“When Jesus Was God” or “Failing the Final Exam”

failingTheTest“Jesus God!” No; it’s not meant as an expletive–though I’m not surprised when those two words issue involuntarily from my mouth after having stubbed my toe or having dropped my Concordance on it. No; it is meant as a name and a title: just like we often hear Witnesses say: “Jehovah God.”

But our dear Jehovah’s Witness readers will exclaim at this point: “Jesus is not God! The Bible never calls him God! He is at most ‘a god’ with a little g.”

Once we’ve calmed them down, we’re ready to read the wisdom of the Watchtower on this very subject:

The Bible reveals the fact that the name “God” can properly apply only to Jehovah God and his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Jehovah is entitled to be reverenced because he is the Almighty God. Jesus Christ is entitled to be reverenced and worshiped because, while not the almighty God, he is a mighty one and both Jehovah and Jesus use their power lovingly, justly and wisely.
…[Jehovah] is declared to be the Father of the God called Jesus Christ.
Watchtower, Dec. 15, 1929 p. 378

Given the above, and the fact that Witnesses regularly refer to Jehovah as “Jehovah God,” it is only fitting that they worship Jesus and refer to him as “Jesus God” with full Watchtower blessings.

Oh, but wait; I’ve done it again: dredged up “old light” and presented it as “truth for now” when–as any good Witness will inform us–it was really “truth for its time.” I apologize. The Watchtower has since “seen the light [better]” and they now assure us that Jesus is definitely not the God to be worshiped. In fact, we read this on their official website:

Yes, reverent adoration should be expressed only to God. To render worship to anyone or anything else would be a form of idolatry, which is condemned in both the Hebrew and the Greek Scriptures.
— Is It Proper to Worship Jesus? Awake! 4/8/2000 pp. 26-27

Issue resolved? Well, no. I’m sorry to be a stickler for the facts, but there’s still an issue.

Remember 1919? That was the year that Jesus supposedly judged the Witnesses (then known as Bible Students) to be the “faithful and wise servant” (now known as the Faithful and discreet slave). Why did he judge them so favorably? They tell us that it was because they had “true worship,” as opposed to all of the other Christian denominations:

When did Jesus appoint the faithful slave over his domestics? To answer that, we need to go back to 1914—the beginning of the harvest season. As we learned earlier, at that time many groups claimed to be Christian. From which group would Jesus select and appoint the faithful slave? That question was answered after he and his Father came and inspected the temple, or spiritual arrangement for worship, from 1914 to the early part of 1919.* (Mal. 3:1) They were pleased with a small band of loyal Bible Students who showed that their heart was with Jehovah and his Word.
–Who Really Is the Faithful and Discreet Slave? w13 7/15 pp. 20-25

idolatryBut do you see the problem here? In 1919, and up through at least 1929, the “spiritual arrangement for worship” included worshiping Jesus: the wrong “God” — in fact, not a God (capital G) at all according to the brighter light! Someone who is not a God, but is worshiped as a God is a “false God.” The “Bible Students” were–according to current Watchtower understanding–idolaters! And we all know how pissed off Jehovah gets at those damned idolaters.

That would seem a fatal flaw. Why would Jesus judge this group as God’s “true worshipers” when they were worshiping a different, false God? This question is all the more pertinent when you realize that there were other denominations that were only worshiping the God of the Bible. The Christadelphians, for instance, were not worshiping Jesus in 1919.

Oh, but you say other religions slandered God’s name by their belief in hell-fire. Well, the Christadelphians are not believers in hell-fire either (nor the Trinity, nor the immortality of the soul. They also believe in God’s kingdom ruling on Earth, don’t vote, and are conscientious objectors to military service.)

Oh, but you say: the Bible Students were the ones “making God’s name known.” Sorry; they really weren’t. The name did not become prominent in the group until 1935 when they changed their own name to Jehovah’s Witnesses. In the 1919 Watchtowers, for instance, the name of Jesus appears 3 1/2 times more than the name Jehovah. Besides, as the Watchtower itself has admitted: Jehovah is not God’s name.

If we look at what the Witnesses claim is the “truth” today, then the Christadelphians where closer to that truth in 1919 than the Bible Students were. If Jesus had made any judgment in that year, the winners would not have been the Bible Students; the blue ribbon would much more likely have gone to the Christadelphians.

Therefore, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses are not the “faithful and discreet slave” they claim to be. This explains why they have served poisoned meat at the wrong season (such as their prohibitions on vaccinations, organ transplants, and blood… none of which the Christadelphians have fallen for.)

Besides, the “faithful and wise servant” was boldly and adamantly proclaimed in the Watchtowers of that time (and up until 1926) to be none other than Charles Taze Russell (then deceased):

The Watch Tower unhesitatingly proclaims Brother Russell as “that faithful and wise servant.”

Watchtower, March 1, 1917 p. 68

 

“We believe that all who are now rejoicing in present truth will concede that Brother Russell faithfully filled the office of special servant of tile Lord; and that he was made ruler over all the Lord’s goods.”
–Watch Tower, March 1, 1923  p.68

So, if we are to believe “current understanding,” this is the “spiritual food” we have to swallow: In 1919 Jesus judged the editors of the Watchtower to be his “faithful slave” based on how “pleased” he was with their “spiritual arrangement for worship” while these men were declaring that they definitely were NOT that slave, and were engaged in idolatry. At the same time, Jesus passed over other groups who were closer to today’s current understanding and who were not engaged in idolatry and who were not proclaiming a false slave to the world. Do you buy that? [If you answered Yes, please contact me immediately regarding some prime real estate I have for sale in Florida.]

See also:
Is the Governing Body a “Faithful and Discreet Slave”?

One thought on ““When Jesus Was God” or “Failing the Final Exam””

  1. William • 4 years ago
    JWs also used to celebrate Christmas, called Jesus Alpha and Omega, etc. They are wrong on so many things and the evidence sinks their ship. It is evident that they are the blind leading the blind, a manmade fallible organization of smoke and mirrors. If Satan cannot get you to be a Hell’s Angel, then false religion will ensnare and lead to the same destiny. The biblical, historical, orthodox view is that Jesus is in fact Almighty God, YHWH in the flesh. Those who deny this are pseudo-Christian cultists.
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    smmcroberts William • 4 years ago
    You may be right, William. But I find it interesting that these two restorationist sects have both arrived at the belief that 1st century Christians did not believe that Jesus was God. According to Wikipedia’s article on Early Christianity: ” Early Christian views tended to see Jesus as a unique agent of God,” and the idea of Christ’s divinity did not fully evolve until the Council of NIcaea in 325 CE.
    I wasn’t around in the first century, so I don’t claim to know.

    Because there is so much disagreement within the Bible itself, no one can honestly say that there is a clear message on much of anything. That’s why there are so many Christian sects; no one can agree on what it all means. I think the various writers had differing ideas. The Trinity concept was one clever way to try and bring harmony to some of their discordant views. However even such mental gymnastics fail to cover everything.

    We’re left with sects of Christianity choosing a side and then explaining away the verses that don’t fit their interpretation. The Witnesses do it from the anti-Trinitarian perspective, and the mainstream Christian denominations do it from a Trinitiarian perspective. There is no clear winner.

    Personally, as an atheist, I have no desire to enter into such squabbles between religious sects. I find it incredible that people presume that they know anything at all about the nature of invisible spirit beings. And I don’t care if someone wants to think that their god is one, two, three or more persons — as long as they don’t go back to killing each other over it.

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    William smmcroberts • 4 years ago
    Correct. No use debating who God is, what He is like, etc. if one denies the existence of God.

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    Erica Hollis • 4 years ago
    I was born into this nutty cult and was a fourth generation witness. I pioneered for 12 years, had an elder husband, elder father, elder uncle, co uncle, etc. When I got kicked out for various reasons, I almost snapped. I’m recovering. Articles like yours are delightful. Thank you again. 🙂

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    smmcroberts Erica Hollis • 4 years ago
    Thanks for the feedback, Erica; it’s always good to hear.
    And thanks for sharing your experience. Many of us here can relate; breaking free of a cult is an intense emotional experience that is tougher to survive than anyone who hasn’t been through it can imagine.
    Kudos to you for making that journey. I’m glad we were here to give you a smile along the way.

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    Erica Hollis • 4 years ago
    This is great. I love your blog. Makes me realize I’m not going crazy for leaving this wacky cult. And it made me laugh. 🙂 Thank you!! 🙂

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