“When you have the TRUTH ... we would not have to knock on THEIR doors ... they would be knocking on OUR doors.”
No. I don’t think so: “And the 70 returned and they were bummed. The Lord said, “Why are you bummed.” They answered, “We sat at home from morning through the burning heat of the day, straight into evening, and nobody knocked on our door.” (Luke 10:1-17, Sheepandgoats Translation)
Didn’t happen that way.
“The fact of the matter is this ... day by day, in the eyes of the World, Jehovah's Witnesses are losing what credibility we USED to have, with general nuttiness .... and the Governing Body, in it's self aggrandizing attempts at damage control, are day by day, losing THEIR credibility”
I don’t think that this is true, either. The nuttiness is no more than it has always been, and is in many respects less. To some extent, it is exactly what one would expect. Jesus said he did not come to call on those who do not need a physician—he came to call on those who do. When our people go nuts, they nonetheless would still not hurt a fly. When those outside go nuts, for many of them you’d better call the SWAT team. The best way to escape “nuttiness” is to simply distance yourself from whomever is not your cup of tea, and this most people have done. Witnesses have not. Their congregations are close, family-like, and mirror Paul’s observation that God’s will is for “every sort of person [even nuts] to be saved”—for most people are nuts in one way or another. Keep the varieties of nuts separate and they never chafe. Jehovah’s Witnesses mix them all together.
The conventions invariably make a good impression. Both the website and the literature carts add a measure of dignity not always conveyed by any given publisher. They are not likely to ever replace the door-to-door activity, but they sure do supplement it. And the online Bible study feature on the home page: I am looking forward to telling someone—the timing and circumstances will have to be just right, you wouldn’t do it with everyone—“I don’t want to study the Bible with you. Do it yourself. It’s right there online.” We spoon-feed people too much.
Events transpiring in Russia paint us as downright champions of human rights.
Yes, the charges of CSA are bad, but they are largely offset by the fact that there is no sizable group of persons not also enmeshed in them, as well as a general weariness of lawyers. You well remember when premiere television or billboard sponsors were manufacturers or vendors. Today they are lawyers, and people weary over the massive transfers of cash that they enable, whilst skimming off at least the top third. They think of all the things they used to be able to do that they no longer can do on account of lawyers making things cost-prohibitive, and it qualifies any zeal forwhatever cause they might represent. Even as people as individuals hope that their turn winning the lawyer-lottery may come next, people as a group share a general sense that the barristers have destroyed the fabric of life. Insurance premiums of all sorts skyrocket at a time that overall inflation is quite low. Everyone knows why. Nonstop lawsuits on everything under the sun amounts to a tax on everyone else.
Moreover, the nature of the CSA charges are different. With most groups, it is those in positions of leadership perpetrating the abuse. With Witnesses, that is rarely the case. Instead, CSA is uncovered in their membership and it turns out that it has not come to the attention of the police. It is uncovered because Jehovah’s Witnesses take responsibility for their own—are people actually living the faith that they profess?—and they look into reports of wrongdoing of all sorts, CSA being but one. Not everyone will buy the line of opposers that it is because leadership wishes to “control” every aspect of the members’ lives. Instead, many will say: “It’s a shame all religions don’t do that. Overall conduct of people might improve were that the case.”
I think the perception is too much you pumping life into anti-Witness memes—living and breathing that life. You are consumed with them, and thus you come to think they far more occupy people’s attention than they really do.
It is like that with every cause. It is like that even with us. We start to imagine that everyone on earth is turning over in their minds and hearts the kingdom cause, siding for or against. But when I met an author in the dog park, he said: “Watchtower—that’s the Mormons, isn’t it?”
photo: nuts, by elimani