A “Painstaking” Satire/Critique of GB Anthony Morris’s 2007 Convention
“They ‘Keep Following the Lamb No Matter Where He Goes’"
By Barbara Anderson
Want to know the high points of Morris’s talk in his own words?
Want to know who “They” are who follow “The Lamb No Matter Where He Goes”?
Want to know who Morris said ninety-six times Witnesses should trust?
Want to know about an old story Morris read verbatim without giving credit to the owners of the copyright?
Want to know who asks us to follow them follow the lamb as they bring in the sheep????
Here’s a few of Morris’s statements which caught my attention:
· Morris answers a question about the meaning of Revelation 14:4, 5 that the 144,000 are virgins. “It is a spiritual virginity” he explained. “We [the anointed] are not defiled by Babylon the Great and any of her teachings. You see verse 5: No falsehood found in the mouths of the genuine anointed. The doctrines are pure based on the teachings of Christ and the rest of the scriptures. Without blemish, not blemished by this ungodly system.”
· Morris said: slave class deserves our trust as they follow Christ;
· God is enabling faithful slave to provide food at the proper time;
· He blesses the slave with Holy Spirit for they practice fruitage of the spirit;
· Jehovah chose the anointed; He is enabling faithful slave to prepare spiritual food;
· Jehovah and Jesus two of the most important ones in the universe and they trust the slave because they see evidence of love and joy; Jesus entrusts them with all buildings: Kingdom Halls, Assembly Halls, Branches, etc.; He sees spectacular increases in the organization the last fifteen years; “If Jehovah and Jesus trust the faithful salve, shouldn’t we do the same?”
· Not a perfect slave and so some have abandoned the truth; But, Watchtower magazine continuously published for 128 years—“We don’t get it perfect but we’re faithful.”
· Morris stated “Writing is the hardest work you will ever do in your life.” He asked if the audience understood that speakers get outlines of convention talks written and edited by the faithful slave? “It’s incredible how much work goes into providing outlines of talks,” Morris opined. “We have to get it right for you, Brothers and Sisters, you who are the most thinking people on earth.”
· We [Governing Body] have our fingers on the pulse of everything going on in the world.
· Morris asked, “Do you believe from what is heard here to trust the faithful and discreet slave?” Applause.
· We have given you the reasons to trust the faithful slave; Are you ashamed to identify yourself with the faithful slave?
· Some very out-standing people stopped trusting the faithful slave; the devil got to them.
· Jesus will soon separate the sheep from the goats. Matt: 25. Verse 40. How his brothers are treated is what Jesus looks for; he’s a wonderful big brother. On that flaming big horse Jesus takes it personally if you don’t do good to his brothers.
· The main way is to help with the preaching work. “We don’t allow ourselves to be distracted. We’re not building hospitals. We’re concerned but we’re here to preach. We’re not going to solve those things now. Later things will be better.”
· Preaching work solved by financial means too. (Morris said he gives his money to org.)
· Going to meetings doesn’t mean you’re walking with God, not unless hear and apply what you heard. “Period! Don’t delude yourself! We love you enough to tell you.”
· “You know what I mean by helping with the preaching work? Life is in the balance. We need to keep a positive spirit. I was a medic in Vietnam War. I know what’s coming at Armageddon. I know what it’s like to see a lot of blood and horror. At Armageddon there will be a lot of dead people. Get out in the ministry.”
· “Help us with the preaching work because life is in the balance. But you say you’ve been in this territory for years and nobody is here. Been through this territory last week. I’m sick of this. Well, you may feel like your territory is a bit rubble-like. Been through it so many times, and you got it all figured.”
· “Well, let me tell you a story I read many years ago. This happened. …”
I am not going to say it wasn’t an exercise in patience to count all the times Morris mentioned in his talk the words, “slave,” “faithful slave,” “slave class,” “blessing this slave,” “faithfulness of the slave,” “trust the slave,” “entrusted to the slave,” “trust the faithful and discreet slave,” “anointed slave,” “anointed class,” “spirited anointed ones,” “remnant,” “governing body,” “composite body,” because it was. In any case, I counted somewhere around seventy-three times. In addition, when adding the approximately twenty-three more times Morris identified himself as one of the Governing Body and saying “we” or “us” when talking about the “slave,” or the “anointed,” or the “Governing Body,” the grand total was about ninety-six times in thirty-five minutes in which he made reference to those who profess a heavenly calling including the ruling body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Hmmmm, that’s nearly three times a minute.
I am not going to slam Morris for telling the audience to “trust” the Governing Body so many times that I lost track count because by their applause, it was apparent they did. Or that his talk amounted to a blatant attempt to virtually get Jehovah’s Witnesses to worship the Governing Body because that’s just my opinion.
I am not going to fault Morris for saying that it was buildings, i.e., kingdom and assembly halls, which Jesus said he was putting in the care of the faithful slave when Jesus said he was entrusting to a faithful slave all his belongings because that’s a matter of opinion.
I am not going to suggest that when Morris said he is giving all his money to the WT Society, he was hinting for the audience to do the same because I can’t know for sure what his motive was.
I am not going to tell you that Morris was wrong when he stated that writing is hard work for it is hard work to intently concentrate on choosing the appropriate words to accurately, without bias and spin, pen an interesting and educational article, essay, lecture, or story on a particular topic. But it certainly was news to me when Morris said the “anointed” wrote and edited all the convention talk outlines because when I was in Bethel, writing those outlines was the job of senior staff men in the Writing Department and of a few men in the Service Department who received their assignments directly from the Teaching Committee. And to my knowledge, none of these men were of the anointed. Maybe things have changed since my Writing Department days when one of the senior staff writers would assign someone like me, a woman and not one of the anointed, to research and outline two district convention talks
I am not going to tell you that Morris didn’t write the convention talk he delivered because it sure sounded like he did—especially since he included many personal experiences. His comments didn’t sound like they were taken from a carefully thought-out convention outline provided by the Society, outlines that convention speakers have to adhere to or otherwise be reprimanded afterwards. Probably, his talk was one of those talks that allow for Governing Body members to often wing it. They stick somewhat to the theme and then oftentimes make statements that are not in line with their own policies. This then causes some in the flock to write to the Service Department. Barr, Schroeder and Klein were famous for crossing the boundaries of “old” and “new truth” which annoyed men in the Service Department no end because they had to address the queries later. Bob Johnson, in Service, told Joe and me that Schroeder’s talks usually generated so many letters questioning his up in the air points that Service sent them directly to Schroeder to answer.
I am not going to tell you that Morris gave credit to the book, Chicken Soup for the Soul, 1993, by Mark Hanson, because he did not when he wrapped up his
talk by repeating, almost verbatim, a true story found in that book, a story through which he hoped to motivate his listeners to action.
Instead, Morris began the story by saying, “Well, let me tell you a story I read many years ago.”
On the Internet that same story can be found at least three times, and quoted twice by people associated with "Babylon the Great” who ended the tale with a
different Scriptural application. Morris was no exception. He also gave a Jehovah’s Witness twist to what one could call “the moral of the story.”
Yes, we can trust the “faithful slave” as represented by the Governing Body, to make use of material from the same place “Babylon the Great” borrows it and
then claim what hard work it is to write God-directed material.
The story, Morris quoted almost word-for-word, is found on the website, Miracles, Miracle Healing and Promises website, Inspirational stories to read. A Father’s Promise. http://reigninggifts.com/MiraclesandPromises.htm E-mail: God Stories @ReigningGifts.com if you have a story: Subject: My Story About God. Story submitted to site June 18, 1998 by Debra: QEagle@aol.com as a Father’s Day offering.
Thirty minutes into his talk, Morris said, “Well, let me tell you a story I read many years ago. This happened. In 1989, an earthquake hit Armenia, the scale of 8.2 on the Richter scale. 30,000 people died in less than four minutes.” “Uf,,” Morris said. “It just a flattened Armenia.”
“The building where this Armenian father’s son was, his school building—the father was…makes sure his wife’s all right—and he runs to the school—he always promised his son I’m going to be there for you. Well, when he gets to the school it’s as flat as a pancake. Rubble! So this loving Armenian father goes over and he starts to dig. And other parents are coming up and they’re all forlorn and they’re, “Oh my son, my daughter”—see if you’re a parent and you know what that would mean—you come to the school and where your child was it’s rubble from the earthquake. Well, this father goes over there and starts digging.
“He figured out where his son’s room would have been to the best of his ability, and they come up to him and they say to him, "It's too late!" "They're dead!" "You can't help! Go on home. You’re wasting your time.” “Face reality!” “There's nothing you can do." "You're just going to make things worse." “You know what he’d say to em? ‘Are you going to help me now?’"
“The fire chief
shows up and he tried to pull him off saying, "Fires are breaking out,
explosions are happening everywhere. You're in danger. Go
home." And you know what our loving, caring Armenian father said?
"Are you going to help me now?" and he’d start digging.
“The police came and said, "You're angry, distraught and it's over. You're endangering others. Go home. We'll handle it!" You know what he said? “Are you going to help me now?" And he’d just go digging.
“See he wanted to know is his boy alive or not. He had to know.
“This loving Armenian man dug for 8 hours. He’s digging in the rubble where his boy’s room would have been. 12 hours he’s digging . . . 24 hours he’s still digging ... 36 hours the man is still digging looking for his son . . ., in the 38th hour, he pulled back a boulder and he heard his son's voice. And he screamed his son's name, "ARMAND!" He heard back, "Dad? It's me, Dad! I told the other kids not to worry. I told them that if you were alive, you'd save me and when you saved me, they'd be saved."
“Well, according to this, there were 14 of 33 students that were in that area that lived because this man dug for his son.
“Why do I tell you
this story? You might feel like your territory is rubble. But like that loving
Armenian father, we want to know are you going to help us now before the Great
Tribulation breaks out? That’s the first time I’ve given this talk and I’m a
couple minutes over, forgive me.
“Ahhh, this in conclusion some things for you to think about: The spirit-anointed ones follow Christ no matter where he goes. This is what we do. Now anyone that wishes to do God’s will has to listen to the Christ and his brothers. That’s all there is to it. The other sheep are being brought along as the Bible refers to them as the many that the anointed are bringing to righteousness. It’s Bible prophecy. Now you’ll benefit yourself, brothers and sisters, and other interested ones, by going with and supporting the faithful slave and its Governing Body. Remember, they keep following the lamb no matter where he goes. If you do this you will end up where you want to be, living in a glorious paradise earth.”
The major difference in Morris’s story from the Chicken Soup for the Soul story quoted on the Miracles, Miracle Healing and Promises website is the ending as follows:
"Come on out, boy!" "No,
Dad! Let the other kids out first, 'cause I know you'll get me! No
matter what, I know you'll be there for me!" "Be strong and
courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your
God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." - Deuteronomy
31:5 From: Chicken Soup for the Soul - HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO EVERYONE.
Here’s another place on the Internet the same story can be found but it’s not quoted verbatim from the Chicken Soup for the Soul book. It’s published in “A Father’s Love,” a tract for $2.50 purchased through Good News and Crossway and no credit is given to Chicken Soup for the Soul for the story. http://www.gnpcb.org/product/663575722649. Note the long motivational ending by the anonymous author of the tract:
“Do you realize that God, the Heavenly Father, is in the rescue business? He has gone to great effort to rescue you from a terrible plight.
“Unless you have a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, you have no hope of spending eternity in heaven with God. According to the Bible, sin separates you from God: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Ephesians 2:1 says you are doomed forever.
“The Bible tells us that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). He offers you the free gift of "eternal life in Christ Jesus" (Romans 6:23). You cannot be saved through your own effort: "For by grace you have been saved through faith," not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9).
“God reaches out to rescue you. To be saved, you must respond and believe in Him, confessing to Him that you have sinned and want His forgiveness. This act brings you into His family forever. John 1:12 says that all who receive Him and believe in Him "become children of God."
“If you would like to
know more about how to respond to God's loving offer to rescue you and give you
eternal life, please write to us at the address below.” -----
The last place on the Internet I located the same moving story is at: http://www.doc.state.nc.us/NEWS/1997/9712news/jarvis.htm. It was quoted during dedication ceremonies for the North Piedmont Correctional Center for Women and the North Carolina Department of Correction on November 19, 1997. Comments by Secretary Mack Jarvis. Credit was given to the book, Chicken Soup for the Soul. Mr. Jarvis’s motivational ending began after the following words, "Come on out," the father called. "Take the others out first," the son said. "Because I know that no matter what you’ll be there for me." "Take the others out first."
“What a statement of faith,” said Mr. Jarvis. Thirty-eight hours of back breaking work after all others had given up hope. That is faith in action.
“The people sent to this prison made decisions that buried their lives in rubble every bit as deep as this man’s son. We need people with the faith of this father to dig through that rubble and reach them. They need a life-changing experience.
“As we dedicate
this building today, let’s think of the many hopes and expectations that people
bring to this place. Let us work together to make this a place of new
Four times when this story was quoted it was concluded with motivational words to inspire to action such as: 1) support the faithful slave and its governing body and live in a paradise earth; 2) be assured that God will never leave or forsake you; 3) believe in God and confess your sins and he will rescue you with eternal life in heaven; 4) don’t give up but have faith in action.
Morris’s talk was not particularly inspiring. He disappoints by constant use of circular reasoning, i.e., Trust us because we said you should which means we’re
trustworthy. He made assertions without proof and plagiarized a published, copyrighted story to motivate us to obey the Governing Body who asks us to follow
them follow the lamb as they bring in the sheep. Huh? Read closely Morris’s conclusion and you’ll see that’s what he said!
All in all, Morris is an engaging speaker. What with such a colorful personality can you imagine the accolades he would have received from the Witnesses
during their evening meal at a classy restaurant if he had just said in fifteen minutes what it took him thirty-three minutes to say including the story he plagiarized.
A much shortened, very irrelevant to reality, talk would have been a good conclusion to an otherwise guilt-inducing day.