Jehovah`s Witness/church error
It is my understanding that the congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the early church fell into error. In defense, some respond that while individuals can fall away, the church as a whole is guided by the holy spirit an cannot fall into error.
As I search this website, I read posts about this topic, and it seems to me that Jehovah's Witnesses insist that this defense, that individuals can fail but the congregation on the whole cannot, cannot be applied to the early church but CAN be applied to the current congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses when faced with questions about the POSSIBILITY of error.
This seems to be special pleading. Could you help me understand how it is not?
I am not sure what has been written, but I hope I explain this in a way that will make sense to you. If not, please do not hesitate to ask for more clarification. The appointed times of the nations ended in 1914, and God’s Kingdom under Christ Jesus went into operation. But that was in the invisible heavens. On earth, mankind began to suffer foretold “woe.” (Revelation 12:10, 12) A time of testing began. Not understanding things clearly, anointed Christians thought that “the bridegroom was delaying.” Confused and facing hostility from the world,(officers of the Watchtower Society had been imprisoned) generally they slowed down and virtually stopped the organized public preaching work. Like the virgins in the parable, spiritually speaking they “nodded and went to sleep,” even as unfaithful professed Christians did after Jesus’ apostles died.—Matthew 25:5; Revelation 11:7, 8; 12:17.
Then in 1919 something unexpected happened. Just when things seemed darkest, there was a call to get active! In 1918, Jesus, “the messenger of the covenant,” had come to Jehovah’s spiritual temple to inspect and cleanse God’s congregation. (Malachi 3:1) It’s not the congregation that cannot fail, but Jehovah’s Organization as a whole. It is true that humans are imperfect and cannot serve Jehovah perfectly, but we try. In Jesus day, even with him being in the disciples presence they faltered. He would constantly have to remind them of his purpose for coming to the earth. They could not grasp that he was not going to be an “earthly” Messiah. They believed he was going to establish the kingdom on earth at that time. They could not understand his kingdom was not going take care of the injustices right at that time. The reason for this is they were not ready to understand.
Jehovah's Holy Spirit is with the congregations today just as they were back then. But, even with that...When the early Christians learned that uncircumcised Gentiles could become fellow believers, that change led to a new question regarding the need for people of the nations to be circumcised. This moved the apostles and older men to reexamine the entire issue of circumcision. The same pattern holds true today. A brilliant flash of light on one Bible subject sometimes leads God’s anointed servants, “the faithful and discreet slave,” to reexamine related topics, as the following recent example illustrates.—Matthew 24:45.
As for you, Daniel, keep the words secret, and seal up the book until the time of the end.+ Many will rove about, and the true knowledge will become abundant (Dan 12:4) After the death of the apostles, the light grew dim for a while, but in recent times Scriptural knowledge has become abundant. Just as the early disciples had to overcome their religious teachings, we as a society had to overcome deep religious teachings and slowly accept what Jesus taught. As we get closer to the end of this system, the light (understanding) gets brighter and brighter.