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Who are Jehovah's Witnesses?

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What needs to change?
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 Is Reform a Good Idea?
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What is the JWRM?

An Introduction

The Jehovah's Witnesses Reformation Movement is a growing group of Christians consisting of both current Jehovah's Witnesses in good standing and former members who have either disassociated themselves over issues of conscience or who have been disfellowshipped (excommunicated) from the group because they vocalized their concerns about mistakes made or injustices committed by the Witness leadership. This movement recognizes the value of the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses but sees an urgent need for fundamental reform in the manner in which the Governing Body exercises control and authority over the general membership. The reform movement feels the present system is not properly patterned after the first century Christian congregation's own administrative order, nor does it reflect the original spirit of our religious denomination or of true Christianity itself and has led to spiritual, emotional, and sometimes physical harm to servants of God worldwide.

The reformation movement operates outside of the functioning government of Jehovah's Witnesses only because it has to. The hierarchical pyramid of authority in the religion is purposely designed to make true reformation an impossibility. Only those in power are permitted to effect change, but, as we are all well aware, those who hold power, no matter how sincere or well-intentioned, have the tendency to want to hold onto it for as long as possible. The sort of reform called for here is not likely to happen from the top down, because it would require the leaders to relinquish some of their control and authority over the worldwide membership. In fact, history has shown that those with the most power in the organization have consistently been resistant to change (a natural human tendency). Therefore, like faithful servants of God in times past, our people feel it is their duty before Jehovah to speak up and speak out when the need arises. As did the Lord Jesus himself, we do not look the other way when we see any injustice done to God's people.

Though we appreciate the good that the organization has done, we realize that it is not above reproof, and that reproof does not come only from God himself directly to the Governing Body without a human mouthpiece. No, as Paul (who was not a member of the body of elders in Jerusalem) spoke out publicly about the misdeeds of Peter (a member of the Twelve) and published it in an epistle (Gal. 2:14), so we, even those of the lesser ones of the members of the worldwide brotherhood, are compelled to say something when the need arises. We mean no disrespect to the brothers in charge, but only cry out in defense of the "lesser ones" and hope that those who can do something will hear us and act. As the old widow in Jesus' parable kept pestering the judge until he finally heeded her, so we call and call again until we are heard (Luke 18:7).

The reason reform has not been possible in the past is because the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses does not permit members of the religion to speak to one another about any problems they see in the leadership of the organization. Although individual members are allowed to contact the Governing Body directly about concerns they may have, they never know if their feelings are shared by others. They are told to speak once and then forever hold their peace, trusting that the leadership will do the right thing. In this way, the Governing Body, knowing there is power in numbers, prevents dissension from growing and allows itself to disregard such voices if it so desires and leaves no one the wiser. This system of silencing those who dissent, in fact, is one of the items of concern to the reform movement and something that needs to change. Under the current regulations, anyone who disagrees publicly with the leadership of Jehovah's Witnesses in any way subjects himself or herself to serious discipline, and those who refuse to recant are disfellowshipped from the organization and shunned by all. Such a practice is neither called for nor condoned in the Bible, the book that the organization claims to follow.

At the left, you will see listed the three major areas in which we see the urgent need for reform in the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses. If you find that you agree with what is being said (either in whole or in part) and wish to stand up for Jehovah, for the Bible, and for what is right, and to help the organization overcome its weaknesses to the benefit of all, you can help. It is felt by the reform movement that the best course of action at present is twofold: 1) to spread the message to all current members about what beneficial changes can be made in the organization, and 2) to engage actively in a letter campaign, expressing our concerns to as many individuals at the higher levels of the organization as possible. We plan to send letters periodically and to have them signed by as many people as possible. We believe that the more signers we have, the more the leaders of Jehovah's Witnesses will take notice and be motivated to act. We ask that you join us in the cause and sign. We also ask that you tell others about what we are trying to do here. By acting together, and praying together, our words may have an effect. Our movement brings together those whom the Governing Body would isolate so that no challenge to their authority will ever arise with sufficient force to move them in a direction they do not wish to go. Those days are over. We strongly believe that the religious leaders of Jehovah's Witnesses will receive a heavy judgment from Jehovah if they continue on their present course with regard to these matters. It is time for change. It is our hope and our faith that through the voice of his people, Jehovah will see to it that matters are set straight.



Is Reform a Good Idea? | Should a Witness Disagree with the Society Publicly?

Can You Be True to God Yet Hide the Facts?
"When persons are in great danger from a source that they do not suspect or are being misled by those they consider their friends, is it an unkindness to warn them? They may prefer not to believe the warning. They may even resent it. But does that free one from the moral responsibility to give that warning? If you are among those seeking to be faithful to God, the issues these questions raise are vital for you today. Why? Because God's servants in every period of history have had to face up to the challenge these issues present. They have had to expose falsehood and wrongdoing and warn people of dangers and deception—not just in a general way, but in a specific way, in the interest of pure worship. It would have been far easier to keep silent or say only what people wanted to hear. But faithfulness to God and love of neighbor moved them to speak. They realized that 'better is a revealed reproof than a concealed love.'" (Watchtower, January 15, 1974)
Should Falsehood and Corruption Be Exposed?
"How will you respond when pointed statements are made about false religious teachings and corrupt practices? Will you immediately condemn the person or organization making the exposé? Do you feel it is all right to teach lies and misrepresent God's Word, but wrong to expose the error? Contrary to what some may think, it is not unkind and unloving to lay bare falsehood and corruption." (Watchtower, March 1, 1966)
Discussion Forum
Shelter
Sites of Interest
Note: The following sites promote, in one way or another, freeness of speech about the workings and teachings of the JW organization and show where improvement is needed..

New Light on Blood

Silent Lambs
Beth Sarim
 
 
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