One quirk of modern times is that there arise people who object to the baptism terms that they must recognise the Witness’s Governing Body to be leading God's people today. As someone explained to me, they agree with all or most of our beliefs & intepretations of scripture, but they don’t want to be part of the offical organisation, for one reason or another. They just disagree with some minor things, be it dates, or intepretations of certain smaller scriptures or meanings of prophecy, but they’re okay with whatever is a "major" doctrine or related to salvation. They’d like to be a baptized Christian holding Witness beliefs, but just don’t want to be connected with an organization.
Would it be okay for one of Jehovah’s Witnesses to baptise them with that understanding, allowing the student to make his own conscience decision if they see the Governing Body as the ones to see as their "Slave" or not? Since, after all, we don't baptise people in the name of the GB, we baptise them in the name of the Father, the Son and the holy spirit?
I think it is telling that the only group holding the beliefs of JWs…(no immortal soul, no trinity, use God’s name, kingdom a real government, everlasting life on earth, why God permits evil, exactly how the ransom works, preach earth wide, and so forth)…is the group with the Governing Body taking the lead.
Why aren’t there other groups? Plainly, capable and loyal human leadership is required. As much as we might like to think it is just “Jesus and me,” the fact that there are no such groups with the core doctrines except the one with a cadre of experienced disciples of Christ taking the lead indicates that’s how he leads today. Call it the divine/human interface. It is the “middleman” that cannot be bypassed.
So the GB should be cut out of the picture in the last days when the going gets rough? Wouldn’t that be like opting for a ship with no rudder?
The Governing Body is the modern day equivalent of “men that have delivered up their souls for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 15:26) They are the successors of those who brought the truth to us in the first place and apart from them, Bible truth did not survive. We wouldn’t have the truth were it not for them. Nobody outside of the theocratic organization managed to figure it out on their own, a sure indication that Jehovah has blessed their work.
The hypothetical person may be overemphasizing the degree to which Jehovah’s people must walk in lockstep. He has most likely been influenced by opposers who say that with Jehovah’s Witnesses, it is “step out of line, the man comes and takes you away.” In fact, all you really have to do is recognize headship. You don’t have to shout from the hilltops matters connected with interpretations of prophesy.
If you can’t fully get your head around something, don’t. It’s perfectly acceptable to say ‘this is the present understanding’ on this or that point. There is a recent table somewhere of beliefs clarified. Unless the end is actually tomorrow, are we to imagine there will never be any more? Opposers scour past publications and seize upon any “flip-flops.” They look a little silly if they harp on it because it has never been said that such flip-flops don’t occur regarding non-core beliefs. The core beliefs outlined above have held firm for over a century. So maybe whatever this student cannot embrace is one of those lesser things that will one day be clarified.
Nobody gets everything they want. It is in the nature of unity and cooperation that people acquiesce on details they may not grasp or even agree with. Tell the fellow to find someone who agrees with all JW tenets except for that of a human governing body and get one of them to baptize him. Since he will not be able to find such a person, let him ponder the significance of that. It is a “Lord, to whom shall we go?” type of thing. (and the thing the Lord said to trigger that remark was every bit as controversial as what this person worries over today.)
If the hypothetical person has no regard for the Governing Body, then plainly he will have no regard for the command that he ought not be “forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you behold the day drawing near.” Thus, to baptize him would be setting him up for certain failure, since the meetings are an essential component of our faith.
Always the sticking point with people will be the divine/human interface. It was certainly true of Moses’ time. And it was even true of the ‘greater Moses,’ the prophet like him that Jehovah was to raise up. There is no indication that Judas thought himself a rebel against God. Perhaps he and God were tight in his estimation—there were no problems there. But that upstart claiming to be the messiah was more than Judas could abide, not at all what he had expected.
Should persons hold out until there is perfection among those taking the lead? If you pray to God for specifics, he may said that he has underlings who can supply those needs—it is enough that he should hear your prayers night and day. If you answer him back that the underlings are imperfect, he will say that you are no great shakes yourself and that you will just have to make do with what is provided. Online I came across such a person who billed himself as “Patiently Waiting for the Truth.” Upon reviewing some of his comments, I dubbed him “Patiently Sitting on my Hands.”
Part of being a Christian is that we acquiesce to not being a collection of loose cannons. Part of being a Christian is that we acquiesce to being “all taught by Jehovah,” as well as nurtured and supported, by his loyal earthly organization.….