Some have come to question our motivation in sponsoring this forum. In striving for a deeper understanding of important Bible topics, we have often come to be at odds with the established doctrine published by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Because there are so many sites out there whose sole purpose, it seems, is to ridicule either the governing body in particular or Jehovah’s Witnesses in general, some have thought that our site was merely a variation on that theme.
The fact is, all the main contributors to this forum love truth. We love Jehovah who is the God of truth. Our purpose in examining his word as well as cross-examining any of the teachings that are presented through our publications is to deepen our understanding of truth; to lay a solid foundation for faith. It follows that if our study and research reveals that some of the things we teach in our publications are scripturally inaccurate, then we must out of loyalty to God and out of that same love of truth speak out.
It is common wisdom that “silence implies consent”. To have proven a teaching to be unscriptural or speculative when it is taught as fact, and yet, not to speak out about it may be seen as consenting. For many of us, our awareness that some of the doctrines we were being taught had no foundation in Scripture was slowly eating away at us. Like a boiler with no safety valve, the pressure was building and there was no way to release it. This forum has provided that release valve.
Still, some object to the fact that we publish this research on the web, but do not speak up in the congregation. The adage “silence implies consent” is not an axiom. It applies to some situations, yes. However, there are occasions when it is necessary to remain silent even though one knows the truth. Jesus said, “I have many things yet to say to YOU, but YOU are not able to bear them at present.” (John 16:12)
Truth is not a sledgehammer. Truth should always build up the person even while it is tearing down wrong thinking, superstitions, and harmful traditions. To stand up in the congregation and contradict some of our teachings would not be upbuilding, but disruptive. This site allows people who are interested and inquiring to find out things on their own. They come to us of their own volition. We do not impose ourselves upon them, nor force ideas on unwelcome ears.
But there is another reason we do not speak up in the congregation.
(Micah 6:8) .?.?.He has told you, O earthling man, what is good. And what is Jehovah asking back from you but to exercise justice and to love kindness and to be modest in walking with your God?
This is, for me, one of the most beautiful verses in the entire Bible. How succinctly Jehovah tells us all what we must do to please him. Three things, and three things only, are required. But let us focus on the last of those three. Modesty means recognizing one’s limitations. It also means recognizing one’s place within Jehovah’s arrangement. King David twice had an occasion to do away with his archrival, King Saul, but he refrained from doing so because he recognized that despite his anointed status, it was not his place to usurp the throne. Jehovah would grant it to him in his own good time. In the meantime, he had to bear up and suffer. So do we.
All humans have the right to speak the truth. We do not have the right to impose that truth upon others. We are exercising our right, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, our duty, to speak the truth by means of this forum. However within the Christian congregation, we must respect the various levels of authority and responsibility that have been laid down in Scripture. Have ideas of men crept in to our beliefs? Yes, but much scriptural truth is also being taught. Some harm being done? Of course. It was prophesied to be so. But also much good is being accomplished. Are we to mount up on white horses and go charging off in all directions in the cause of righteousness? Who are we to do so? Good-for-nothing slaves is what we are, nothing more. The course of modesty tells us that within the confines of whatever authority Jehovah grants us, we must act in the cause of righteousness and truth. However, no matter how righteous the cause, exceeding that authority means intruding into the jurisdiction of Jehovah God. That is never right. Consider what our King has to say on the subject:
(Matthew 13:41, 42) . . .The Son of man will send forth his angels, and they will collect out from his kingdom all things that cause stumbling and persons who are doing lawlessness, 42 and they will pitch them into the fiery furnace. . . .
Notice he says, “all things that cause stumbling” and all “persons who are doing lawlessness”. These are collected from “his kingdom”. We often point to apostate Christendom when referencing this Scripture, but is apostate Christendom God’s kingdom? It is safe to say that it is part of his kingdom because they claim to follow the Christ. However, how much more so are those who consider themselves true Christians part of his kingdom. From within this kingdom, this Christian Congregation we cherish, he collects all things causing stumbling and persons doing lawlessness. They are there even now, but it is our Lord who recognizes them and judges them.
Our responsibility is to remain in union with the Lord. If there are those within the congregation who are causing us trouble, we must endure until the day of final judgment.
(Galatians 5:10) . . .I am confident about YOU who are in union with [the] Lord that YOU will not come to think otherwise; but the one who is causing YOU trouble will bear [his] judgment, no matter who he may be.
“No matter who he may be”. Everyone causing us trouble will bear Christ’s judgment.
As for us, we will continue to study, research, examine and cross-examine, make sure of all things and hold fast to what is fine. If, along the way, we can encourage a little, so much the better. We will count that as a blessed privilege. The fact is that we are often encouraged in return. If we upbuild, then be assured that your encouraging comments build us up in return.
There will come a day, and that right soon, when all things will be revealed. We must simply keep our place and hold out for that day.