[Quotes from the Watchtower, including their New World Translation, are in blue.]
Which section does a Witness turn to first when opening his or her Watchtower magazine? What do I turn to first? Why, to the Questions From Readers section, of course! It gives an indication of what is currently brewing, what is causing a stir. When the Witnesses opened their Nov. 1, 1999 WT, this is the tantalizing question that they saw:
How do Jehovah’s Witnesses view voting?
Serious subject, but is there any doubt about how Jehovah’s Witnesses view voting? They view it as they have been taught to view it by the WT leadership for a very long time.
How have they viewed it up to now?
“these spiritual brothers… do not run for political office, or vote for political candidates.” WT, Dec. 15, 1973, p 741
“Do we today feel the same way as did these faithful servants of God in the past? When national law or community pressure seems to make it imperative that we … vote for political leaders or support nationalistic schemes, will we compromise and get disqualified and sidetracked from the race for life?” WT, Aug. 15, 1975, p 496-7.
“They do not seek or offer compromises… To serve in the army, to vote...”
WT, Sept. 1, 1986, p 21.
“Those who reject an accurate knowledge of the truth often choose the pathway of expediency…Now they can even vote for one of the political parties of the ‘wild beast.’ (Rev. 13:1,7) Thus, as unsteady souls, some have been seduced and misled from the straight path of accurate knowledge by those who, while ‘promising them freedom, are themselves existing as slaves of corruption.’ – 2 Peter 2:15-19.” - WT, Dec. 1, 1989, p 13,14.
The Oct. 15, 1970 WT carries an 8-page article detailing the suffering that Jehovah’s Witnesses in Cameroon, Africa, endured because of their refusal to vote.
How does the WT view voting as of November 1, 1999?
“there appears to be no principle against the practice of voting itself.”
“As to whether they will personally vote for someone running in an election, each one of Jehovah’s Witnesses makes a decision based on his Bible-trained conscience and an understanding of his responsibility to God and to the State.”
“If someone decides to go to the polling booth, that is his decision. What he does in the polling booth is between him and his Creator.”
“If she obeys her husband and goes to the polling booth, that is her personal decision. No one should criticize her. – Compare Romans 14:4.”
“a Christian has to make his own decision”.
“each Christian has to make his own decision before Jehovah God – Romans 14:12”.
Clearly, this is a complete reversal of the WT’s previous stand on voting!
As usual, no explanation is given for the “new light”. To use their own words, they seem to have “chosen the pathway of expediency”. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do…
Can we expect an apology from the WT for the above statements? Don’t hold your breath! Will the betrayed Cameroonians get an apology for the suffering they endured in loyalty to the “Faithful and Discreet Slave”?
They will wait in vain.
Again, as with all the other reversal on such subjects as the Generation of 1914, the Separating Work, Blood, we must ask, can this possibly be God’s Organization??? The changing doctrines, followed by callous indifference to its adherents, are the fruit of a false prophet.
Written by Greta Olsoe