“Sow your seed in the morning and do not let your hand rest until the evening.”—Ecclesiastes 11:6.
[Study 37 from ws 09/20 p.8 November 09 – November 15, 2020]
This is yet another article about preaching, yet this was likely written earlier in the year during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. There is no let-up in the banging the drum on preach, preach, preach, but have we had even one study article about how to be caring and interested in our neighbors? Have we had one study article with reminders about the Bible standards of physical cleanliness (to avoid infection) or helping others in need? You will struggle to find even one article. Even if you find one about showing care and interest for others it will only be talking about others in the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Therefore, in the midst of a global pandemic where people are losing their jobs, or greatly reduced income, and perhaps losing loved relatives to a nasty illness the key points to be discussed in this week’s study are (1) stay focused (subtext: in the preaching work), (2) be patient (subtext: Armageddon is nearly here) and (3) maintain strong faith (subtext: do not listen to those pointing out the error of the Organization’s teachings and policies).
Then the blowing one’s own trumpet session begins in paragraph 6:
“We can stay focused on the preaching work if we reflect on how much Jehovah is doing to help us. For example, he is providing an abundance of spiritual food in the form of printed and digital publications, audio and video recordings, and Internet broadcasts. Just think: On our official website, information is available in over 1,000 languages! (Matthew 24:45-47)”.
Can you think of one tangible piece of evidence that Jehovah is helping the Organization and providing spiritual food in the forms they mention? Quantity does not prove anything, there is plenty of garbage in the world, but most of it is just polluting the earth.
And if Jehovah is providing such an abundance of spiritual food, then why is he helping the Organization with all this spiritual food, but not helping them to eliminate child sexual abuse? Surely it would be better that he help them write articles and implement policies that would greatly reduce the child sexual abuse and make the Organization an exposed place for any with pedophile intent without the Organization having to compromise their requirement for “two Witnesses”.
Paragraph 6 continues: “For example, on Friday, April 19, 2019, Witnesses around the world were united in a discussion of the daily text. That evening, a crowd of 20,919,041 gathered to observe the Memorial of Jesus’ death. We are moved to stay focused on the Kingdom work when we reflect on our privilege to see and to be a part of this modern-day miracle.” Would you call it a miracle to be proud of, to succeed in duping 29 million people into rejecting to partake of the wine and bread that Jesus commanded “Keep doing this in remembrance of me” without exception and the Apostle Paul stated, “ … for as often as you eat this loaf and drink this cup, you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord until he arrives.”
Rather than so much emphasis on preaching to the near exclusion of all else, why not proclaim the death of the Lord by partaking as commanded of the unleavened bread and wine in memorial of his sacrifice.
The subtext of Paragraph 8 contains counsel against expecting Armageddon to come soon and rescue us from health problems and other problems including old age. It says “Jesus’ disciples hoped that the Kingdom would “appear instantly” and rescue them from Roman oppression. (Luke 19:11) We yearn for the day when God’s Kingdom will remove wickedness and usher in the new world of righteousness. (2 Peter 3:13) However, we need to be patient and wait on Jehovah’s appointed time.”
The question is then, Are we really living in the last day of the last days or not? Only a few months ago, a governing body member (Stephen Lett) on a web broadcast was excitedly expounding that very phrase. Which is it?
The problem is that throughout history since Jesus’ death, people and religions have wanted to believe that because of world conditions at their time, that it was God’s time to bring Armageddon. True, one day it will come, but it will not be announced by a devastating earthquake, a destructive solar flare, or a deadly pandemic. Jesus said he was coming as a thief in the night, not with a fanfare.
Unpleasant and sad as it is, the present Covid pandemic has not reached anywhere near either the physical numbers, or the percentage death rate or the speed of the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic. Yet the Spanish Flu did not herald Armageddon, nor did the Black Death and the Bubonic Plague of the Middle Ages.
Just to put things in context:
As of 30/10/2020 when this review was prepared
Covid-19 (Deaths from January 2020 – October 2020)
Spanish Flu (H1N1) 1918 – April 1918 – April 1919
12 months, an estimated total of 50 million according to the CDC, World Population: 1.8 billion (Estimates of deaths vary from 17.4m to 100m.) Even at 17.4m that was 1% of the world population.