Statement: “Putin needs the support of people like (whose back he appears to be scratching). (the Russian Orthodox Church) That is why he does not stop the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
There is an element of truth here, but I think it is far overstated.
Latest from the New York Times is that Putin is not so strong as is supposed & that he has lost control of his own “dictatorship.”
It is his statements about Jehovah’s Witnesses- that he does not understand why they are persecuted- yet the persecution intenfies, that accounts for this surmising of the New York Times.
We are too hung up on blaming the Church, in my opinion. Prime opposition does not originate from them, but from irreligious parties. That doesn’t mean that they are not happy about it, but they are also uncomfortable, because the irreligious parties don’t like them, either.
Indirectly, of course, they ARE responsible, but only indirectly. By neglecting their duty to teach people the Bible AND becoming immersed in scandal and intrigue, they have spawned the irreligious faction. I think it is how the verse is to be understood about Babylon the Great: “Yes, in her was found the blood of prophets and of holy ones and of all those who have been slaughtered on the earth.” (Rev 18:24)
At first I supposed that the organization had taken one of my illustrations, and I was even a little nettled about it. But it is too plain an illustration not to have been thought of independently. Besides, they much improved upon it. I had been likening for the longest time the charitable works of churches to the handyman you hire to reroof your home but then he paints it instead. You will not be happy, even though it did need painting. If he had reroofed AND painted, that would be great, but he ignored your will in favor of his own.
The Watchtower’s improvement was to change the roles. My two are essentially equal. Theirs is one role clearly better than the other: the hired babysitter allows the children to go hungry and filthy while she paints the interior.
That said, I keep BOTH illustrations to myself at first if I come across someone in the ministry, church person or not, who does some kind of good works - say, running a soup kitchen, I do nothing but say good things about it. It is undeniably a good work, and we are not doing it.
I don’t say anything about painting the Titanic. Not at first. It’s a while before I bring out the Big Boat.
Don’t misunderstand. I am not covetous. The organization can take any illustration that they want of mine, if they think it is any good. But this one they probably thought independently of a much better version. I don’t like all of their illustrations, but this one was brilliant.