Jehovah’s Witness are taught that friendship with Jesus Christ is highly contingent upon their obedience and support of the Watchtower Society. This has been detailed in many of the Watchtower Society’s publications which Jehovah’s Witnesses are instructed to study and meditate upon.
Let’s take one example: The Watchtower from October 15, 2009 on page 15, under the subheading ‘Friendship with Christ Today’ states the following in paragraph 14:
"How, then can we be friends of Christ? One way is to obey the direction provided by the faithful and discreet slave class, which consists of Jesus' spirit-anointed brothers still alive on earth."
The “faithful and discreet slave class” as mentioned above, consists for Jehovah’s Witnesses of several men who reside in Brooklyn, NY who supposedly look over and approve all literature or ‘spiritual food’ provided to Jehovah’s Witnesses. They set doctrines such as not allowing the transfusion of whole blood, blood fractions are a conscience matter, no celebrating of holidays or birthdays and the shunning of former Jehovah’s Witnesses besides many other regulations and teachings.
It is sickening to think that one’s friendship with Jesus is conditioned with obedience to these men. The article does not stop there though. Continuing further in paragraph 17, this statement is made for Jehovah’s Witnesses to believe as truth:
"A second way that those of the other sheep class can help Christ's brothers is by financially supporting the preaching work."
While Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses will not ‘pass around plates’ so to speak, there are ‘contribution boxes’ found throughout their places of worship. While such monetary contribution may appear on the surface to be voluntary, what is being taught is if you want to be a friend of Jesus you will financially support the preaching work. The Watchtower Society has been masters over many years of causing Jehovah’s Witnesses to ‘read between the lines’ of the indoctrinating messages they dispense in their literature such as the Watchtower. This is just another example of one of them.
If the high level control has not enforced itself enough with this study article for Jehovah’s Witnesses, the next paragraph drives the obedience and support of the Watchtower Society organization home once more. Paragraph 18 brings the following admonition and instructions:
"A third way that all of us prove that we are friends of Christ is by cooperating with the direction provided by congregation elders."
"When we overlook the faults of the elders and joyfully follow their directions, we prove our love for Christ."
As if obedience to the men in Brooklyn, NY were not enough along with the financial support of the organization’s preaching work of distributing their literature and asking for money in order to solidify friendship with Jesus, Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught that cooperating with the Elders including overlooking their faults and following their directions is what proves your love for Him.
To be friends of Jesus Christ and to prove your love for Him, requires your obedience and support of the Watchtower Society. How convenient for the organization and how terribly controlling for its members.
How much so it contradicts the Bible which clearly states Jesus’ words regarding love and friendship. Even in the Watchtower Society’s version of the Bible, The New World Translation states in John 15: 13-15:
“No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his soul in behalf of his friends. YOU are my friends if YOU do what I am commanding YOU. I no longer call YOU slaves, because a slave does not know what his master does. But I have called YOU friends, because all the things I have heard from my Father I have made known to YOU.”
Jesus never mentioned obedience to an organization as being a stipulation on whether or not he would be friends with an individual. Never was there any hint of financially support a 19th century started publishing company in order to show love or have His friendship either. Furthermore, the notion of going along and joyfully following the directions of elders in the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses in order to prove one’s love for Jesus is so far gone from anything that Christ taught.
It is clearly evident that while the Watchtower Society may print articles respecting ‘Friendship with Jesus’, what their real motive reveals is a controlling, manipulative message of obedience and support of their organization.