Don't underestimate the power of a tract to spark a fire in an honest heart that cannot be put out .
I don’t like the present series of tracts, but that does not mean that they are no good. I am very far from being typical. Nobody on this forum that claims to be a Witness is typical. I’m just carrying on some because I would love to see the ministry more fruitful that what it seems to me to be.
I and many others here write more in a day that most people write in a month. So I can hardly expect the tracts to cater to me. The last CO cited figures from somewhere that the average youngster today spends 7 minutes with print (as opposed to 10 hours or so on some form of screen time) Going simple is obviously the way to go. The fact that I do not like it does not mean that it is not just the ticket for reaching the majority. Education is usually a last-place priority in today’s world. 1/6 of the world’s population cannot read. Most people barely know that these persons exist, and count them as nothing. Watchtower produces simplified versions of material already written simple so as to reach them.
I defend the use of (vastly) simplified writing, even as I do not personally like it. “They can learn to read a few grade levels beneath them, if they are not too full of themselves,” is a line I put somewhere. I’ve learned to work around what is unpalatable to me, telling the high-brow people to consider this or that bit of writing as an outline, nothing more. Or telling them to not worry about whether A given account in the Bible is literal, but instead to take it as a metaphor and see if they can discern the underlying meaning of it. Mathematicians do something similar all the time: assume that such and such a condition is true just to see where that assumption leads them. If it proves fruitful, then they come back and reconsider any initial objection to it.
Just after 911, when people were unusually subdued, I grabbed that tract ‘Who Really Rules the World’ and had several good discussions with it. I’ve always liked Luke 4 for its clear explanation of Jesus declining Satan’s offer of gov’t control but acquiescing that it lay in his power to make the offer. Yes. There is a place for tracts.
Everyone here beefs about everything under the sun, so I have joined in on what is our main mission—the ministry. I probably shouldn’t. It really is true that ‘bad association spoils useful habits.’ I’ll put it all on this thread and then do my best to zip it. The Bible is not a template for democracy, with every Tom Dick and Harry telling HQ how things ought to be.
I don’t like the present series of tracts, but that does not mean that they are no good. I am very far from being typical.
This is my own personal bellyaching thread, after which I will get back to my normal supportive self, with only occasional caveats.
What nettles me about the tracts, and many other things, is how we go on and on and on about what a blessing from on high they all are, as though THIS Item is the magic bullet that will turn the preaching work on its head, exactly what is needed at this particular time— and doubtless it will completely energize the work and swarms will thereby be attracted to the truth.
I wish we wouldn’t do that. I wish we would just say “Here’s a new tool. We worked hard on it. Give it a try and see how it works.” I even think that our failure to do it that way is where a lot of the underlying conception that the JW organization is “smug” comes from.
However, said Oscar:
Where I live, official stats reckon that 75% of under 30s have no religious thought at any time. I would concur from experience that this a likely proportion, and many 30-50 year olds are not far behind.
However, the questions that our tracts provide a spritual answer to, they have all the time. It is just that they do not look to a God to provide answers to them. I think the tracts provide a very useful function in that they offer a route rather than an argument. When presented with our alternative view on things, if a person is delivering the message, then the receiver has to capitulate. That is not always a pleasant experience, especially for younger persons who may suffer from a measure of insecurity. The tracts offer the same solutions as we do when witnessing, but without comment or valuation on an erroneous view. The experience is private and much less painful. Then when one of us arrives with the question " Have You Ever Wondered? then the householder may well have done so at some time even if they can't remember the tract that triggered the thought.
They work, as my own experience confirms. We don't have to like them, but we cannot deny their effectiveness. Let's face it, medicine doesn't have to taste good in order to do it's job. Wisdom is proved righteous by it's works, not it's appearance.