The WT for this period seems particularly ‘feisty’, with the cover headline ‘Should you trust religion’? The picture is of some kind of probably health and wealth or word of faith preacher sporting a cross on the lapel of course. ‘Some people find it hard to trust religion because of past disappointments’ it says! Learn more about a religion that is worthy of your confidence!! Man alive that’s fresh coming from a religion that specializes in false promises and keeps itself going on what MIGHT happen just around the corner. The tactic here is to rely on the situation that the readers don’t actually know much about JWs or the WT. The ‘sell’ is easy to contrast the pristine Watchtower with the all to obvious imperfections of other Churches.
The Truth book from the 1960s had a great quote on p8 all about examining your own religion and it equally applies to Jehovah’s Witnesses of course but they usually say ..’well we have already examined it’. My usual reply is ‘Yes I understand that but you did it using WT translation, a WT reference book, WT articles and WT authorities that is hardly ‘examining’!! This magazine does include this lovely opener.
Suppose you need to have surgery for a life-threatening illness. You would want to have the utmost confidence in the surgeon, since your life will be in his hands. Would it not be prudent to review his record of experience?
Similarly, it is wise to examine religion carefully. If you belong to a religious organization, you are, in effect, putting your spiritual life in its hands. This includes your prospects for salvation.
Jesus provided a standard to help us view religion objectively. He said: “Each tree is known by its own fruit.” (Luke 6:44) For example, when you look at a particular religion or denomination, what fruitage does it bear? Do its religious leaders place excessive emphasis on money? Do its members follow Bible principles regarding warfare and morals?
The application of this to the Jehovah’s Witnesses themselves is so relevant. Would you trust an organisation that has in the face of all the opposite evidence inserted a false name into the NT some 237 times with ….wait for it … NO MANUSCRIPT SUPPORT, zero, zilch, nowt!
Would you trust such an organisation?
They pick the battlefield its 1. Fruit. 2. Money 3. Warfare 4. Morals.
We could have said 1. Faithfulness to the original texts. (the insertion of Jehovah into the text of the NT 237 times with no authority) 2. Accurate prophesy (1914, 1915, 1918, 1923, 1925, 1928 1975……) 3. Not laying unnecessary burdens on people (the blood issue). 4. Honesty and integrity in quoting sources (the Trinity booklet has been withdrawn probably because it has been exposed as fraudulent and misleading in the way it handles sources.
So the carefully selected topics ‘slant the pitch’ slightly.
It isn’t worth looking at each example they give but one is useful ..they talk of Hutu and Tutsi witnesses sheltering and helping each other in the Rwandan conflict. This is typical, they only help each other ,rarely will witness local or central work help anyone else.
I travel to Zambia regularly to train Church leaders , Zambia has the highest % of JWs of any reasonable size country in the world. Perhaps 5% of the population are associated in some way. On the road to the copperbelt from the capital there is kingdom hall after Kingdom hall stretching for miles , regularly spaced. If you were to search for orphanages, schools, hospices, medical centres run or funded by the Watchtower you would not find one solitary place in the whole country. Their defence of course is that they focus on the Kingdom message alone. They would let the country and many thousands of children perish but they would give them a watchtower before they died! More could be said about this but I hope you but my point ,that this religion which boasts of its purity, organisation, excellence and superiority does nothing anywhere in the world for the sick, disadvantaged, homeless and destitute.
The article ends like this The next time you meet Jehovah’s Witnesses, why not ask them why they trust their religion? Examine their teachings and their record. Then decide for yourself if a religion exists that you can trust.
The articles as usual paint the WT in glowing colours, but on examining their record and whether it is of ‘public benefit’ the various groupings of both Evangelical and non evangelical Christianity outstrip the WT in sacrifice, giving, and grace. Every JW should examine their religion…they WILL find it wanting if they look at ‘the other side of the argument’.
The Study edition of the WT for July contains some significant material which I feel needs to be re-examined. It includes a ‘readjusted’ understanding of the when the end comes (according to the Watchtower) and new material on the faithful and discreet slave. I feel that a specific article on this may be appropriate. I may return to this again after further re-examination. Suffice it to say the WT is reinventing its end time scheme once more, all part of the changes necessary as we get further and further from 1914, the generation who was alive then were said to be the ‘last generation’…. This is what the WT have taught for nearly a century but once again (not with a bang but a whimper) they change their beliefs.
Let us be warned as Evangelicals. It was Hal Lindsey (among many) who predicted ‘the end’ by 1988 which was a generation from 1948 and the founding of the State of Israel . For many the date changed to 1967 (capture of Jerusalem) both dates are now redundant really. These predictions were based on half a verse in Matthew 24 , I see no substantial difference between these false prophecies that the ones by the Watchtower. The difference is that ALL the JWs followed, in our world only some followed!! Be warned , the errors of the cults stand as warnings to us , not just tools to hit them with!
John Tancock has been involved with Apologetics for many years, and has appeared on Revelation TV many times discussing various subjects. You can hear more from him at his blog, Jt’s Blogspot.