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Thursday, January 3, 2013

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

Neither the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses nor the Elders in the Christian congregation “dictate policy and theology” [as some have asserted]. Rather, every decision is based on Scriptures as the final authority--or logic in the case of policy.

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).

The authority the Governing Body has is that which is mandated by Holy Scripture (Ac.14:23; Eph.4:11-13; 1Cor.12:18-31; Tit 1:5,9). 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.

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.

Then, following the precedent of the first century Christian Governing Body, the instructions and decisions of the Governing Body are passed on to the congregations by means of written communications and traveling representatives (Ac 16:4). These communications always give a full discussion of the Scriptures on which the decision was based so that all can see the Scriptural basis for the belief.

So, the first century Christian congregations recognized the authority of the Christian governing body at Jerusalem. When the governing body made its decision, as directed by the holy spirit, that decision was accepted and became binding upon all Christian congregations (Ac 15:22- 31).

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 the Governing Body are not arbitrary but can ALWAYS be double-checked and verified by an examination of the Scriptures.

The authoritative organization serves as the instrument to build faith and maintain Biblical doctrine (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).

There is no JW who believes that the GB has dominion over his faith. Our faith is ours to govern and ours only. Each individual must see to building his faith and proving his beliefs.

By their adhering to Scripture and following Christ as a model the Governing Body can echo Paul's words: "Not that we are the masters over your faith, but we are fellow workers for your joy, for it is by your faith that you are standing" (2Cor.1:24).

Individual Witnesses make decisions on the basis of Bible counsel offered by the Governing Body of their own volition because their personal study of the Bible convinces them that it is the proper course (1Thes.2:13).

When it comes to policy or non-doctrinal decisions the Governing Body observes trends, examines questions and research on Scriptural beliefs, and then passes on decisions based on a united understanding of Bible laws and principles. Thus, Christian experience, guidance from the Bible, and the leadings of Jehovah's spirit direct this organizational body of Christians to theocratic conclusions (1Cor.4:1,2; Tit.1:7-9).

Because of following such theocratic procedures found in accounts like Acts 15 Witnesses have the utmost confidence in their organizational arrangements. And the confirming evidence from the Holy Spirit is undeniable in the unprecedented unity and peace that exists among Jehovah's Witnesses.

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).

SOURCE: This was the answer given by Bar_Anerges to this question on Yahoo Answers.

For more, please see these articles from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society:

How the Governing Body Differs From a Legal Corporation (w01 1/15 pp. 28-31)

“We Have Come to a Unanimous Accord” (bt chap. 14 pp. 108-115)

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