This is a follow up to the post Look! I Am With You All the Days. In that post we made reference to the fact that memorial attendance declined dramatically from 1925 to 1928–something on the astonishing order of 80%. This was due to the failure of Judge Rutherford’s predictions that the resurrection (and other things) would occur in 1925.
However, we did not have the references at the time to back up that statement. We now have them.(From page 337 of Your Will Be Done on Earth)
We stopped publishing the memorial attendance figure after 1926, possibly to avoid further embarrassment and discouragement. However, according to Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, pages 313 and 314, the memorial attendance in 1928 was only 17, 380. Quite a drop from the 90,434 of just three years earlier.
Of course, it is very easy to put the blame on the brothers, accusing them of lacking faith. This is what the Your Will Be Done on Earth book, quoted above, is doing. However, we say nothing about those who promoted a false teaching that resulted in thousands being stumbled. Since Jehovah doesn’t test his people with bad things and false doctrine is a very bad thing, one has to wonder where this test came from. (James 1:13)
Whatever the case, the current teaching that Jesus inspected his temple from 1914 to 1919 and then appointed Judge Rutherford to the post of Faithful and Discreet Slave seems difficult to accept given that a year before this alleged appointment, Judge Rutherford had started to promote a teaching that was about as indiscreet as one can get, nor was he being faithful to the inspired word of God by publishing his own speculation, nor was he fulfilling his duty to feed the sheep, since sheep who are fed Scriptural falsehoods are bound to die of starvation. (w1918 6/15 p. 6279)