POSSIBILITIES FOR THE FATHER'S ACCEPTABLE YEAR
A PRELUDE TO LEADERSHIP - A DRAMA
POSSIBLITIES PHASE 1
June 26, 2014
How we long for the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses to rise to their responsibilities as the leaders of an international fellowship of God-oriented men and women. How we long for them to take their own counsel to humble themselves and correct their teachings, so they and the entire association, can get on the path to the real life. We fully understand the unenviable predicament they now find themselves in. They inherited a defective burden that is leading them unmercifully into a pit. And with every new publication, they dig the hole deeper. These brothers surely know they are nearing rock bottom.
Not one of them is ignorant of their error. They are moving forward with eyes wide open, but in their hearts, in their souls, they are faltering. Each one of them knows the truth that all of our brothers are sons of God, brothers to Christ Jesus and heirs to the heavenly kingdom. And they are coming to realize the so-called ‘earthly hope’ is a dead hope that is swiftly dragging the organization to destruction. But they believe they have invested far too much into the “other sort of good news” and cannot see a way out. This reality is taking a heavy toll on these men. It would not surprise us if a couple of these brothers cracked under the pressure. What a shameful and embarrassing end to an organization that had such an auspicious beginning!
However, as we demonstrated in the article, Leadership By Example, there is indeed a way out – a simple way out! With one bold act of humility – the open confession of their error and the decision to submit to the Christ – they can find release and peace. One courageous act of faith on their part will save both themselves and the millions who are depending on their leadership. But what can lead up to such a bold confession? What has to happen before the Governing Body can take such a bold yet humble step?
We believe there must first be a meeting of the minds – literally and figuratively. Each member must individually come to appreciate the need to make significant and bold change and then they must collectively decide to address the worldwide congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses with a fresh, clean, and accurate message. But what would need to transpire at such a meeting?
In answer to that question, we thought a dramatic presentation of a fictitious meeting of the Governing Body might provide the needed direction to stimulate them to action.
Before we begin, we want to acknowledge that we have only met and conversed with two members of the current Governing Body, and that was several years ago. We have no personal knowledge of their personalities, their current view of what we have published on this site, nor do we know whether any of them are even interested in change. So we present this drama only as a possibility and as food for thought. We changed the names so that we can better illustrate what could happen and how certain personalities might respond to the dilemma now facing the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. So relax and enjoy our drama – “A Prelude to Leadership.”
“A Prelude to Leadership”
The scene opens in the room where the Governing Body holds their meetings – a tastefully decorated conference room with a large oblong conference table at the center. One brother sits alone at the table pouring over his notes. This is Brother Hurt. He is the one who called the meeting.
Brother Hurt had received several telephone calls over the past several months from various traveling overseers all around the world, each telling him about the new surge in partakers and the growing interest in sonship. They reported that in practically every congregation they visit, the number one topic of discussion is sonship with God. Each of these brothers encouraged Brother Hurt to do research into the ‘Two Hope Doctrine’ because it appears from their research that there is only one hope, not two, and specifically that all Christians are sons of God with the heavenly hope.
In response, Brother Hurt did his research and in so doing, it became abundantly clear to him that these traveling overseers were right. Brother Hurt was particularly impressed with John’s report of Jesus’ ministry:
“However, to all who did receive him, he gave authority to become God’s children, because they were exercising faith in his name. And they were born, not from blood or from a fleshly will or from man’s will, but from God.”
– John 1:12-13
And the Apostle Paul’s words:
“You are all, in fact, sons of God through your faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in union with Christ Jesus.”
– Galatians 3:26-28
Brother Hurt was cut to the heart. He realized that all these years, the organization has been teaching the wrong message to millions of people who put their trust in the leadership of the Watchtower organization. He acutely identified with the 1st century Jews who heard Peter’s eloquent speech about the true identity of Jesus and how the Jewish nation had grossly disrespected him.
“Now when they heard this, they were stabbed to the heart, and they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles: “Men, brothers, what should we do?” Peter said to them: “Repent, and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the free gift of the holy spirit.”
– Acts 2:37-38
This account convinced Brother Hurt that the Governing Body must make changes in their teachings and follow Peter’s counsel to repent and seek forgiveness for their errors. This is why Brother Hurt called the meeting. And this is why he earned the name, Brother Hurt.
The first brother to join the meeting was Brother Sadson. Brother Sadson was the newest and youngest member of the Governing Body. He, too, had received calls from various brothers questioning him about the issue of sonship. And like Brother Hurt, he was convinced that the teaching of an earthly hope was wrong. Although he and Brother Hurt had never spoken openly about their separate research, each knew the other had been researching the issue, but for some reason they would not bring the topic up in their conversations.
Brother Sadson said a kind greeting to Brother Hurt and took a seat directly across from him. Brother Sadson was very interested in what Brother Hurt had on his mind. “Perhaps,” he thought, “this might be the meeting where we will finally have an open discussion on sonship!”
Brother Sadson had joined the Governing Body with great zeal and enthusiasm. He was honored to be a part of this elite body of men who held the reigns to ‘Jehovah’s earthly organization.’ But he quickly became disillusioned at the inactivity and disunity of the Governing Body. He expected to have a real share in moving the organization forward, but now he understood the inertia and the bureaucracy that prevents real progress. In the back of his mind, he fears the organization has become just a real estate holding and publishing company. Yes, Brother Sadson is a sad son of God.
Next to enter the room was Brother Splaining-to-do and Brother Hijack-a-son. Both were bold, outspoken brothers who were very proud of what the organization had accomplished. One would often find these brothers in conference with one another talking about the new acquisitions and especially the new headquarters at Warwick. Brother Splaining-to-do had the most dealings with the Writing Department. He was the go-to man when difficult and complicated matters had to be approved for publication. Unfortunately, Brother Splaining-to-do was not great at quality control, so many of the strange ideas of the Writing Department passed his inspection without much scrutiny.
Brother Hijack-a-son had the most dealings with the Legal Department. He was very concerned about any possible liability of the organization and was most concerned with their public image. He began as a zealous Witness, but over time he lost that zeal. In fact, secretly he doubts his own sonship. But he loves the position as a member of the Governing Body and would not think about giving it up.
Both brothers had heard about the issue of sonship, and knew the Two Hope Doctrine was wrong, but they did not see it as a major issue. They were far more concerned with business and administrative matters and believed the surge in the topic was just another attempt by so-called apostates to damage ‘Jehovah’s organization.’ As a result, they did not take the issue to heart, and were far more interested in silencing those who promoted it.
On this occasion, they suspected Brother Hurt might be getting weak or susceptible to the ‘apostate chatter’ and, if so, they were determined to straighten him out! Accordingly, Brother Splaining-to-do approached Brother Hurt and, giving him a hearty slap on the back, said “Hello brother! What’s on your mind this time? I hope you’re not getting soft!” Both the brothers chuckled as they took seats on either side of Brother Hurt. Almost in unison they each folded their arms and leaned back in their chairs.
Just as Brother Hijack-a-son was about to speak, in walked Brother Letting-go. He, too, had researched the sonship issue and was thoroughly convinced the Society’s teachings were in error. He figured Brother Hurt was ready to address the issue and he determined that if the Governing Body could not come together with a decision to make needed changes, he was just going to step down and let go.
When he glanced around the room, he immediately sensed that Brother Splaining-to-do and Brother Hijack-a-son were about to give Brother Hurt a hard time. So Brother Letting-go quickly stepped up and shook both of their hands, giving them a kind and jovial greeting. Then he turned to Brother Hurt and asked if he could speak with him privately.
As Brother Hurt and Brother Letting-go stepped over to the corner for a private chat, Brother Lost entered the room and sat down. He was quickly followed by Brother Mourning. These last two brothers had researched the sonship issue and were deeply affected. Brother Lost saw the errors in their teachings, but had no clue on what to do about it. Brother Mourning also realized their teaching of the earthly hope was wrong, but he only saw a dark future for the organization. He felt they had been teaching error so long, surely they had lost Jehovah’s favor. He had settled himself into a dark place in expectation of judgment. At this point, he was just going through the motions. He quietly took the last seat, dropped his head down and waited for the meeting to get started.
Although each brother had entered the room with different points of view and different intentions, unbeknownst to any of them, Christ Jesus had a plan. This meeting was unlike any meeting before because it concerned the most important topic of Jesus’ ministry – the sacred secret of sonship and the heavenly hope. And because Brother Hurt, Brother Sadson and Brother Letting-go were truly gathering together in Jesus’ name, motivated by a right heart, the needed prerequisite for Jesus to be present by means of the Spirit of Truth was met. Yes, Jesus would be there in their midst guiding the conversation and hoping to reach these brother’s hearts. He did not want a repeat of the 1st century Jewish Sanhedrin when he had to pronounce woes against the hardhearted rulers and abandon them to destruction.
In addition, the room was filled with an angelic host who were there ready to assist and support any and all who would humble themselves and submit to Jesus’ plain and open teachings about sonship. Even though these men had spurned the good news for many years, all it would take is one act of faith to turn things around for them and for the organization.
All were in keen anticipation of what was to transpire. And as Brother Letting-go and Brother Hurt completed their private chat and took their seats, the Spirit of Truth filled the room, hovering, waiting to be invited into the conversation.
“Well,” says Brother Hurt, “let’s begin this meeting with prayer.” All the brothers bowed their heads and Brother Hurt began:
“Dear Heavenly Father, Giver of Life and Eternal Comforter, with humble hearts we ask that you give attention to the sincere plea of all gathered here in this room. Please fill each of your sons with your spirit, if you care even to do so because of the sinful nature that dwells within each of our aging and sometimes arrogant bodies. Knowing these truths about us Father, in all humility we beg you from the bottom of our hearts to allow your spirit to be present here with us today, right now dear Father. As for us, we promise to listen to your voice and humbly yet cheerfully allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit of Truth. Help us Father to turn around from our deadly course of instruction and help us to bring true refreshing light to guide the multitudes of your children to take life's waters free. So now we leave this prayer before your throne of mercy, in Jesus precious name Amen.”
Brother Hurt remained with his head bowed until he heard a heartfelt “Amen” from each of the brothers present. Brother Splaining-to-do hesitated momentarily. He was not comfortable with being represented as arrogant, but he knew Brother Hurt would not begin speaking until all present had assented to the prayer, so in a quick low tone he said “Amen.” Brother Hurt raised his head and opened the meeting:
“Brothers, I believe each of you knows why I called this special meeting. We have to have an open and candid discussion about the issue of sonship that is overtaking our organization of believers. Based on the number of telephone calls I personally received, I know each of you must have been likewise contacted. And though we might not all agree at this time on how to proceed, I doubt any one of us can deny the truth....” He paused and looked at each brother squarely in the eyes. Then he continued: “ ... that the gift of sonship with God is held out to each Christian and the true Christian hope for all is the heavenly hope.”
“Now, wait a minute,” chimed in Brother Hijack-a-son, “I’m not sure you can truthfully say that. How do you know what each one of us is thinking? We haven’t yet had an open discussion about it. I know for a fact that I’ve never expressed my opinion on the issue, and I don’t recall hearing from anyone else for that matter.”
“He’s right,” said Brother Letting-go. Then, looking directly at Brother Hijack-a-son, he said, “So let this be our opportunity to express our opinions openly and without fear. I welcome it. It’s about time. And I don’t mind going first.” Brother Letting-go reached down into his briefcase and brought up his personal study copy of the Bible. “May I ask you brothers to please get out your Bibles so I can show you some things that have made a significant impression on me.” And when all had their Bibles out, Brother Letting-go said “Turn to the book of Galatians, chapter 1, verses 6 to 9.” He began reading:
“I marvel that you are being so quickly removed from the One who called you with Christ’s undeserved kindness over to another sort of good news. But it is not another; only there are certain ones who are causing you trouble and wanting to pervert the good news about the Christ. However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond what we declared to you as good news, let him be accursed. As we have said above, I also now say again, Whoever it is that is declaring to you as good news something beyond what you accepted, let him be accursed.”
– Galatians 1:6-9
“This scripture touched me deeply. I got to thinking, isn’t the message we teach about an earthly hope ‘something beyond’ what Jesus and the apostles taught? I mean, we openly say that the Christian scriptures were written to anointed Christians because, we have to admit, everything in it encourages them to reach out for the heavenly hope. So where’s the scriptures for those who we say are not anointed that gives us authority to teach a different hope?” There was silence.
Seeing there was no response, Brother Letting-go continued. “In fact, if we read the entire book of Galatians with an unbiased and open mind, it is clear that there is only one hope. Look at chapter 3, verses 26-28. It can’t be any clearer:
“You are all, in fact, sons of God through your faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in union with Christ Jesus.”
– Galatians 3:26-28
“Yes,” declared Brother Hurt. “That same scripture has been ringing in my ears for months now. Paul is saying we are ALL brothers and there are no distinctions between us. And look at this: ‘there is neither slave nor freeman.’ So how can we say some are sons of God and some are slaves or friends of God, or some have this hope and some have another hope? If we are all brothers, and are all one in union with Christ Jesus, then we all have the same hope!”
Brother Sadson enthusiastically interjected: “One hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism! That’s Ephesians 4:4-5.” Brother Letting-go smiled at Brother Sadson and continued:
“And you know how we teach that only 144,000 can partake of the emblems? Well, look at this scripture:
“So Jesus said to them: ‘Most truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I will resurrect him on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood remains in union with me, and I in union with him.”
– John 6:53-56
“This scripture shows that every Christian who wants life, who wants a resurrection, or who wants to be in union with Christ MUST partake of the Memorial emblems! And that means that every Christian is in the covenant for a kingdom. But by our teaching that only a small number can partake, how can we escape the charge that we are shutting up the kingdom?”
“That’s Christendom!” exclaimed Brother Hijack-a-son, “they’re the ones shutting up the kingdom!”
“In what way?” asked Brother Hurt, “in what way is Christendom shutting up the kingdom? They teach that the heavens are open to EVERYONE.”
“Well... yes ... but ...” stammered Brother Hijack-a-son, “that’s part of this year’s Convention Program. It’s Christendom that is shutting up the kingdom.” “I know it is part of the program,” said Brother Hurt, “and it’s pretty embarrassing. Brother Splaining-to-do, how did that get into the program?” Brother Splaining-to-do stood up, “Wait a minute, we all agreed to the program contents!”
“Hold on gentlemen,” said Brother Letting-go. “Remember the cover of the program, ‘Arranged by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.’ We are all guilty of allowing that information into the program. In fact, we have allowed quite a bit of information that we know to be in error just pass us by without really thinking about it. We should probably have this same conversation with the members of the Writing Department so that we are all on the same page. But for now, let’s stay on point.
“As I was saying, whatever we think Christendom is doing, we have to admit that our teachings are shutting up the kingdom. We are no better than the scribes and Pharisees in Jesus day. And I, for one, cannot carry on in this way. It is grieving my spirit, and frankly, brothers, I’ve had enough!”
Brother Mourning heaved a heavy sigh and said “Me, too. Enough is enough! This burden is too heavy to carry anymore. We need to find a way to correct our teachings or we are truly doomed as an organization and as individuals.”
[Brother Splaining-to-do:] “Oh, you’re just being melodramatic! It’s not that serious. If we didn’t have Jehovah’s blessings, we couldn’t do what we’re doing. We wouldn’t be growing as fast as we are growing. Think about the Warwick project, for example. That’s proof of Jehovah’s blessing even if our teachings aren’t exactly on point.”
[Brother Letting-go:] “So numbers and building projects are proof of Jehovah’s blessings? If so, Jehovah has been blessing the Catholics, the Baptists, and the Mormons far greater than us! They all outnumber us and all of them have extensive real estate holdings. But isn’t the kingdom more than eating and drinking? More than numbers and real estate? Isn’t this just like Jesus said:
“Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of the heavens, but only the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. Many will say to me in that day: ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’”
– Matthew 7:21-23
“That’s Christendom,” asserted Brother Hijack-a-son. “That’s not for us, that’s directed to Christendom!”
Brother Hurt, Brother Letting-go, Brother Sadson and Brother Mourning all turned to look at Brother Hijack-a-son with an expression of disbelief. “What are you talking about?” retorted Brother Mourning. “Do you really believe that? Are you even listening to this conversation? Are you even in this room?!”
“Now, now, brothers,” said Brother Hurt. “Remember we asked for Jehovah’s spirit to be here with us, leading us. We all agreed. We all said amen. So let’s act like spirit-led men and allow each one to speak his mind. If we don’t agree, we can say so, respectfully. There is no need for belittling anyone. We are all brothers. Our leader is one, Christ Jesus.”
[Brother Letting-go:] “Well said, brother, well said.”
[Brother Mourning:] “Ok. I apologize. It’s just that we need to stop pointing the finger at others and look at ourselves. This meeting is about us, not Christendom. Can we just leave Christendom out of the conversation and focus on us? If we can’t, I don’t see anything in our future except malediction and Jehovah’s displeasure ‘where the weeping and gnashing of our teeth will be.’”
Brother Splaining-to-do threw up his hands in frustration. The other brothers held their breath waiting to see what he would say. But when he noticed all eyes were on him, he caught himself and remembering Brother Hurt’s admonition, he remained silent.
Finally, Brother Lost decided to enter the conversation: “Brothers, I think we all see the need to make changes, but I just don’t see how it can be done. We just released new publications that reinforce the teaching of the earthly hope, and so many of the friends have accepted the teaching that it could cause a great stumbling, greater than the 1975 debacle. Maybe it’s best to just place this issue in our [raising his fingers designating air quotes] ‘pending file’ and deal with this later.”
“No,” said Brother Letting-go, “we have to deal with this now. In the past, we could push certain issues under the rug because the friends didn’t really know or care about them. But this issue is too widespread. Too many well-respected brothers are telephoning us regularly and even stepping down from their positions because of this issue. And we can no longer hide the growing number of partakers at the Memorial. Frankly, I don’t see this issue going away. I think we need to make a bold confession of our errors and align ourselves up with what we know to be right.”
“I see your point,” said Brother Splaining-to-do. “But I think you’re overreacting. Why not just pursue the course we already started. The Writing Department has already done a revision of The Proclaimers Book ...”
“Ugh! The Proclaimers Book!” said Brother Sadson, rolling is eyes back. Brother Splaining-to-do stopped and stared at Brother Sadson. “Oh ... I’m sorry. Go on,” said Brother Sadson. Brother Splaining-to-do continued:
“The Writing Department has already done a re-write of The Proclaimer’s Book and removed most of the controversial things in our history. I think the new God’s Kingdom Rules book will be very effective in getting the friends to forget those errors. And we’ve already published that the ‘other sheep’ and the ‘anointed’ are all domestics in the household of God. I think the friends can figure out we’re affirming that they are all sons with the heavenly hope. And if they can’t figure that out, maybe they’re not sons. They might be content to be friends of God with the earthly hope, and if so, that’s not our fault. We published a correction.”
He paused for a moment, then continued: “I really think a slow gradual change is far better than a bold statement. We have been teaching the earthly hope for over 80 years now. To openly admit that we were wrong will destroy the faith of our brothers!”
“80 years is nothing,” said Brother Mourning. “That’s the life span of one man. This organization is still in its infancy! Think of it as growing pains.”
“I agree with Brother Mourning,” said Brother Hurt. Then he turned to Brother Splaining-to-do: “Is it the faith of the brothers you’re concerned about, or our own egos? Personally, I think the brothers are far stronger than we give them credit. Look at how easily they conform to our ‘new light’ no matter how convoluted.”
“Convoluted?” shouted Brother Splaining-to-do with indignation. “Yes, convoluted!” replied Brother Hurt. “Don’t tell me you really bought into the explanation of the overlapping generations or the three classes of anointed. I personally feel stupid trying to explain them. Don’t you?”
“I sure do!” said Brother Lost. “I just avoid the conversations and direct the friends to the publications to explain it. It’s the Writing Department’s problem. They created this mess! That’s why I say we should put the issue in the [air quotes] ‘pending file’ and leave it for a later time.”
“Brothers, I have to disagree,” said Brother Sadson. “Procrastination is not the answer. That’s the same as equivocation – just another way to avoid committing ourselves to what we say we believe. But in this case, its more insidious. We’re dodging the issue and circumventing our obligations to Christ Jesus. And what do you think Jehovah thinks about us procrastinating? Remember what James wrote:
“Therefore, if someone knows how to do what is right and yet does not do it, it is a sin for him.”
– James 4:17
“We know this is the right thing to do. We must act now!” The brothers all looked at Brother Sadson as he gestured emphatically. He had never dared to be so bold in the presence of the others whom he considered far more worthy than he. But Brother Letting-go smiled proudly as if Brother Sadson was his own son. “Well said, brother. Well said.”
Brother Sadson continued: “I know I’ve only been a member of this body for a short time, but during that time, I noticed that we often put things in the [air quotes] ‘pending file’ when we should be courageous enough to just face the issues and deal with them as spiritual men. We have to stop letting the PR Department and the attorneys direct this ministry. We have made mistakes. We have taught incorrect doctrines. We should be able to take the same counsel we give to the friends – to humbly admit our errors and seek forgiveness. That’s what I propose. I agree with Brother Letting-go, we have to make a bold statement of what is right and true and just. Otherwise, how can we claim to be the ones entrusted with the direction of Jehovah’s people. We have to act, and act now!” He paused for a second, and then blurted out: “And while we’re at it, we should change the street name from Kings Road to Kingdom Way!”
“You need to calm down!” said Brother Splaining-to-do. “These issues are far more complicated than you know. It’s not just a matter of wiping the slate clean or ...” [turning to Brother Sadson] “... changing the name of a street. There are many other things we have to consider. We have too much invested in our teachings.”
“That’s right,” said Brother Hijack-a-son. “If we change them abruptly, we open ourselves up to potential lawsuits. And there is a chance that we will lose a lot of brothers and sisters. Then how will we complete Warwick? We need to change, but a slow steady change is the wiser course.”
“That’s just what Brother Sadson was referring to,” said Brother Mourning. “It seems every decision we make has to be run past Legal or Public Relations. Isn’t that the tail wagging the dog? The Watchtower corporations don’t run this organization, we do! We’ve got to take it back or we’re going to suffer. God is not one to be mocked!”
Very frustrated, Brother Splaining-to-do yelled in a loud voice: “It’s just not that simple!!” Everyone was startled at his outburst, even Brother Splaining-to-do.
At that moment, the angels surrounding Brother Splaining-to-do pulled back. “Is it time to exit?” they wondered. Then the angels around Brother Letting-go moved in closer and instantly, Brother Letting-go felt the need to reach out to Brother Splaining-to-do. He didn’t fully understand the power of touch, but, without thinking, he rested one hand on Brother Splaining-to-do’s shoulder and the other on his forearm and whispered, “It’s okay. It’s okay.” Then he looked toward the others and said “We’re fine. Go on.”
Brother Hurt broke the silence: “I think the solution IS simple, brothers. We are the ones complicating it with all of our piecemeal fixing. Constantly coming up with new light to fix the defective old light. At some point we have to accept that it can’t be fixed. We need to wipe the slate clean and start all over. We need a fresh start!”
“I agree,” said Brother Mourning. “Our organization was built on the hope that...” [making a demonstrative gesture with both hands out front] ‘...MILLIONS NOW LIVING WILL NEVER DIE!’ That was our thing. That was our hook. That’s what separated us from other Christian denominations. It was something people could identify with. Who wants to die? Throw in a few random scriptures, a couple of human assumptions and you’ve got yourself a new doctrine. A new hope! Now, I’m not saying Brother Rutherford was intentionally making this stuff up, but the fact is, there is no solid scriptural basis for the belief in living forever on earth. We all here have admitted as much.”
Brother Splaining-to-do opened his mouth to say something, but Brother Letting-go just reached out and touched his forearm again. “Let him finish,” said Brother Letting-go, “then you can speak.” Brother Mourning continued:
“The problem with Brother Rutherford’s premise is that it can only last a few generations before people get restless and disillusioned. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE DYING! What we are experiencing now is the inevitable. And we are the ones left holding the bag! We’re at the end of this ride, brothers. The jig is up!” “I can’t disagree with your colorful colloquialisms,” said Brother Hurt with a smile, “though I wouldn’t put it quite like that. But it is true. The organization was built on a shaky foundation. The Two Hope Doctrine is a house divided. It is inevitable that we will fall,” alluding to Matthew 12:25. At that moment, all the brothers looked up and raised their eyebrows. It was as if none of them had realized before that they were a house divided.
“Oh my God!” cried Brother Lost. “Where’s that scripture?” Quickly thumbing through the Bible, he settles on Matthew. “Look here, Matthew, chapter 7, verse 24-27.” He reads:
“Therefore, everyone who hears these sayings of mine and does them will be like a discreet man who built his house on the rock. And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and lashed against that house, but it did not cave in, for it had been founded on the rock. Furthermore, everyone hearing these sayings of mine and not doing them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and struck against that house, and it caved in, and its collapse was great.” – Matthew 7:24-27
[Brother Lost:] “Brothers, this house was built on sand – the prophetic interpretations of men — not on the rock-mass, not on the plain sayings of Jesus!”
“You hit the nail on the head,” said Brother Hurt with a sound of resignation in his voice, “and we’re the ones left with the aftermath of a failed doctrine and a collapsing organization.” He took a moment to collect himself, then he continued: “Therefore, brothers, it falls on us to fix this problem. So, what do we do?”
Opening the Bible again, Brother Letting-go replied “Jesus said it best.
“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
– Matthew 23:12
“Brothers, we have exalted ourselves, and now we are being humbled. That portion of the scripture has proved true. Why not give the next portion of the scripture a try? Why not humble ourselves and see if we can regain Jehovah’s blessing?”
[Brother Splaining-to-do:] “So what do you propose?”
[Brother Letting-go:] “I propose we fess up! We openly admit to all congregations all over the world that we were wrong, that there is only one hope – the heavenly hope – and they are ALL sons of God with the prospect of eternal life in the heavens.”
“That’s the fast track to destruction,” said Brother Hijack-a-son. “You think we should just throw our hands up and close the organization down?”
[Brother Letting-go:] “No, no. I’m not saying that at all. We can’t do that. Too many people depend on us. As strange as it may seem, after all the false expectations and hard to understand teachings, some people continue to have faith in us as God’s appointed channel. We can’t just close shop. What I propose is that we come clean and then start over with a new teaching program based on the ...”
“...the plain and open teachings of Jesus, right?” said Brother Hijack-a-son in a ‘singsong’ tone. “Exactly!” said Brother Letting-go realizing that Brother Hijack-a-son had been reading another website. “I haven’t lost my faith in God. Have any of you?” Each brother shook his head looking around at each other, acknowledging that they all continue to have faith in God.
“Then let’s act like it!” said Brother Letting-go. “Let’s act like spiritual men and do the right thing.”
[Brother Hijack-a-son:] “But what about the corporations and the attorneys?”
[Brother Hurt:] “It will be up to them to reorganize and conform to the changes we implement. They are bright people. It can be done. But we are the head of the fellowship of believers. The faith of our brothers and sisters should be our main concern.”
Brother Lost, looking a little confused, said: “So when we start over, will we still be called Jehovah’s Witnesses?” “I don’t think so,” said Brother Mourning. "If we’re really going to do this right, we will be witnesses of Jesus. Remember Acts 1:8.”
“Good point,” said Brother Hurt. “Maybe we should contact those who already accept sonship for all and ask them to organize a new fellowship called Jesus’ Witnesses, or Witnesses of Christ, or something like that. And as the friends come to understand they are sons, they can choose to be a part of the new fellowship. We can have the fellowships running simultaneously until all the brothers understand and accept the true Christian hope. That way we can make the transition easier for them.”
“I like that!” said Brother Letting-go. “Why don’t we schedule a meeting with some of the traveling brothers who have been calling us. They would be the perfect candidates to head up the new fellowship.”
“So, we won’t be the Governing Body over the new fellowship?” asked Brother Hijack-ason. “I don’t think we should be,” said Brother Mourning. “Look what we did with this one! No,I think if we are going to truly humble ourselves, we need to step aside.”
[Brother Hijack-a-son:] “But, we can change. I can change. I know I can change.”
[Brother Mourning:] “I don’t think it’s about whether we can change. It’s about what we have allowed to occur. We hid Jesus’ talent in the ground. It is only right that it be taken away and given to those who are doing business with the ‘talent.’” [Matthew 25:14-30] ‘The first will be last,’ brother. The first will be last.”
[Brother Hurt:] “I’m afraid I agree. Why don’t we go around the table and let each of us express our agreement or disagreement with starting a new fellowship based on Jesus’ teachings of sonship for all. I, for one, am in agreement. My conscience won’t let me carry on the way we have been.”
[Brother Letting-go:] “You all know how I feel. I’m 100% for it. I’m willing to use the rest of what is left of my body to help carry our brothers across the finish line. I don’t want to go to my grave without doing something to fix this mess.”
[Brother Mourning:] “Yes, I agree. I don’t see any other way to regain Jehovah’s favor. I fear if we don’t do something drastic, we will be soundly humiliated.”
[Brother Sadson:] “I agree, too. This is the kind of movement I have been hoping for. I’m excited about giving the friends a fresh start.”
[Brother Splaining-to-do:] “I’m not as enthusiastic as the rest of you. But I do see the need for change. So I’m open to continuing the conversation.”
[Brother Hijack-a-son:] “I’d like to hear what the traveling brothers have to say. So, for now, it’s a yes for me.”
[Brother Lost:] “I guess so. I don’t see how we can do it, but I’m not going to be the one naysayer.”
“Okay! Great!” said Brother Hurt: “I’ll set up the meeting with those brothers. Brother Letting-go, can you formulate an agenda for the meeting?”
“Absolutely!” said Brother Letting-go. “And I will draft a letter that might be suitable to send to the congregations to let them know our intentions. I also think we need to include the Writing Department in the meeting.”
[Brother Splaining-to-do:] “I can arrange that. Just let me know the time.”
[Brother Hurt:] “Okay! This was productive. I thank each and every one of you for being open to change and humbly looking out for what is in the best interests of the flock. I really didn’t expect this to go so smoothly. The spirit was surely with us today. Let’s close with prayer:
“What a honor it is to be able to approach you, dear Father, as sinful children of yours, but children ready to make the necessary changes to please you. We came together this day differently than ever before. Not as leaders, but as men who seek to soften your face with our sincere pleas and to gain your favor as faithful humble sons that must continue to prove ourselves worthy of our positions. So with your spirit filling our hearts and touching each of our souls this day, we pray that our actions prove our willingness to be led by you, Father, and that by your merciful nature you are giving us this grand opportunity to right the wrongs no matter the shame or cost that may be afflicted upon us. We allowed ourselves to get caught up in our own glory and self righteousness. But no more Father shall we place our thoughts above those of yourself and our true Leader, Christ Jesus. So with all humility, we ask that you please forgive us for our past errors and please dear Father strengthen your sons all around this earth to be courageous and to stand up for truth. And may you guide us as we guide the many to righteousness for your kingdom sake. In Jesus name we pray. Amen."
After each brother said “Amen,” each one felt a strange sensation of warmth in his heart. Little did they know that the spirit had enveloped each one in a joyful caress. For the first time in a long time, each one felt at peace. If only they could hear the chorus of angels singing praises to the Father that finally the lost sheep would be found!
The brothers gathered their things and began to file out of the room, shaking hands, smiling and patting each other on the back. They were unusually quiet. Not one word was spoken. Brother Hurt stood at the door so he could shake hands with each one as they walked out. The last brother to exit was Brother Sadson. As he shook hands with Brother Hurt, he said:
“This is great, Brother Hurt. If it works, I guess I’ll have to change my name.” Brother Hurt smiled broadly as he slowly closed the door behind him, “I think we all will, brother, I think we all will.”
All seven brothers, deep in thought, retired to their individual rooms ... and they wept.
This fictitious meeting of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses demonstrates just one possibility of what mature, God-oriented, spirit-led men can accomplish when they put their hearts and minds together for the benefit of their brothers. The freedom and emotional release that follows such a victory is real and palpable, and is awaiting each one of them if they would only have the courage to submit to the Father and His Christ. There are, of course, many other possibilities that can lead to an outcome that is just as successful or even more so. But perhaps this drama can give them some ideas, a starting point for change. A meeting like this can be the prelude to real leadership!
Enough time has passed in ‘trying to make a vision come true.’ Now is the time to give attention to the will of the Father and Christ Jesus who ‘desire no one to be destroyed, but desire all to attain to repentance.’ (2 Peter 3:9) As the Governing Body faces this precipice moment, it is our hope that they repent of their errors and seek righteousness and truth for themselves and for those who listen to them. It is within their grasp. They only need to reach out and grab it.
We wait in hopeful anticipation, having full faith in the power of godly devotion. We know that wonderful things can be accomplished by an organization of preachers and teachers of the plain and open teaching of Jesus. It is our destiny ... if we have the faith.
In the meantime, we welcome your comments.