I got an advance notification of some “new light”.i It won’t be new to most of you. We actually revealed this “new light” almost two years ago. (This is no credit to me either, as I was hardly the first to come to this understanding.) Before giving you the lowdown on this “new light”, I wanted to share with you something one of my fellow elders challenged me with a while back. While trying to make a point of Scripture, he asked: “Do you think you know more than the Governing Body?”
This is a common challenge; one intended to silence the dissenter, for if he answers “No”, the response would be, “Then why are you challenging their teaching.” On the other hand, if he answers “Yes”, he leaves himself open to charges of presumptuousness and a proud spirit.
Of course, we would never rephrase this question to ask: “Do you think you know more than the Catholic Pope?” Sure we do! We go door-to-door contradicting the Pope’s teachings on a daily basis.
The way to answer this question is with another question. “Are you suggesting that the Governing Body knows more than everyone else on earth?” Turnabout is, after all, fair play.
A better, less confrontational way to answer it is: “Before I answer that, answer me this. Do you believe the Governing Body knows more than Jesus Christ.” If they answer, as they likely will, “Of course not.” You can reply, “Then let me show you what Jesus—not I—has to say on the question we’re discussing.”
Of course, the quiet and mild spirit will answer this way while the man we are within—the weak man of flesh—wants to grab the questioner by the shoulders and shake him senseless, screaming, “How can you even ask me that after all the mistakes you’ve seen them make over the years? Are you blind?!”
But we do not give in to such urges. We take a deep breath and try to reach the heart.
Actually, this frequently voiced challenge brings to mind another similar challenge made when an ancient authority was being put in a bad light.
(John 7:48, 49) . . .Not one of the rulers or of the Pharisees has put faith in him, has he? 49 But this crowd who do not know the Law are accursed people.”
They were convinced their reasoning was unassailable. How could these lowly, accursed people know the deep things of God? Was that not the sole providence of the wise and intellectual ones, the leaders of the Jewish people? Why, from time immemorial, they had been Jehovah’s Appointed Channel of Communication and Revelation.
Jesus knew otherwise and said so:
(Matthew 11:25, 26) . . .“I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intellectual ones and have revealed them to young children. 26 Yes, O Father, because this is the way you approved.
Since the way approved of by God to reveal hidden things is through babes—the foolish things of this system—the current belief of Jehovah’s Witnesses that all truth comes through the exalted office of the Governing Body must be wrong. Or has Jehovah changed his mind and his way of doing things?
I submit as evidence the “Question from Readers” in the August 15, Watchtower. You will soon be able to read it for yourselves off jw.org. It deals with the question of whether the resurrected will marry. (Luke 20:34-36) At long last—after many decades—we are seeing reason. If you want to read what we had to say about this subject on Beroean Pickets back in June of 2012, check out Can the Resurrected Marry? Actually, that post merely put into words what I had believed for decades. The fact that these truths were evident to good-for-nothing slaves like Apollos and yours truly, and countless others besides, surely proves that the Governing Body cannot be Jehovah’s Appointed Channel of Communication. Jehovah reveals his truth to babes. It is the possession of all of us, not of a select few.
There are likely many sincere brothers and sisters reading this who might be reasoning that we are running ahead; that we should have kept quiet; that only now is the time for Jehovah to reveal this new truth, and so we should have been waiting on him all along. According to the Governing Body, I and others like me have been sinning for decades by testing Jehovah in our heart just for holding to this contrary, albeit correct belief.
It is true that Jehovah has progressively revealed truth. For instance, the nature and person of the Messiah was part of a sacred secret kept hidden for four thousand years. However—and this is the key point—once Jehovah reveals a hidden truth, he does so to all. There is no small elect group that holds the secrets of divine wisdom; no tiny cadre of privileged ones with special knowledge. True, divine knowledge is not the possession of all, but that is by their wish, not God’s. (2 Peter 3:5) He makes his truth available to all. His holy spirit operates on people not institutions or organization—on people, individuals. Truth is revealed to all genuinely thirsting for it. Once you have it, you have a divinely mandated obligation to share it with others. There is no sitting on it while waiting for a group of men who are self-admittedly not inspired to give us the go-ahead. (Matthew 5:15, 16)
Since we are speaking of presumptuousness, just how presumptuous has it been for us all these decades—since 1954 at least—to audaciously claim we know how Jehovah is going to deal with the thorny question of marriage among resurrected ones on earth? There you have a truth whose time to be revealed has not yet come. Who’s running ahead now?