chapter  11
30 Pages

Problems and Prospects

Someone once described the Watch Tower Society as a pre-modern organisation in a post-modern world. Much has happened in the world since Russell gathered his rst group of Bible Students together, and the world has undergone considerable technological, social and religious change. Any religious body that claims to possess ‘the truth’ has to decide what should be adapted in the face of change, and what must remain constant. Although the Watch Tower Society is a restorationist organisation, seeking to restore the beliefs and practices of the earliest rst-century group of Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses are not like the Amish, and do not wish to recreate the social and technological conditions of biblical times. e Society has always been amenable to technological innovation, of which Russell’s Photo-Drama and Rutherford’s gramophones and sound cars are earlier examples. Indeed in his Creation Rutherford provided an alphabetical list of the technological innovations of his time, which he regarded as additional conrmation of Christ’s presence, then dated at 1874:

Many of these technological innovations have improved worldwide communication, and assisted the Jehovah’s Witnesses in their attempts to proclaim the gospel ‘to every nation and tribe and tongue and people’.2 e emergent globalisation that took its rise in the late twentieth century has

facilitated the Society’s identity as a worldwide unied movement, and on at least one occasion it has described itself as ‘Jehovah’s multinational organisation’.3