● How should Jehovah’s Witnesses view tape recordings from sources other than the Society?
The Society provides an abundance of spiritual food in various forms, including cassette tape recordings. These include cassette recordings of the Bible itself and others based on Society publications, such as The Watchtower, Awake!, My Book of Bible Stories, and Listening to the Great Teacher. Kingdom melodies and several dramas have been produced. However, we need to exercise caution with regard to private tape recordings that circulate and that may appear to be similar in nature. Because of our being such a trusting brotherhood, some may at times accept and listen to copies of tapes from others without ascertaining their origin.
Sometimes recorded talks that circulate border on speculation or make use of sensational information. Would it not therefore be wise to follow Paul’s counsel at 2 Timothy 3:14? There Paul, after warning about impostors, stressed the importance of knowing the persons we are listening to. We need to make sure that we do not listen to anything that goes “beyond the things that are written” in the Holy Scriptures and in the spiritual food provided by “the faithful and discreet slave.”—1 Cor. 4:6; Matt. 24:45-47.
In some areas tapes for teaching children the Bible are being advertised and sold. These tapes purportedly originate with brothers and have been circulated among some congregations. While the motive may appear to be good, would this not amount to using theocratic connections for personal advantage? (See Our Kingdom Service, June 1977, page 4, and December 1979, page 4; Our Kingdom Ministry, September 1987, page 4.) Jehovah’s organization is providing more than enough Bible-based instruction to train our children. Therefore, we discourage the circulation of such tapes.
Some individuals may make tape recordings of congregation meetings or assembly and convention programs for their personal use. Such recordings may also be appreciated by members of the congregation who for some good reason are not able to be present at the meetings. However, these should not be made for distribution among the brothers in general or offered for sale to others. May we make full use of all that Jehovah has provided through his organization for our spiritual encouragement and upbuilding.