Sunday, 18 July 2010

Does Mankind Need to Trust the Messenger to Receive Salvation?

 Mike Felker once again has his finger on the Governing Body's pulse, as demonstrated by this critique of the September 15th Study Edition of the Watchtower. However, within the comments of his blog post, there was complete silence from the Jehovah's Witness apologists. Eventually one anonymous person gave some responses to Mike's post, but failed completely to address any of the inherent issues raised by Mike.

Then along comes Steven who had the the following to contribute (in part, address to my questions for Jehovah's Witnesses about how they deal with John 5:22,23), you can read his full comment here. The gist of his response (although I'd urge you to click through and read it) is that we need to trust, or place our confidence, in "the messenger" (which I assume is the Governing Body), even though the messenger is imperfect and makes mistakes.

This is my response to Steven.

"I believe the question has been asked and answered. You disagree. Do you really want to know the answer?"
I'm sorry, but I don't see any of my questions about Jehovah's Witnesses and John 5:22,23 answered. Perhaps you could direct me to them.
"If you really believe we are in the last days, it would be prudent to ensure that you are doing what is required by God. That is what’s really critical for all at this point."
I agree. Finding out what God requires is important, and the Bible doesn't make it complicated. All who confess Jesus is Lord and believe in their heart that he was raised will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
"So, it is clear that the focus is not so much on the messenger but the message."
Interesting. What if the messenger keeps getting the message wrong? What if the messenger proclaims certain years as being important, such as 1874, 1878, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1975 etc? What if those proclamation prove to be baseless? Should we keep paying attention to the message of this messenger?

Further to that, what if the messenger proclaims to understand what Jesus evidently meant when he used the word 'generation'? What if each one of the messengers claims of what Jesus "evidently" meant by 'generation' are thrown out. By the messenger.
How much stock would we be expected to place in this imperfect, uninspired messenger who keeps getting important parts of the message completely wrong?
"Who ever can accurately answers to these questions using God’s word is the one you should be putting your confidence. And make no mistake about it, they will be imperfect and make mistakes!!!!!"
This is a very telling statement and it's one that could only come from a person steeped in Watch Tower Society rhetoric, that somehow mankind needs to find an imperfect, uninspired group of people with a track record of making mistakes, and in some way place it's confidence in them for salvation.

However, if this was Jehovah's plan all along (i.e. rely entirely on a mistake-prone, imperfect, uninspired group of men using the Watch Tower Society as a publishing corporation) then why did he bother sending Jesus to an agonising death?

Further to that, your position of directing confidence towards a group of imperfect, flawed (i.e. getting the message, at times, completely wrong and have to totally reverse the content of the message several times, such as in the 'generation') men, 
is not supported in any way by scripture.

Yes, you can cite Old Testament/Old Covenant prophets. But Christians are told that God's law is written on our hearts.

Here's where, scripturally, you run into trouble with your position of having to trust imperfect men for salvation;

  • Rom. 5:1, "therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,"
  • Rom. 10:4, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."
  • Gal. 2:21, I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.
  • Gal. 3:24, "Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith."
  • Eph. 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. 9Not by works, lest any man should boast."
I really hope you'll see the need to get to know Jesus and simply trust him for your salvation. He alone is the way, the truth and the life. He alone is the way to salvation, dying for our sins so that we can be given his righteousness and be reconciled to God through him (2 Cor 5:18-21).

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