Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Lead Lie

Jehovah's Witnesses were taught this past Sunday from the September 15, 2010, Watchtower study article found on pages 21-25, entitled, "Your Leader Is One, The Christ". Right out of the gate, paragraph 1 states:

"CHRISTENDOM’S churches have human leaders, such as the pope of Rome, the patriarchs and metropolitans of the Eastern Orthodox churches, and the heads of other religions. Jehovah’s Witnesses recognize no human as their leader. They are not disciples or followers of any man. This is in line with Jehovah’s prophetic utterance concerning his Son: “Look! As a witness to the national groups I have given him, as a leader and commander to the national groups.” (Isa. 55:4) The international congregation of anointed Christians and their “other sheep” companions want no leader other than the one Jehovah has given them. (John 10:16) They subscribe to Jesus’ statement: “Your Leader is one, the Christ.” —Matt. 23:10."

In typical Watchtower fashion, the organization bashes other religions while trying to convince the reader how different they are in the way they arrange and conduct themselves as a group. The claim that Jehovah's Witnesses recognize no human as their leader is at best a game of semantics, at worst a flat out lie.

The organization applies the following scriptures heavily:

Hebrews 13:7 - Remember those who are taking the lead among YOU, who have spoken the word of God to YOU, and as YOU contemplate how [their] conduct turns out imitate [their] faith.

Hebrews 13:17 - Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among YOU and be submissive, for they are keeping watch over YOUR souls as those who will render an account; that they may do this with joy and not with sighing, for this would be damaging to YOU.

Hebrews 13:24 - Give my greetings to all those who are taking the lead among YOU and to all the holy ones. Those in Italy send YOU their greetings.

The Watchtower Society utilizes its own interpretation and implementation of the above writings.

Below is the hierarchy and organizational structure/power found within the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses, starting with its top leaders down to the lowest title:

I. Governing Body

II. Traveling Overseers:

     A. Zone/Branch Overseers

     B. District Overseers

     C. Circuit Overseers

     D. City Overseers [Optional]

III. Congregations:

     A. Elders

          1. Coordinator of the Body of Elders (Previously called Presiding Overseer)

          2. Service Overseer

          3. Congregation Secretary

          4. Other roles [I.E. Watchtower Conductor]

     B. Ministerial Servants

     C. Baptized Publishers

     D. Unbaptized Publishers

     E. Students

     F. Associates

Note that the highest level a female within the organization can achieve is Baptized Publisher.

The chain of power and authority from least to greatest after that...

Ministerial Servant --> Elder --> [Optional] City Overseer --> Circuit Overseer --> District Overseer --> Zone/Branch Overseer --> Governing Body

...Can only be held by a male. Females do not hold such positions within the organization.

The emphasis and stress of leadership and being obedient to Jehovah's Witnesses human leaders is clear within even current Watchtower articles. For example:

Watchtower, January 15, 2008, page 26, paragraph 6:
"In a symbolic way, Christians with an earthly hope today walk behind the anointed slave class and its Governing Body, following their leadership."

Watchtower, May 15, 2008, page 29:
"The Head, Jesus Christ, supplies the body members with what is needed for good cooperation, coordination, and spiritual nourishment. (Eph. 4:15, 16; Col. 2:19) In such respects, the Governing Body is organized to take the lead as Jehovah directs them by holy spirit."

Watchtower, February 15, 2009, page 28, paragraph 17:
"The members of the Governing Body are experienced, spirit-anointed elders. They in particular can be described as “those who are taking the lead” among us. (Heb. 13:7)"

Watchtower, November 15, 2009, page 14, paragraph 5:
"We need to guard against developing a spirit of independence. By word or action, may we never challenge the channel of communication that Jehovah is using today. (Num. 16:1-3) On the contrary, we should cherish our privilege to cooperate with the slave class. And should we not strive to be obedient and submissive to those taking the lead in our local congregation?"

As for Jesus Christ, the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses states the majority of the members do not even have Jesus as their mediator:

"Likewise, the Greater Moses, Jesus Christ, is not the Mediator between Jehovah God and all mankind. He is the Mediator between his heavenly Father, Jehovah God, and the nation of spiritual Israel, which is limited to only 144,000 members.”

Straight from the Watchtower Society, Governing Body endorsed, publication studied and taught by Jehovah's Witnesses, "Worldwide Security Under the Prince of Peace". The above teaching came directly from page 10, paragraph 16.

Make no mistake about it, Jehovah's Witnesses have plenty of human leaders. Their publications can try to indoctrinate otherwise and play with semantics, but they are encouraging a game of lies and hypocrisy.