Greetings! It’s been a little bit since I’ve written. The hustle and bustle Christmas and New Year's coupled with running around and another project I’ve been working on (it’s a big one) prevented any visits. However, I’m back.
So to catch you up on things, I’ve been working on a project that spans the history of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. That’s the only hint you’ll get is here:
For over a century, delightful, correct words of truth covering every aspect of life have been presented in the Watch Tower Society’s publications and widely distributed in many languages.
The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom. December 15, 1990 p. 26
With that little teaser in mind, let’s turn our attention to our slow slog through the introductory booklet, “What Does the Bible Really Teach?” The seventh chapter pertains to death, the resurrection, and what happens. If you take the time to read through this chapter, this is material that is already covered in prior chapters. There is not a ton that is very new here. If you happen to be someone who is working with a Witness to get them out of this organization, this is a good chapter to bring back old questions that have been asked. This is necessary as they may be exposed to a question one time and then simply forget.
There’s not much in here that’s new that you may not know, but here’s how the meeting went.
We exchanged pleasantries and checked on how we were doing. Given the last time I saw them (the custodian’s husband is sick so it’s the gentleman who was very upset when I had him read Phil. 2:5-11) and I almost asked how Christmas went. I caught myself and we started talking about smartphone cases. I’ve been having a run of bad luck and we had a pretty good laugh about it. I had also noticed that the elder had a Field Service Report form to report time spent in the “ministry” trying to get the people to join the organization. As we turned to the opening questions, it was reiterated that these questions will be answered as we go though the paragraphs in our “bible study.”
There was a heavy emphasis upon Lazarus and how Jehovah and Jesus feel about death. The first time I answered I ended up giving a long answer. My response inadvertently spilled over into the next question. It was a nearly automatic response for them to ask it regardless. So I simply answered with the same response to ensure they understood.
The fellow who was a stand in for the day talked about a personal experience regarding comfort which is addressed a little in paragraph five. He was speaking about how he was out in field service and approached a guy. The guy said “Merry Christmas.” I immediately interjected, “that went nowhere.” A lot of laughter ensues. Once we were done laughing, he talked further how during the holiday season people get depressed and this guy was no different. He ended up being unable to talk at all. This was used as a springboard into Lazarus.
I had addressed Lazarus previously and what the bible speaks about in relation to Lazarus in Luke 19, which the organization conveniently leaves out. This of course went to “soul sleep” which the organization believes is “biblical truth.”
The thirteenth paragraph is the one that was interesting as everything is ascribed to Jehovah as the sole creator. I didn’t press them but just read John 1:3 or any other verse that pertains to Jesus as the creator. Look to the section “Creator” here. Those were just some of the verses that came to mind.
The fifteenth and sixteenth paragraphs speak about the resurrection. They asked me who will get resurrected. I said, “there’s a resurrection of the just and the unjust.” It took me a moment but I had to look up where that one was from-Acts 24:15. The seventeenth paragraph speaks about John 5:28, 29 and emphasizes the word all. Make a note of that and this becomes a slight bit of contention later on.
An interesting point that I didn’t bring up is partially mentioned in the next paragraph. Hebrews 11 is mentioned regarding the Old Testament/Hebrew Scripture saints. The organization talks of people living on earth. However, it’s interesting if we in the present day are to model our behavior, we should be like these individuals in verse 16 that says, “But now they are reaching out for a better place, that is, one belonging to heaven” (New World Translation).
The nineteenth and twentieth paragraphs is were I brought up the objection. Remember the line where “everyone would be resurrected?” Well that seemingly went by the way side. The first three lines simply say, “What about all the prowl who did not serve or obey Jehovah because they never knew about him? These billions of “unrighteous” ones will not be forgotten. They too will be resurrected and given time to learn about the true God and to serve him. Biblically speaking, the organization doesn’t really look much at this verse: For his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable” (New World Translation). I merely asked this, “what about those who heard the true message of the gospel and completely rejected it?” The answer I got in response was to read paragraph 20.
I read it and didn’t feel satisfied with the answer at all. I said, the bible says that all will be resurrected (just and unjust). The early conversation for this chapter says the exact same thing. However, now there’s a difference (contradiction). So I said, “please let me clarify. We talked about the just. There is the unjust. Now we have a segment of the unjust (being those who rejected the gospel) and this now means they are to not be resurrected? The second Witness held his temper this time but you could see from his facial expression that he seemed to have “got it.”
The main elder at this point could only reply to “look at the Appendix” and that will give further insight. The paragraphs don’t have enough space to expound upon everything. From there we were done with the study portion. The elder asked to use the bathroom. While sitting with the now stumped Witness, I asked how his grandkids were doing. Everything was fine and I figured, to ask another question. I asked if he had seen the Leah Remini documentary, “Leaving Scientology.” He hadn’t. So I brought the following chart to mind I found online recently.
So he said he knows nothing about Scientology so I was afforded the opportunity to speak a little about the foundation of this group. I was able to speak about how one advances and speak in a loose parallel regarding how the organization operates. By this time the main elder was back out from the bathroom and he dropped the “C” word-cult. He just started speaking about cults without a problem even though he doesn’t realize he is in one when you define it based on information here in this page. He was talking about the problems and the secrecy involved in cults. However, he seems to not correlate the Watchtower’s actions with that of Scientology. He spoke about how Leah Remini had left and there are other defectors. They are now working to expose the inner workings. As they are saying this, I just sat and realized these two know absolutely nothing regarding the former Witness community and how they’ve been working at exposing the organization. This is just one such website: JW Leaks
With that he also said how Jesus is the head of their congregation. Even though he believes that, he doesn’t recognize that everything starts and is run by the governing body. We closed things down for the day as they are there for 1.5 hours. Pray that the direct contradiction within the material won’t settle with the stand in Witness. Please continue to pray for my JW friends.