During the 1970’s and 1980’s the government of Malawi required its citizens to purchase an identity card. The wording on the card was such that the citizen was recognized as a member of the single government party.
The Watchtower ruled that Witnesses in Malawi could not purchase these cards because it would make them “part of the world.” This resulted in untold suffering for these people: murder, rape, burning down their homes, etc. I well remember when I was a Witness back in the mid 70’s praying for the “persecuted brothers in Malawi.” The persecution was one of the reasons we thought that it was God’s organization. Little did we know that it all could’ve (and should’ve) been easily avoided.
What makes this a scandal rather than just a tragedy is the fact that at the same time that the Watchtower’s stance was causing this in Malawi, the Watchtower was permitting more egregious mingling with “worldly government” in other areas, and was even engaging in equally intimate relations themselves!
During the Malawi scandal the Watchtower approved of Witnesses in Mexico purchasing [via bribery] government identity cards which recognized them as members of the first reserve of the Mexican army (while excusing them from immediate military service)!
Even prior to this, members of the Watchtower’s governing body held signed identity cards (namely U.S. passports) on which they pledged an oath to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, and swore:
“true faith and allegiance to the same… without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God.”
Now, if the presidents of the Watchtower society could sign such a document and carry it on their person, they had no call to restrict their members in Malawi from signing a party-card.
Then, in the 1990’s the Watchtower applied for, and was granted, NGO membership in the baddest governmental agency of them all: the seven-headed image of the wild beast itself: the United Nations!
Clearly, if the party-card of Malawi was an infraction of the rule to stay separate from the world, then U.N. membership of any kind should’ve been out of the question. But Watchtower defenders claim ignorance on the part of the Watchtower: stupidly not knowing that as members they were expected to “support” the U.N. (in principle, at least.) Evidently they didn’t bother to investigate what they were doing: they just wanted to use the library (something the U.N. says does not even require NGO membership) and due to their “human imperfection” [and obvious lack of divine guidance] they went too far.
Based on historic facts I can only surmise that if the governing body had been located in Malawi rather than the U.S., they wouldn’t have had any qualms about signing the party-card. Just like their passports, they wouldn’t have given it a second thought, and just like their U.N. membership they wouldn’t have bothered investigating all that such membership entailed.
Now, remember: the Governing Body claim to be the men whom Jesus hand-picked to rule over their god’s organization on earth today, and as members of the 144,000 “joint-heirs,” are destined to rule over the future “New Earth” right beside him! Yet, if this is how they inconsistently apply the rules today, I’m pretty sure I don’t want them ruling over me — ever, and certainly not for a thousand year period where my life hangs in the balance of their judgment! How about you?