(Question #6) Can Jehovah’s Witnesses hold and discuss openly with other Jehovah’s Witnesses opinions that differ from orthodox Watch Tower doctrine?
No. Nor should it be allowed. Aside from prophetic interpretation and matters related to the return of Christ, the doctrines of the Watchtower Society are scripturally sound. It is the truth. Jehovah’s Witnesses who have doubts about the truth should not be allowed to create doubts in the minds of others. Overseers are under obligation to make sure that no poisonous weed springs up in their midst.
The apostle Paul spoke of those who subverted the faith of others by teaching things that contradicted the teachings of the apostles. Paul wrote to his young protégée, Timothy, exhorting him to reject the empty speeches of certain men, saying: “Do your utmost to present yourself approved to God, a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of the truth aright. But reject empty speeches that violate what is holy, for they will lead to more and more ungodliness, and their word will spread like gangrene. Hymenaeus and Philetus are among them. These men have deviated from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already occurred, and they are subverting the faith of some.”
Similarly, Paul wrote to Titus, counseling him to hold to the wholesome teaching and to reprove those who contradict, even shutting the mouths of the profitless talkers, whose blabberings were subverting entire households.
So, in light of the apostolic example, and many other instances could be cited, the Watchtower Society is not only scripturally justified in suppressing those who promote their own opinions, they are obligated to do so in behalf of Christ!
It is well to keep in mind that after the apostles died off and their stalwart influence waned, wicked men and imposters came to the fore. Eventually Christian doctrine was infused with the doctrines of demons, as Paul foretold. C.T. Russell and the original Bible Students were used by Christ to restore the basic truth that had been corrupted by the Devil. Of course, now Satan, who is always disguising himself as an angel of light, would have Jehovah’s Witnesses feel they are being deprived of some precious knowledge. Satan: “Is it really so that the Watchtower has forbidden Jehovah’s Witnesses from voicing their opinion?”
Ultimately, though, the leadership of the Watchtower Society will have to answer to the master.