots of opportunities for such discussions, and I appreciate that. I will talk to anyone. They are close to leaving, but the brothers are leaving them little choice.

    One of my family members was abused by a local elder. There were no witnesses to the incident. The elders were made aware to this. They investigated, and nothing could be proven by a committee, so the individual walked. My family was told to wait on Jehovah. This elder continued on in his life as if nothing had happened.

    When I subsequently became aware of the events, and had spoken to victim and my family, who are scarred for life, I called the police. They investigated, and the person was charged found guilty, and is serving time in prison for his crime.

    The JW policy on child abuse is seriously flawed. My experience is but a single anecdote as part of a multitude of JW abuse cases worldwide, but it is real life, my life. My family is now “marked” by the congregation. They are the victims of the abuse, but are themselves continuing to be victimised by JWs.

    Mr. Jacksons testimony at the ARC is just another slap in the face to all victims of abuse within the JW umbrella. Mr. Jackson didn’t bother listen to or read the testimony of real victims prior to his appearance there. He apparently had the time to read other notes from elders and officials in Australia.

    These policies are systemic. WT and JW policy from the branch offices, to Headquarters are driving Christians away from them. Victims are often left with no choice but to leave the WT. They haven’t left Jehovah. But its hard.

    How would you describe or characterise what Mr. Jackson had to say at the ARC? Was he displaying the fruitages of the spirit there etc.? Using scriptural precedent, how would Christ have responded if one of his little sheep had been wronged and then lost?

  21. rotherham2 says:

    Hello BobR,

    I am sorry to hear of the case of child abuse in your family that appears to have been mishandled. It is not the policy of the organization to hide such things from the authorities and victims, and their families are told that they have every right to contact the authorities, and in some states it is mandatory that the elders inform the authorities of the accusations themselves. There is to be no repercussions for doing such to any degree. If there is not enough evidence from a congregational standpoint, that is not the end of the matter. We can only do what we can do congregationally. But, it can be pursued legally to whatever degree the family desires or feels is necessary. If there is a conviction from the authorities, the elders should review the case.

    Since I am not aware of the specifics of what you are referring to in Br. Jackson.s case, I probably wouldn’t be able to adequately respond. Do you have details?

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  22. BobR. says:

    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erWV8YnTFto

    Heres my view of what I saw:

    •Governing Body doesn’t feel they are the only ones God can work through. (This is contrary to their teachings, which state that the Governing Body is God’s sole channel of communication between Himself and human beings)
    •Jackson stated that women can and do take part in decision making processes when molestation accusations are made. (False)
    •Geoffrey Jackson stated that he hopes elders would contact police if an accusation was heard. This practice is not protocol in Watchtower Elders manuals. Instead, elders who hear of molestation allegations are to contact Watchtower lawyers.
    •Jackson acknowledges that it may be traumatic for the victims to have to face their abuser and speak against them with others present. (This is something that many abuse victims have suffered through due to Watchtower policies)
    •It is acknowledged that victims have been silenced out of fear of either having to face their abusers, not being taken seriously, or leaving the JWs and losing their families.
    •Jackson states that those who fade away from JWs, but who are not formally “disassociated” by written letter, are contacted by elders and asked if they need help returning to the organization. (False)
    •Jackson states that being disfellowshipped and shunned by JWs is an act of God’s love. (False)
    •Jackson didn’t agree or disagree that a female victim may find it easier to talk to a woman about her abuse, instead of a man. The commission showed strong objection to women not having a place in decision making processes.
    •Jackson stated he had not taken the time to read any of the statements of the child abuse victims prior to the hearing. The reason given was that his father was very ill and he had been spending time with him. Paperwork was provided to him prior to the hearing, yet he did not read it.
    •Jackson believes a child at 13 years old is capable of making permanent life decisions such as baptism into an organization. It is likely that children don’t know the repercussions they’ll face (losing their families and JW friends) if they ever decide to formally leave.
    •Jackson states that if a person is shunned, it is because they chose to leave. (The burden of being shunned is blamed on whomever leaves, even if they were molested and can’t agree to stay within a religion which protects pedophiles due to lack of proof of allegations.)
    •Geoffrey Jackson did not agree that compensation would definitely be offered to victims of sexual abuse, but would have to look and see if it was scriptural.

  23. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Bob,

    For the sake of clarity, I would like to take each point that you mention individually.
    In regards to your first point, I found this in the transcript:
    35 Q. And do you see yourselves as Jehovah God’s
    36 spokespeople on earth?
    37 A. That I think would seem to be quite presumptuous to
    38 say that we are the only spokesperson that God is using.
    39 The scriptures clearly show that someone can act in harmony
    40 with God’s spirit in giving comfort and help in the
    41 congregations, but if I could just clarify a little, going
    42 back to Matthew 24, clearly, Jesus said that in the last
    43 days ‐ and Jehovah’s Witnesses believe these are the last
    44 days ‐ there would be a slave, a group of persons who would
    45 have responsibility to care for the spiritual food. So in
    46 that respect, we view ourselves as trying to fulfil that
    47 role.

    Is this what you are referring to?

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  24. BobR. says:

    I believe that all Christians, (that is individuals and not a class), are commissioned by Christ to feed one another. This is a similar view to that of the Bible Students/Jehovahs Witnesses up to 1935. So this interpretation is not without merit and has a scriptural basis. After all, this view was promulgated by JWs in the past, and taught as truth.

    I find it incredible that you were unaware of the ARC hearings. So be it.

  25. rotherham2 says:

    Hi Bob,
    I do not believe that view is held by Bible Students nor Jehovah’s Witnesses in history. Even Russell was regarded and still is by Bible Students to be the Faithful and Discreet slave and his writings are to be used as a guideline in many things. I believe your facts to be inaccurate. Plus, Rutherford seems to have always had an organizational view.

    Also, the literature never states that the FDS is the SOLE channel for dispensing truth, it says God’s organization IS. God’s organization includes everyone who would be considered a minister, man, woman or child. But the scriptures are clear that SOMEONE would be taking the LEAD when it comes to feeding the flock. That is what we believe to be the case with the FDS.

    So whereas MANY can feed and nourish, there are those who are leaders that Hebrews 13:17 says we should OBEY and SUBMIT to. So I don’t see where Br. Jackson’s comments are inaccurate.

    Should we move onto to point number two? Or is there more to say with this one?

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. T Law says:

      Hi Rotherman,

      Michael keeps asking for scriptural proof. I find that you midfully seem to forget to quote any real scriptural backing to support the FDS. So let me cite you the scriptures which are used predominantly and also WT literature as a cross reference.

      Firstly the class system you guys have now with the FDS being ‘top tier’, then the anointed and then the great crowd. even though you will dispute a 3 class system (FDS,Anointed then Great Crowd)

      https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=the+faithful+and+discreet+slave&rlz=1C1CHBF_en-GBGB740GB740&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiynPeArp_VAhXrJMAKHY_FCZ0Q_AUIDCgD&biw=1920&bih=950#imgrc=CFspbI69Dy2hpM:

      But you will accept at least 2…but that is not my point here today.

      Do you really think that the ransom sacrifice applied itself thru 3 different ‘class’ of people…..do you really think that Jesus Christ really had in mind a 3 class system.
      I remind you of 1 Tim 2:5&6 at this point…..”ALL”

      Do you ever wonder why that the so called ‘Faithful and Discreet slave’ NEVER use the scripture to support their own self appointment in Matt 24:48-50 & Luke 45:1

      Its so interesting VERY interesting to see when this particular chapter is quoted……particulary in WT literature which i will show as below.

      Here is THE example – now i know the watchtower im referring you to is almost 4 years old, but surely that is still current light? (although i still cant find that darn dimmer switch on the bible!!)

      https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/ws20130715/who-is-faithful-discreet-slave/

      Opening headline;

      “Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics?”—MATTHEW 24:45.

      Paragraph 2

      We see that the paragraph highlights Matt 24:45-47.

      Paragraph 15

      Does the same thing again – highlights Matt 24:45-47

      Paragraph 14

      Mentions Luke 12:42 – interesting……..come to that in the rebuttal as below.

      Three things.

      1. Whenever the organisation cites Matt 24:45-47 – THEY NEVER EVER STATE VERSE 48?

      Read it Michael – who is the evil slave class Michael, surely if Christs words for the FDS are taken literally to mean that this represents a certain CLASS, why not verse 48?

      Please tell me SCRIPTURALLY who is this slave class!

      2. I find it interesting that paragraph 19 in the same article states the following.

      In a similar way, as Matthew 24:47 says, he promised that a small group of men, the anointed brothers who make up the faithful slave, will be appointed over all his belongings..

      Oh how very decietful – “a small number of men”….but yet Christ states in verse 47 “HIM” – singular….not plural!!!!

      HIM!!!!

      The organisation cannot even get its own doctrine right!

      3. Again how deceitful, whilst the speaker asks for the paragraph to be read out, possibly him or someone in the audience wanting to show their spiritualness with the watchtower all nicely outlined will even bring in a scripture into their answer…..imagine that a scripture in their answer.

      NOW READ verse 41 – ANOTHER SCRIPTURE NEVER CITED by the organisation!

      41 Then Peter said: “Lord,* are you saying this illustration to us or also to all?”

      Right out of your own bible!

      ITS A PARABLE – ITS AN ILLUSTRATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Summary:

      1. Their is no SLAVE CLASS, therefore NO FDS!!!!!!

      The FDS is singular – ITS YOU!!! You need to take the word and heed it for his return!!! You have the responsibility to keep yourself in his grace and word!!!

      YOU!

      2. As per Luke 12:41 – repetition for emphasis……..ITS AN ILLUSTRATION!

      Christ himself stated in it in the very context of the same scripture cited by your organisation!!!

      So with that I have two things left to say!

      Deut 4:2

      YOU must not add to the word that I am commanding YOU, neither must YOU take away from it,+ so as to keep the commandments of Jehovah YOUR God that I am commanding YOU.

      1. rotherham2 says:

        Hello T Law, Sorry for the delay, I have a hard time following the comments of others because they are so hard to find.

        Before I respond further, do you believe that the elder sin a congregation are in a different CLASS of Christians?

        Thanks,
        Rortherham

  26. rotherham2 says:

    Hi Bob,
    Also, I never said I was unaware of the ARC hearings. I just wanted exact quotes and proper context of what is being questioned. I think that’s reasonable.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  27. BobR. says:

    Russell also believed in freedom of a Christians conscience, autonomy of the congregations and character development for Christians. You already know this. Russells and Rutherfords teachings have mostly been discredited and discarded by JWs today. Who is to say that his “organizational view” is also flawed and wrong? If your GB were to discard that notion, you would just simply follow along, and be a parrot for them and go with the flow. That’s okay. Its been done before by others. The idea or notion of “revealed truth” is unchristian and false. But convenient for you and them. You want to make men your rulers rather than Christ.

    Dispensing spiritual food and feeding. Your publications write that it is the GB that dispenses this direction and food for your members. They say that your GB is the faithful slave now, and not all anointed Christians, as it did, up til recently. Prior to that latest change, all the anointed were said to be the faithful slave,not just the GB. These men meet together and vote on issues. There is no special knowledge they are given. Just a vote. And they vote for new members of their group.

    Any organization that systematically fails to protect its members from abuse and covers it over, cannot be said to be Christians or of Christ. The over 1000 cases alone in Australia that were unreported to the authorities. No announcements made by elders in those congs to warn the brothers of any sexual predators in their midst to protect brothers from any reoffending possibility. No such direction from the GB or the branch offices to protect JWs. Just the opposite. They punted, and say its not their responsibility, but we will report it if we are required to do so by the law??!!

    Mr. Jacksons demeanour and attitude displayed at the hearings show that this individual and the group that he is a member of, are not of Christ or spirit directed. Their inaction and policies which victimise the victim, embolden predators rather than protect Christs sheep. My Dad is an elder. I have access to their manual on how react to such matters. They are not directed to get in touch with police, but rather to contact the Branch office. The GB will have a huge account to answer for at the Judgement. They have innocent blood on their hands as an organization. They will be judged by God and Christ, and will have much to answer for. Have you watched the video?

    Many JWs members who have been victims of abuse would reject your hollow interpretations which offer no love or comfort to the victims. They turn to Jehovah and Christ alone as the Great Shepherd, and have to leave the organization as Jackson admitted to at the hearings. Christ knows his sheep and his sheep know Christ. He showed no empathy or respect to the victims which he says he is a shepherd of. They use Caesars courts to fight their fellow brothers who have been made victims. Would Christ do this? Shameful actions belie their hollow words.

  28. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Bob,

    I really think we can accomplish much more if we deal with each point individually instead throwing numerous accusations and claims that may or may not turn out to be accurate. Is there a particular topic you would like to address? Why don’t we talk about the scriptural accuracy of a governing body and let the scriptures decide? That would seem to cover a lot of territory within your complaints.

    But just so you know, the brothers are instructed to contact the branch FIRST. They are also expected to immediately contact the authorities in the states where it is required. It is not one or the other but both. Some states leave that choice up to the victims to report and in those states we can choose to do the same based upon the severity of the case. There are many letters that have been sent to the elder bodies about these matters that are not found in the flock book.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  29. BobR. says:

    The GB and JW apologists remind me of the 1st century Jewish religious leaders. They thought they knew everything about the Law and scripture, could quote it, interpret, manipulate it, and add much more to it. They had the Temple and priesthood. They thought they were Gods people. Abraham was their father. But their hearts and motivations were far removed from God. They murdered the Son of God, who they had right in front of them. Yet their structure was destroyed by Christ, and the Romans in 70 AD.

  30. BobR. says:

    Have you looked at the video on the ARC hearings? All of it. You haven’t answered that, and your opinions of Mr. Jacksons testimony on a range of issues, and how it also contradicts present JW policy and doctrine.. That was original question I asked you, and still unanswered for the most part.

    Can you use your own power of reason with that? The over 1000 cases of abuse not reported by JWs elders to the authorities. Not a one?? the perpetrators were all innocent then?…Hello..?? What about the victims?? The responsibility?? The countersuing by the Society of the victims who are left with no other choice to get justice because they have been abandoned by the org? Nothing to offer on that?

    When I state that Mr. Jackson hadn’t read any of the victims statements from the ARC, this is not an accusation. It is fact This is how a loving, kind brother of Christ would treat his fellow brothers or sheep? A member of the GB that says at the beginning of some JW publications that “they love each and everyone of us”?? This is really a “beating of his fellow slaves.” literally. That’s not the faithful slave class is it?. But the other one..you know…what the scriptures say they would be by doing so…not a hypothetical situation. Its real.

  31. rotherham2 says:

    Bob,

    I have already stated I am willing to address all that you ask but I prefer to do it one at a time. Naturally, that means I have not gotten to all of your complaints yet. I have watched many portions of the video and I now have the transcripts in front of me and I believe you are mistaken about a number of things but it will take time to get to them all. Can you appreciate that? I have answered your first complaint unless you have evidence to the contrary, so we can continue with your next complaint in the list you provided. Let’s try to keep this organized so others can benefit from what is read as well.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  32. BobR. says:

    The fruitage of the world and not the spirit, that they display, disqualify them. So, all your theological JW arguments are nullified by that alone. That’s what Gods spirit tells me and how it leads me.

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      Bob, while I probably would be much more in agreement with you than Rotherham’s, I agree that it would be more beneficial to take one point at a time. I don’t think it’s unfair for Rotherham to ask for this.

  33. BobR. says:

    Anything you put out there, will not dissuade me from the leadings of Christs spirit to truth and liberty in Christ, as would many unlettered and ordinary Christians who share a similar experience. My family has now seen the hypocrisy of JWs and their teachings. I have succeeded for their salvation. They are free now. God bless. I harbor you no ill will. God will judge all. Peace.

  34. guitarsatele says:

    It is a shame Bob is not actually interested in discussing the issues he brought up. Like so many who have a hatred for Jehovah’s Witnesses, they prefer to run ahead with their accusations rather than examine the evidence from another point of view. I personally know of a case where the authorities were contacted immediately by the congregation and this person went to Jail. Even in the ARC, a study of the numbers don’t add up to what opposers want them to add up too.I can give you a breakdown if you would like.
    The accusation for example, that a child should be seen by the accused was actually endorsed by secular authorities in the 80’s and 90’s . It seems crazy to all of us now, but it was endorsed as part of the healing process by psychologists at that time. I would encourage Bob to check out this link on the Jehovah’s Witness child abuse policy and look beyond the rhetoric that is out there.
    http://thirdwitness.com/childabuse/default.html

  35. BobR. says:

    With all due respect, you are a JW apologist. That’s fine. However, its ignorant to say that I hate JWs.
    My family are still technically JWs. I don’t hate them. I love God and Christ, but not any self-appointed group of men who wield authority over the lives of its members.

    There are many good rank and file brothers. Most JWs have never seen or will never view or know about the many child abuse hearings/trials around the world. They are discouraged to do so. They are told on JW.org videos that those making accusations of abuse are simply apostates, trying to make trouble. Mr. S. Lett would call my experiences and reality: “lies, dishonesty, and I am an agent of Satan.” We were told to “wait on Jehovah”, “don’t bring reproach on Jehovahs name”! You’ve heard those words before have you not? That’s what they told us. Those words were hollow rhetoric for us.

    Have you seen this mans remarks on abuse? Check out JW.org. He is another self-proclaimed brother of Christ. And that’s not an accusation or rhetoric. That’s what he says he is, and you have to believe it, or they say you’ll be destroyed in lose out on everlasting life.

    I hate their policies that are carried out by elders who get their marching orders from the branch office and Brooklyn NY. The policies are wrong and hurt their members. That is not rhetoric sir. I have lived it.

    So that is my point of view, since its my life experience. You and those making lame attempts to minimise/excuse and deny the reality of my experience and those of many other JW and ex-JW victims and their families, are in total darkness and denial about reality.

  36. BobR. says:

    By their own words and actions, the GB show that they hate me and my family. They, “the GB” and their legal armada of lawyers, sue and countersue victims of abuse, who themselves are left with no other choice than by turning to legal options to achieve some justice and protect other unsuspecting, naïve JWs from abuse.

    The GB use Satans worldly system of laws and legal system to attack their fellow brothers. They beat their fellow slaves literally. Its really a huge sarcastic perversion of logic and Christs spirit. Just view the dripping vitriol and disdain shown by Mr.Lett in his video on JW.org dealing with abuse accusers/victims. He is bringing reproach upon himself and his false group of leaders.

    1. guitarsatele says:

      Bob
      You make many unsubstantiated accusations. Are you saying that the elders that turned into the secular authorities, in the case i am personally aware of, are you saying they were going against Watchtower Policy .
      Please show us in written form where this comes from. Lets deal in facts.
      You have not responded to the link I provided. Please respond to the link.

  37. BobR. says:

    I would suggest that you go to your elders and ask them for the manual they use as their guidance. If you can’t get access to it, then you will have to ask yourself why you cannot get the information. Well, because its not meant for the rank and file to see or read it. And then make their own judgements about the policies. You must already know that.

    Obviously you have no access to the manual that the elders use. Again you are denying my experience. My personal experiences are substantiation for me. Actions speak louder than hollow words.

    Are elders qualified to investigate possible criminal activity? What is their expertise or training? The secular authorities are the experts in such matters. Over 1000 cases of abuse in Australia. Not one reported to the police. The brothers there must have a special insight on such matters. They were directed to not contact the police by the society. Look at the evidence by some elders and officials at the ARC on this and get back to me.

    There have been many well publicised JW abuse cases worldwide where the society has had to be taken to court for criminal liability for not taking adequate measures to protect its members. Victims are left with no other recourse after having been abandoned, and received no justice from the brothers The victims who have won monetary and judicial judgements in the courts, have been countersued by the JWs org. Just do a goggle search. Its quite simple to do.

    Have you looked at Mr. Letts video on JW.org? What about Jacksons from the ARC hearings? You have access to that. Please look at it and let me know. I asked the other apoligist the same question about the video, and he never responded directly. Lett calls me a “liar, dishonest and an agent of Satan” This is a GB member. A loving kind shepherd? Acting for Christ? Look at the video on JW.org.

    Mr. Jackson didn’t bother to read the printed testimony of the ARC JW victims? He didn’t have the time to do so. Again and again these ones show an unloving attitude towards accusers or victims of abuse in the congregation.

  38. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Bob,

    To say I would not answer is simply inaccurate. I tried to do so in a methodical manner and you bowed out. Your accusations seem to fly without accuracy, rhyme or reason and without any substantiation on your part. Please, I ask you again, just pick a topic and stick to it and let’s respectfully and peacefully discuss it. Is that possible with you?

    Thanks for your input, guitarsatele. Much appreciated.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  39. BobR. says:

    I will say ditto to you as well. Mr. Jackson and Lett and their group will have an accounting at the Judgement Day as will those who blindly follow them, as mere men. You defend them and their words and actions. Good. You are no better then they are. Evil humans. I say no worse than what Mr. Lett calls me. Such respect he displays to Christs sheep. Perverts.

    I really don’t care about what you think. My family has been freed from JW bondage and have seen the light. No respect was shown to my family, let alone kindness and love. They were being re- victimised as I am here by inquisitors who are not of Christ.

  40. BobR. says:

    My life experiences with JWs and abuse policies ARE MY SUBSTANTIATION “sir”. You are nothing but a JW Pharisee and slave to men. Good luck to you.

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