Throughout the history of Jehovah’s Witnesses, they have always been in the habit of looking to the Watchtower, Bible & Tract Society to provide guidance on how they are to conduct themselves in the most mundane tasks such as the type of toys they can buy, the type of movies they can watch, where they can work, dress and grooming, the type of medical procedures they can accept and the list goes on.
In time, the Watchtower, Bible & Tract Society realized that having their members quote them or have the appearance that they are looking to them for guidance, can give the impression that Jehovah’s Witnesses are some how under the dictate of some higher power within the organization. Rather, they want others to think that the Witnesses came up with these ideas on their own. In an effort to avoid giving the appearance that they are influencing its members, the Society’s journalists wrote an article in the March 15, 1998 Watchtower using a third person approach by stating that some Jehovah’s Witnesses prefer to use such expressions as“the Bible says” or, “I understand the Bible to teach.”
JT uses critical thinking to show how the Watchtower’s talking points at times are completely flawed because there are some Watchtower teachings that cannot be found in the Bible.
March 15, 1998 Watchtower, Pages 18-19
Living Up to Christian Dedication in Freedom
3 Someone may argue that the way the Witnesses speak about the Watch Tower Society—or more often just “the Society”—indicates that they view it as more than a legal instrument. Do they not consider it to be the final authority on matters of worship? The book Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom clarifies this point by explaining: “When The Watchtower [June 1, 1938] referred to ‘The Society,’ this meant, not a mere legal instrumentality, but the body of anointed Christians that had formed that legal entity and used it.” The expression therefore stood for “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Matthew 24:45) It is in this sense that the Witnesses generally used the term “the Society.” Of course, the legal corporation and “the faithful and discreet slave” are not interchangeable terms. Directors of the Watch Tower Society are elected, whereas Witnesses who make up ‘the faithful slave’ are anointed by Jehovah’s holy spirit.
4 In order to avoid misunderstandings, Jehovah’s Witnesses try to be careful about how they express themselves. Instead of saying, “the Society teaches,” many Witnesses prefer to use such expressions as, “the Bible says” or, “I understand the Bible to teach.” In this way they emphasize the personal decision that each Witness has made in accepting Bible teachings and also avoid giving the false impression that Witnesses are somehow bound to the dictates of some religious sect. Of course, suggestions as regards terminology should never become a subject of controversy. After all, terminology is of importance only to the extent that it prevents misunderstandings. Christian balance is required. The Bible admonishes us “not to fight about words.” (2 Timothy 2:14, 15) The Scriptures also state this principle: “Unless you through the tongue utter speech easily understood, how will it be known what is being spoken?”—1 Corinthians 14:9.