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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Does the Governing Body Really Claim a “Right to Rule” Over Jehovah's Witnesses as Some Opposers Suggest?

Neither the Governing Body nor the Elders in the Christian congregation claim a personal “right to rule” the Witnesses. Rather, every decision is based on Scriptures as the final authority--or logic in the case of policy.

The very fact that critics of Jehovah's Witnesses constantly resort to such ridiculously opinionated argumentation only proves that they realize that they have no real evidence against our actual beliefs.

First, Jehovah's Witnesses have only one leader: Christ Jesus. Second, we do NOT look to the Watchtower Society or any organization as the final authority or infallible.

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the Bible is the final authority on doctrinal belief and it cannot be overridden by any human or organization (w98 3/15 p.18; km 9/02 p.2; g80 9/22 p.12; it-1 p.1205; g75 10/22 p.22; g70 4/22 p.25).

Jehovah's Witnesses are repeatedly and constantly admonished that they cannot simply trust someone else to tell them the Truth, but that they must study the Bible for themselves and make sure that they personally know and understand the facts. Others can only assist us to search for and gather the evidence, but we must make it our own and solidly confirm it through personal experience.

Further, the Governing Body itself has reproved Jehovah's Witnesses for even using terminology that would even appear to place the Watchtower Society as their authority on any subject, reemphasizing that Jehovah's Witnesses should use only the Bible as their source.--(w98 3/15 p.18)

The Witnesses actual teaching is very clear for all to read: "What God's Word has to say on any issue should be considered as final and binding on all members"--(w68 2/1 p. 84)

However, the Scriptures also explicitly state that God did set up organizational authority within the Christian Congregation (Ac.14:23; Eph.4:11-13; 1Cor.12:18-31; Tit 1:5,9).

We pattern our organization after that indicated in the Bible: First, a "governing body" of experienced spiritual men oversee the worldwide evangelizing work (Ac.15:2,6,7,22-31; 16:4,5; 8:14; Gal 2:9). Each congregation is taught and organized by a group of spiritual men who are "elders" (PRESBYTER) or "overseers" (EPISKOPOS) and "ministerial servants" (DIAKONOUS) 1Tim.3:1-13; Tit.1:5-9; 1Pt 5:2,3). The True Christian organization would be identified by having this Biblical structure.

According to God’s Word, the congregation members must be obedient to the "orders" of those “overseers” and “elders,” and it required that "all within its fold agree" with expressed Christian beliefs. Those that did not were removed from fellowship (1Thes.4:1,2; 2Thes.3:14; Heb.13:7,17; Php.2:12). Any religion which does not follow these mandates cannot be truly Christian.

"Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among you and be submissive, for they are keeping watch over your souls."

Just as in the first century Christian congregation, the decisions of these elders are not arbitrary but are completely based on Scriptures and the obvious direction of the Holy Spirit. Their decisions can be double-checked and verified by an examination of the Scriptures. So, confidence and obedience to these teachers in the congregation comes from personally confirming that the decisions are based ONLY on the Scriptures.

The authoritative organization serves as the instrument to build faith and maintain correct doctrine based only on Scripture (Eph.4:11-13; 2Tim.3:16,17). The purpose of headship is to preserve unity and ensure that "all things take place decently and by arrangement" (1Cor.14:40).

So, we do not blindly follow any organization but we recognize those who give evidence of accurate teaching. Witnesses give evidence that they are True Christians by their strictly following Scriptural truth and by their fruitage (Mt.7:16-19; Jn.13:34,35).

The only authority Jehovah's Witnesses give to Christian overseers is that which is mandated by Holy Scripture. Anyone who criticizes Jehovah's Witnesses on this arrangement must also criticize the Apostles, the first century Christians and the Bible itself. Because Jehovah's Witnesses pattern their organization after that indicated in the Bible (Ac.15:2,6,7,22-31; 16:4,5; 8:14, Gal 2:9; 1Tim.3:1-13; Tit.1:5-9; 1Pt 5:2,3). The True Christian organization would be identified by having this Biblical structure.

All Jehovah's Witnesses do is to invite others to do the same, critically examine your beliefs in light of the plain and explicit teaching of Scripture and the evidence in the actions of your religion and its members, then choose to follow Christ closely (Rom.10:1-3; Eph.1:17).

SOURCE: This is an answer provided by BAR_ANERGES at Yahoo Answers.

Also see:

How Does the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses Today Look to Jehovah God and Jesus Christ For Direction in all Matters? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)


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