Monday, August 22
If errors were what you watch . . . who, O Jehovah, could stand?
Had you been there with Moses when Aaron made a statue of a golden calf, how would you have felt about Aaron’s weak excuses? Or how would you have considered Aaron’s attitude when he criticized Moses for marrying a foreign woman? How would you have reacted when Aaron and Moses failed to honor Jehovah at the time He miraculously provided water at Meribah? In each of these situations, Jehovah could have punished Aaron on the spot. But He discerned that Aaron was not a bad person or gravely at fault. And when he was confronted with his own mistakes, he readily admitted them and supported Jehovah’s judgments. Jehovah chose to focus on Aaron’s faith and repentant attitude. Centuries later, Aaron and his descendants were still remembered as fearers of Jehovah.—
It is not as though there were not consequences resulting from Aaron’s foolishness in making the golden calf. Moses had 3,000 idolators killed on that very day. But it didn’t end there.
Jehovah was so disgusted with the people that he refused to be in their midst following the golden calf incident. The following day Jehovah told Moses to set up his tent outside the Israelite camp. God said to him: “Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go in the midst of you, for you are an obstinate people, and I might exterminate you on the way.”
Then God commanded Moses to go back up the mountain to receive the Law again. It was on that occasion that Jehovah declared himself to be a God merciful and compassionate, pardoning error but by no means will he leave the guilty unpunished, or as the old NWT worded it: “by no means will he give exemption from punishment…”
The Watchtower implies that God simply let Aaron off the hook, so-to-speak. Nothing could be further from the truth.
On the occasion when Aaron spoke against Moses Jehovah sternly rebuked him and struck his sister with leprosy. And when Moses and Aaron failed to give God the glory for providing water Jehovah had Aaron put to death. Neither he nor his brother were allowed to enter the Promised Land for the explicit reason that they sinned against Jehovah at Meriba. (Numbers 20) Jehovah did not consent to give Moses nor Aaron exemption from punishment.
But, Aaron did set a good example for the leadership of the Watchtower. When Jehovah struck Miriam with leprosy Aaron at least admitted that he had behaved foolishly in questioning Moses’ authority.
Contrary to Aaron the Governing Body has never, ever admitted to an error of any kind. When they make “adjustments” to their interpretations there is never any sort of acknowledgment of error. They simply say God has revealed new truth to them. Then the old truth is discarded.
When their changes and flip-flops stumble untold thousands of believers and interested persons the Watchtower never takes responsibility. Instead, they blame their followers for not keeping up with Jehovah’s chariot. Most outrageous, the Governing Body actually teaches that Jehovah’s angels are actively involved in removing persons from the organization, who in reality have been stumbled by the Watchtower.
Although a Governing Body member under oath suggested to the Royal Commission in Australia that the Watchtower may make compensation to the victims of child abuse in that nation, the leadership have never, ever taken any responsibility for the thousands of children that have been sexually abused. But if there is no culpability why make compensation using money devoted to Kingdom interests? If there is a recognition of responsibility why hasn’t the Watchtower humbly asked for abuse victims to forgive their error?
Presently the leadership of the Watchtower has the luxury of passing judgment upon itself. Not surprisingly they have jiggered the Scriptures so as to pronounce themselves righteous in the sight of God.
Like Aaron with his golden calf, the Governing Body has turned the organization into an idol. Like Muslims going to Mecca, Jehovah’s Witnesses trek to New York to tour the sacred facilities that are the centerpiece of Jehovah’s earthly organization. Those making the pilgrimage are even provided instructions on proper dress and grooming. Jehovah’s Witnesses speak of the faithful and discreet slave in reverential tones. Indeed, the Watchtower demands their loyalty and obedience. Never has Bethel ever cautioned Jehovah’s Witnesses about attaching undue importance to the Watchtower or the Governing Body or “the faithful slave.” Quite the contrary, persons who are baptized are even required to declare that they belong to “God’s spirit-directed organization.”
As an example of the sort of worship given the organization, if one of Jehovah’s Witnesses were to confess having doubts about the inspiration of the Bible or perhaps even doubts about God’s existence, in all likelihood they would be dealt with moderately. Perhaps the elders might offer to study the Bible with them. But let one of Jehovah’s Witnesses voice their concern that the Watchtower has not been straight, such as their admitted 10 year partnership with the United Nations, or the fact that the Watchtower’s lawyers have argued in court that elders have no duty to protect the children in the congregations from sexual predators, or the outright falsity of the 1914 doctrine, quite likely that person would be accused of apostasy and dealt with accordingly.
But Jehovah does not change. He will not give exemption from punishment. That is why Jesus spoke of the punishment that will be meted out upon even the faithful slave, the one put in charge. In the 12th chapter of Luke Jesus spoke of his coming as a thief in the night to make a surprise inspection of his household. Some slaves will be held guilty of mistreating their fellow slaves and of associating with drunkards. Other slaves though, even the ones judged to have been true to their commission, will be chastised for their ignorance. Here is what Christ said: “Then that slave who understood the will of his master but did not get ready or do what he asked will be beaten with many strokes. But the one who did not understand and yet did things deserving of strokes will be beaten with few. Indeed, everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him, and the one who was put in charge of much will have more than usual demanded of him.”
Although the Watchtower has adroitly shifted the judgment of the house of God to the past, their words cannot prevent Christ from calling them to account in the future. That is why the question is posed in Malachi: “But who will endure the day of his coming, and who will be able to stand when he appears? For he will be like the fire of a refiner and like the lye of laundrymen. And he will sit as a refiner and cleanser of silver and will cleanse the sons of Levi; and he will clarify them like gold and like silver…”
As an example of the scheme the Watchtower has used to glorify itself, the prophecy of Malachi is applied to 1914. Supposedly Christ refined the organization then and gave it his approval. But according to the 48th chapter of Isaiah the refining comes about so that Jehovah may prevent his name from being profaned by the idolatry of his people, whose idol speaks great mysteries of truth. “Look! I have refined you, but not in the form of silver. I have tested you in the smelting furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake I will act, for how could I let myself be profaned? I give my glory to no one else.”
There is a price to pay for disrespecting Jehovah —for bringing reproach upon his name. And God will not give Bethel an exemption from punishment. It has been my unhappy duty this past decade to announce Jehovah’s coming judgment. The reality of a judgment day is easily discernible from the prophecy of Jeremiah, where in the 30th chapter, which is specifically earmarked for the final part of the days, God states: “For I am with you,” declares Jehovah, “to save you. But I will make an extermination among all the nations to which I scattered you; however, you I will not exterminate. I will discipline you to the proper degree, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.”