Wednesday, 29 April 2009

A visible organisation on earth

Here are a few quotes of Morton Edgar from “Gleanings from Glasgow”, most which statements were made in 1928/1929 or shortly thereafter:

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The word “organisation” does not occur in the Bible, and its use is apt to mislead. The Scriptural word is “kingdom”; and our Lord distinctly said that “the kingdom of God cometh not with observation”—with outward show—Luke 17:20. Therefore there is no “visible organisation of God on earth,” as is claimed by some to their undoing.

How often Brother Russell warned us against this very thing, and how foolish we shall be if we do not heed his warning. We shall indeed be foolish if we claim that “only through our system or organisation will the heavenly Father accept praise and service”; for this would make it appear necessary for every spirit-begotten child of God to “bow the knee” to the few who have constituted themselves heads of the organisation. The apostle shows that it is only the carnal, fleshly mind that is deceived by such unscriptural claims—1 Cor. 3:1-6, 18-23.
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Quote
I for one entirely repudiate this talk of “God’s visible organization on earth” during this Gospel Age. It is dangerous talk, and gives rise to all kinds of persecutions and ungodly claims, as anyone who has consecrated reasoning powers can see. We have the whole history of that great “whore,” the Apostate Church during the Gospel Age, to warn us against making any such claim as being God’s visible organization on earth. If Judge Rutherford is not able to read the lesson, then he has become blind. If there was one thing that our dear Brother Russell warned us against, more strongly than any other, it was this very thing. Brother Russell never made any such claim for the “Society” when he was here in the flesh and amongst us, for he knew better. But Judge Rutherford, apparently, does not know enough to keep himself clear of it. In the very first chapter of the first volume of “Studies,” Brother Russell speaks of this “false idea that the nominal church, in its present condition, is the sole agency” for the recovery of the world from sin.

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"Hence it is that we sometimes see an honest, truth-hungry child of God gradually progressing from one denomination to another, as a child passes from class to class in a school. If he be in the Church of Rome, when his eyes are opened, he gets out of it, probably falling into some branch of the Methodist or Presbyterian systems. If here his desire for truth be not entirely quenched and his spiritual senses stupefied with the spirit of the world, you may a few years after find him in some of the branches of the Baptist system; and, if he still continues to grow in grace and knowledge and love of truth, and into an appreciation of the liberty wherewith Christ makes free, you may by and by find him outside of all human organizations, joined merely to the Lord and to his saints, bound only by the tender but strong ties of love and truth, like the early Church. 1 Cor. 6:15,17; Eph. 4:15,16 The feeling of uneasiness and insecurity, if not bound by the chains of some sect, is general. It is begotten of the false idea, first promulgated by Papacy, that membership in an earthly organization is essential, pleasing to the Lord and necessary to everlasting life." Volume 3 p186