“The land had no disturbance and there was no war against him during these years, for Jehovah gave him rest.”—2 Chronicles 14:6.
[Study 38 from ws 09/20 p.14 November 16 – November 22, 2020]
This week’s review will be approached as a series of Propaganda and Reality checks.
Propaganda: “During these exciting last days, Jehovah’s organization has spearheaded the greatest preaching and teaching campaign the world has ever known”.
Reality Check: Are these the last days of this system of things? What proof is there? Why would these last days be exciting? If they truly are the last days mentioned by the Apostle Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-7, would you view them as exciting or difficult? Note what the Apostle Paul wrote “But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. …”. Not exactly the kind of prospect that most people would view as exciting is it?
Reality Check: What has the allegedly greatest preaching and teaching campaign actually accomplished? A maximum growth through 150 years to around 8 million. In a similar timeframe, the Mormon faith has grown to around 14 million as one example. What about the missionaries of Christendom who brought entire islands and nations to Christianity?
Propaganda: “How can you take advantage of a time of peace”? Why not examine your circumstances and see if you or a member of your family could have an increased share in the preaching work, perhaps even serving as a pioneer?
Reality Check: We are in the middle of a global pandemic of Covid 19. Many European countries are in either partial or full lockdown, and even the USA has restrictions. Is this a time of peace and tranquillity? Or fear, and suffering, both mentally, physically, and economically?
Reality Check: Most witnesses cannot go from door-to-door. So, how can they pioneer and reach the hour requirements (which by the way many pioneers spend driving from one end of the territory to the other to avoid actually having to preach to many people)? Oh, is it by writing unsolicited letters and sending unsolicited literature through the post at their own expense of course?
Reality Check: Why are they ignoring a serious problem? They just ignore the fact that many witnesses like non-witnesses may have lost their jobs and depending on the country they live in, may not even have any government-funded social support to just pay their minimum bills to survive. Also, they just ignore the fact that many of the brothers and sisters may have contracted the virus and while they may not have been seriously ill, nonetheless are dealing with the fatigue and other health problems caused by the short-term and long-term effects of this virus. Yet the Organization ignores all that and more and suggests they try and pioneer!
Propaganda: “Many publishers have learned a new language so that they can use it in preaching and teaching”.
Reality Check: At first sight, a commendable suggestion. Reality is much harsher. Take the following experience of one brother who did that and then evaluate if that is really such a commendable goal. He spent the past 30 plus years learning a language difficult for English speaking people to learn. He regular pioneered much of that time and got a menial job to cover the expenses of him and his wife. For most of those years, he played a leading role in establishing first a group then later a congregation in that language. Everything was good, they had a circuit overseer visit which came and went. 4 days later he received a letter from the Organization, stating that the next meeting at the weekend would be the last, as the congregation was being closed. At a stroke, most of his adult life’s work was liquidated and discarded by the Organization. Needless to say, this had quite a devastating effect on this until now, a strong supporter of the Organization.
Propaganda: “Jesus foretold that in the last days, his disciples would “be hated by all the nations.” (Matthew 24:9)”
Reality Check: That is misleading. Matthew 24:9 in full says the following: ”Then people will hand you over to tribulation and will kill you, and you will be hated by all the nations on account of my name.” Note: the hatred would be on account of the name of Jesus, not Jehovah, or the God-dishonouring policies that the Organization pursues like shunning, covering up child sexual abuse, and kangaroo court justice in their judicial committee processes.
Propaganda: “He [Jehovah] is guiding “faithful and discreet slave” to provide nourishing spiritual “food at the proper time” to help us remain steadfast in our worship.”
Reality Check: Even before the author “woke up” he was spiritually starving at the congregation meetings and often spent much of the meetings reading the Bible so as to give himself some real spiritual food as the material being provided was so devoid of any real content. Since awakening, the quality of the so-called “food at the proper time” has only deteriorated further. Jehovah cannot be behind the organization. In this article, published after the Covid-19 pandemic was in full swing, there is no one allusion or reference to it. It is completely ignored as if it is not happening and life still goes on as normal. Things may be pretty much normal in the Ivory Towers of Warwick, upstate New York, but elsewhere brothers and sisters are experiencing the worst period in living memory for disruption to normal life.