[From ws15/04 p. 9 for June 8-14]
“and the things you heard from me that were supported by many witnesses, these things entrust to faithful men, who, in turn, will be adequately qualified to teach others.” – 2 Timothy 2:2
This week we continue the study directed toward elders to help them to train brothers to serve as ministerial servants and elders in the congregation. That the Governing Body is willing to spend 16 million man-hours on a task that involves only a small fraction of the worldwide congregation instead of, say, teaching the brothers and sisters some new things from God’s Word, is evidence of the importance they place on the strength of the organizational structure.
There is little here worth spending our review time on, so just a few tidbits this week.
Paragraph 3 encourages the elders to ask the learner, “How has your dedication to Jehovah changed the way you use your life?” Notice that no mention is made of baptism. It is dedication that we focus on in the Organization. Yet, nowhere in the Bible are Christians told to dedicate their lives to Jehovah. Nowhere are those contemplating baptism encouraged to first make a dedication to God in prayer as Jehovah’s Witnesses teach. Grab your WT Library program and do a search on “dedication”. Then another on “dedicat*”. There are only a few hits in the Christian Scriptures and all relate to Judaism. (For a discussion of “dedication” vs. “baptism”, see “The Sacraments of Initiation”.)
The reality is that while the change in the questions asked all baptismal candidates does shift the focus from the “name of the Father, the Son and the holy spirit” to the Organization, it is far easier to slide our alleged dedication to Jehovah into dedication to his so-called “earthly organization”. This is another tool used to enforce the rule of man over the rule of God, and it is what these learners are being trained for—to take their part in the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy of the Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They will learn to answer to those who are placed above them in the authority structure. If this sounds like a radical or jaded point of view, please give careful consideration to the points made in both last and this week’s studies. You will see that while the training in question is said to be spiritual, the focus is entirely upon service to the organization, not in deepening one’s spiritual appreciation for what Jesus, the head of the congregation, has done for us. This fact is evident from the conclusion of this week’s study which says: “However, as you gain experience, you will no doubt share in applying changes that will help the congregation to stay in tune with Jehovah’s progressive organization.”