Sunday, 13 June 2010

Jehovah's Witnesses; Wrong, But is it Their Fault?

StandFirm continues in his efforts to defend the Watch Tower Society, Governing Body and world-wide congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, on this occasion, against the accusation that Jehovah's Witnesses are not approved by God - or in God's favour - due to their "making mistakes" "in the past".
From his blog;

Was Nathan a False Prophet?

Israelite King David wanted to build a house (temple) for the ark of the covenant. 1 Chronicles 17:1, 2 read:

"After David was settled in his palace, he said to Nathan the prophet, "Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under a tent."

Nathan replied to David, "Whatever you have in mind, do it, for God is with you.""

But then, Nathan changes his message in verses 3 and 4:

"That night the word of God came to Nathan, saying:

"Go and tell my servant David, 'This is what the Lord says: You are not the one to build me a house to dwell in.""

Nathan was a true prophet of God and yet, he gave David the wrong information. He even credited God! Did he therefore become a false prophet and receive God's great displeasure? No. Rather, he continued to serve as God's prophet. Why? Because he allowed God to correct him.

If Nathan, as an inspired prophet, was able to give David false information, then how much more so would it be possible for the modern-day congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses be able to make mistakes and yet be corrected and continue in God's favor! Surely, then, mistakes prove nothing about spirit-direction or the lack thereof. If Nathan can make mistakes and have God's spirit then so can Jehovah's Witnesses.
What in Nathan's statement was wrong?

  • were David's plans dishonourable and therefore obviously not part of YHWH's plans?
  • was YHWH with David?

David makes known to Nathan that he plans to build a house for YHWH's presence. Nathan replies, "sounds good, God is with you." Was it wrong for Nathan to encourage David's honourable goal of providing the Ark of the Covenant with a temple? Nathan's role as prophet, or spokesman for YHWH, would include offering words of encouragement to the King. And this is what he did.

Was it wrong for Nathan to say "God is with you"? Is it not true that David was anointed by YHWH and carried the Lord's favour?

So what, precisely did Nathan say that was "wrong information" that could be considered making him a "false prophet"?

If Nathan, as an inspired prophet, was able to give David false information, then how much more so would it be possible for the modern-day congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses be able to make mistakes and yet be corrected and continue in God's favor!
But he didn't give David false information. He merely encouraged David to act on his plans as God was with him. YHWH correct Nathan by saying, "actually, David isn't the one to build me a temple".

I assume you're tactily admitting that Jehovah's Witnesses are in no way, shape or form inspired or prophets? If so, good. Sadly, though, the Watch Tower Society publishing content which states, officially, that Jehovah's Witnesses are prophets[1]!

Also, it isn't the "modern-day congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses" who make - and publish via hundreds of thousands of pieces of literature distributed throughout the entire planet - mistakes, but rather the men who make up the Governing Body, who claim to represent the allegorical group referred to as "the faithful and discreet slave" class [2]. Therefore, the spotlight should be placed on these men alone, rather than 7 million Jehovah's Witnesses who merely obediently follow and submit to these mistakes.

You're also making the assumption - and working from the presupposition - that the Governing Body and Jehovah's Witnesses are in "God's favour" in order for them to "continue in" it. I've previously asked you for proof that the Watch Tower Society/Governing Body/Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses or whatever semantic term you wish to use were chosen at any point in history by Jesus Christ to be the only ones on the planet operating within "God's favour". You have supplied no such evidence to back up your assumption and presupposition.

Therefore your statement "how much more so would it be possible for the modern-day congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses be able to make mistakes and yet be corrected and continue in God's favour" is a false assumption.
Surely, then, mistakes prove nothing about spirit-direction or the lack thereof. If Nathan can make mistakes and have God's spirit then so can Jehovah's Witnesses.
I remain to be convinced that Nathan's "mistake" of saying "good idea, God is with you" to David's plans to build a temple is on the same level as the Governing Body stating, in God's name, that organ transplants are tantamount to cannibalism[3], that some parts of blood are forbidden for medical use, that the generation alive at 1914 would be alive when Armageddon broke out[4], that millions living in the 1920s would never die[5], that the "preaching work" would be completed by the end of the 20th century[6] and so on.

I have to conclude, StandFirm, that your apologetic "juices" are running dry if this is the argumentation you're relying on to "prove" that the Governing Body via the Watch Tower Society are not false prophets.

Also, when are you going to reply to the  questions on my blog?

[1]"So, does Jehovah have a prophet to help them, to warn them of dangers and to declare things to come?
These questions can be answered in the affirmative. Who is this prophet? ... This "prophet" was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah's Christian witnesses. ... Of course, it is easy to say that this group acts as a "prophet" of God. It is another thing to prove it. The only way that this can be done is to review the record.… Thus this group of anointed followers of Jesus Christ, doing a work in Christendom paralleling Ezekiel's work among the Jews, were manifestly the modern-day Ezekiel, the "prophet" commissioned by Jehovah to declare the good news of God's Messianic kingdom and to give warning to Christendom." Watchtower 1972 Apr. 1 p.197-199 'They Shall Know that a Prophet Was Among Them'

[2]"Today, Jehovah provides instruction by means of "the faithful steward." Pay Attention to Yourself and to All The Flock p.13

[3]"Sustaining one's life by means of the body or part of the body of another human...would be cannibalism, a practice abhorrent to all civilized people… It is not our place to decide whether such operations are advisable from a scientific or medical standpoint… Christians who have been enlightened by God's Word do not need to make these decisions based simply on the basis of personal whim or emotion. They can consider the divine principles and use these in making personal decisions as they look to God for direction, trusting him and putting their confidence in the future that he has in store for those who love him" Watchtower 1967 November 15 pp.702-704

[4]"The countdown that has proceeded for some six millenniums now nears its zero hour. So close is it that people who were alive in 1914, and who are now well along in years, will not all pass off the scene before the thrilling events marking the vindication of Jehovah's sovereignty come to pass"… The early members of this group are now in their 60's or 70's or older. Jehovah did not allow the ingathering of this group to begin too soon. The "great crowd," including many of the earliest members thereof, will survive into the "new earth." Survival into a New Earth (1984) p.184-185

[5]"What an exciting message they proclaimed--"Millions now living will never die!" Brother Rutherford had given a discourse on this subject in 1918. It was also the title of a 128-page booklet published in 1920. From 1920 through 1925, that same subject was featured again and again around the world in public meetings in all areas where speakers were available and in upwards of 30 languages." Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom p.425

[6] Quote found in the January 1st 1989 Watchtower, page 12 paragraph 8. However, this quote was changed by the time the 1989 Watchtower bound volume was released. Why did the Governing Body decide to change what they'd written in the magazine version of the Watchtower article, when it was "supplied by Jehovah"? See images below;


  1. Hey Mark, I thought that StandFirm's attempt was, to be blunt, pathetic. There is no possible way one could look at the false prophetic statements that the WT has made and say, "Yep, looks like Nathan was doing the same thing!"

    But let's be generous and grant that Nathan was in error; where was the "falsely prophesying" part? Where did Nathan predict anything? This was probably the cheapest attempt i've ever seen in trying to defend the Watchtower on this issue, or any issue for that matter.

  2. I have to agree Mike, as you can probably tell from my post. I'm really disappointed in the standard of StandFirm's apologetic over the past few weeks. It's almost as if he's giving up. And if he is, I can completely understand that; how can anyone defend the indefensible and still remain intellectual alert and honest?

    I pray that he sees the truth about the "the truth" and realises that Jesus alone deserves our trust.

  3. I've just asked a series of questions myself.

    I want to know why Jesus is the way the truth and the life, and that all come to the father through him and whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life- yet there's no mention of 144,000, and was Jesus meaning that everyone prior to the coming into being of the JW's wrong?

    I also asked if it was worth being a JW when billions had passed on, yet there were an elect 144k?

    I also said, with respect, that anyone taking direction from the US ..... and Brooklyn (?!!!???) needed real faith!

  4. How about this evidence from the Douglas Walsh trial held in Scotland in 1954?The leadership happifyingly got involved in this case and the full transcript is available online. It damns the organisation and it's leaders in several respects. Not just their admission of being false prophets but the fact they force the rank and file Jehovah's Witnesses to adhere to the current published "truth" under threat of expulsion and as they believe eventual death.
    HAYDEN C COVINGTON - Former Lawyer for the Watchtower Society

    Q. Is it not vital to speak the truth on religious matters?
    A. It certainly is.

    Q. You have promulgated - forgive the word - false prophecy?
    A. We have. I do not think we have promulgated false prophecy, there have been statements that were erroneous, that is the way I put it, and mistaken. Q. It was promulgated as a matter which must be believed by all members of Jehovah's witnesses that the Lord's Second Coming took place in 1874?
    (A short discussion of evidence given by Fred W Franz about 1874 takes place here.)
    Q. That was the publication of false prophecy?
    A. That was the publication of a false prophecy, it was a false statement or an erroneous statement in fulfilment of a prophecy that was false or erroneous.
    Q. And that had to be believed by the whole of Jehovah's Witnesses?
    A. Yes, because you must understand, we must have unity, we cannot have disunity with a lot of people going every way, an army is supposed to march in step.

    Q. Back to the point now, a false prophecy was promulgated?
    A. I agree to that.
    Q. It had to be accepted by Jehovah's witnesses?
    A. That is correct.
    Q. If a member of Jehovah's witnesses took the view himself that that prophecy was wrong, and said so, would he be disfellowshipped?
    A. Yes, if he said so, and kept on persisting in creating trouble, because if the whole organisation believes one thing, even though it be erroneous, and somebody else starts on his own trying to put his ideas across, then there is a disunity and trouble, there cannot be harmony, there cannot be marching ...... Our purpose is to have unity.
    Q. Unity at all costs?
    A. Unity at all costs, because we believe and are sure that Jehovah God is using our organisation,the governing body of our organisation, to direct it, even though mistakes are made from time to time.
    Q. A unity based on an enforced acceptance of false prophecy?
    A. That is conceded to be true.
    Q. And the person who expresses his view, as you say, that it was wrong, and was disfellowshipped, would be in breach of the covenant, if he was baptised?
    A. That is correct.
    Q. And as you said yesterday expressly, would be worthy of death?
    A. I think....
    Q. Would you say yes or no?
    A. I will answer yes, unhesitatingly.

  5. Thanks Matt. It's a shame that Jehovah's Witnesses are so blinded to the truth that even legal documents such as the one you quote from are dismissed as being "irrelevant".

  6. I will respond to those questions, as well as the issue of 'Jehovah' in the New Testament, AS I CAN. I am involved in many things both on and off the 'net. Please be patient and be assured I have ignored nothing.