Composite Christ

Those Jehovah’s Witnesses who claim to be of the 144,000 refer to themselves by many titles: the remnant, the faithful and discreet slave, and the anointed to name a few. I say that they refer to themselves by these titles because the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses who claim to be the spokesman for the 144,000 teaches that it is the remnant of the 144,000 in their role as the faithful and discreet slave who are responsible for the teachings put forth in the pages of The Watchtower and other publication of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. So when Watchtower publications speak of the faithful and discreet slave or the remnant or the anointed, the writers are referring to themselves.

Knowing that the words “Christ” and “Messiah” mean “anointed” and having taken this title on themselves certainly puts those self-proclaimed “anointed” Jehovah’s Witnesses in quite an elevated position. In fact they at one time, taught that they themselves plus Jesus Christ constituted a composite Christ:

“Messiah’s kingdom once established, Jesus and his glorified church constituting the great Messiah, shall minister the blessings to the people they have so long desired and hoped for and prayed might come.” – Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, p 88

“The word Christ signifies anointed. Anointing means designation to official position in God’s arrangement. The Christ is the instrument or channel for the blessing of mankind. The Christ is composed of Jesus the great and mighty head, and 144,000 members.” – The Harp of God, 1921, p 187

“The new creation is The Christ. The Christ is a composite body made up of many members. The Head of The Christ is Jesus Christ, God’s beloved Son. Those who are taken from amongst men, justified, begotten and anointed by the spirit of Jehovah, and who then continue faithful unto death, will constitute the members of The Christ complete.” – Creation, 1927, p 192

While they no longer claim to be part of a “composite Christ”, in more recent times, this self-styled ‘anointed’ have proclaimed that in order to keep in a good relationship with God, one must remain united with them.

“To keep in relationship with ‘our Savior, God,’ the ‘great crowd’ needs to remain united with the remnant of spiritual Israelites.” – The Watchtower, November 15, 1979, p. 27

And finally they tell the other sheep that that attitude toward them (the “anointed”) and how they treat them will be the determining factor in their judgement by Christ.

“Your attitude toward the ‘wheatlike anointed brothers’ of Christ and the treatment you accord them, will be the determining factor as to whether you go into ‘everlasting cutting-off’ or receive ‘everlasting life’.” – The Watchtower, August 1, 1981, p. 26)

Notice in these quotes from the Watchtower that the “anointed” soften the blow of their words by referring to themselves in the third person. If you take the third-person speech out of that last quote, these who claim to be the ‘faithful slave’ are really saying:

“Your attitude toward the US and the treatment you accord US, will be the determining factor as to whether YOU go into ‘everlasting cutting-off’ or receive ‘everlasting life’.”

Inappropriate Behavior

Propriety is something very important within the Jehovah’s Witness culture and worship as it should be. But, the Witnesses take it to a whole new level. Many things that are part of Christian worship in other churches are viewed by Jehovah’s Witnesses as inappropriate and are noticeably absent at the Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Among these things that you will not see at Kingdom Halls are live musicians: no organists, no pianists and certainly no guitarists or drummers. Years ago, live pianists were at least an option. My wife used to play the piano at our Kingdom Hall and for the circuit assemblies. On a few occasions we even had a small orchestra at our circuit assembly. For congregations without a pianist, records and later cassette tapes and CD’s were available. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, there seemed to be a concerted effort by the circuit overseers to remove pianos and pianists from the Kingdom Halls and to utilize the recordings that were supplied by the Watchtower Society.

Several reasons were given for removing the pianos and pianists. First was that in some congregations the quality of the piano or that of the pianist was not up the standard that would be honoring to Jehovah. Second was that using the Society’s recordings contributed to unity within the organization. Finally, it was said that having live music might draw undue attention to the musician rather than to Jehovah. Today, all of the music for Jehovah’s Witness meetings are recordings that are supplied by the Watchtower Society. Along with the music, the content for the meetings is also supplied by headquarters as are the song numbers that are to accompany that content.

During the singing at the Kingdom Hall, you will also see no raising of hands or other expressions of worship that are seen in many churches. There are also no spontaneous expressions of agreement during the sermon, which is referred to as the “public talk” or “public discourse”. The only  “amen” you will normally hear at the Kingdom hall is at the end of the prayers that are said at the beginning and end of each meeting. Raising of hand in worship and saying “amen” during the public talk would be viewed as  inappropriate by the Witnesses.

As I see it now, what is called worship at the Kingdom Hall is very restrained, mostly devoid of emotion, and dry and dead.

It Hurts

The following is how former cult members and members of spiritually abusive systems described how they felt when they finally left their group. This may give you some insight into their pain and why there are no easy answers for them.