A week ago I answered my door and two Jehovah Witnesses dressed in ties wanted to share their beliefs with me. They announced we’re in the end times and through their organization I could enjoy life on a paradise earth forever. They read from their Bible Psalm 37:29 “The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.” I told them I was familiar with Psalm 37 and it speaks of two classes of people on the earth; the righteous and the wicked. I said your organization adds a 3rd class of people called the 144,000. I said if the Bible says there are two classes of people, where do the 144,000 fit in? Are they wicked or are they righteous? And if they are righteous, according to your beliefs, they will reside on earth forever and not spend eternity in heaven (they believe the 144,000 will reside in heaven). I waited for an answer. Instead of answering me they said, “Wow someone actually knows their Bible! We spend days, weeks, and months going door to door and we almost never meet someone who understands the Bible.” We spoke for a few more minutes before they graciously moved on. As they left they said they wanted to start a Bible study with me. As they walked away I reflected on their statement about not finding people who understand the Bible. Here are some of my thoughts.
1. It doesn’t surprise me non-religious people lack knowledge of the Bible. Over the years, especially recently, secular society has attacked the Scriptures and the result is people don’t trust the Bible. Why read something you think is unreliable and make-believe. The anti-Bible position of the media poisons the minds of our culture creating a road block to opening a Bible and studying it.
2. However, it is also a sad reflection of the Christian church today. If 70% of the population says they are Christians, how can so many answering the door know so little about their Bible? This certainly is an indictment against the church in how it views Bible study and spiritual growth. The church has moved away from knowledge and study and more towards experience and doing. This is one of the reasons why the Jehovah Witness enterprise has been successful. Some statistics say 75% of all Jehovah Witnesses come from a Christian church. People who don’t know what they believe can be easily swayed by the slick presentation of a knowledgeable Jehovah Witness. They are easily fooled and join a false belief system.
3. Lastly, even though the Jehovah Witnesses seem to have a great knowledge of the Bible, the truth is they don’t. They study their Bibles but the main study materials are provided by the Watchtower Organization in either their Watchtower publications or frequent Kingdom Hall meetings. In multiple conversations with Witnesses, when they cannot support their views with scripture they tell stories or give illustrations to fill in the gaps. These stories or illustrations seem possible to them and they cling to them even when the Bible teaches otherwise. And why do they cling to them? Because these stories or illustrations come directly from the Watchtower Organization and they believe these people speak for God.
So what are my conclusions from this meeting?
- It’s time the Christian church woke up and changed how it approaches the Bible and spiritual growth. This was one of the motivations behind the Biblical Worldview Academy development of God’s Unfolding Plan. This is a comprehensive overview tracing God’s plan from Genesis to Revelations giving people the big picture of the Bible and providing a framework to read and study the Bible. Currently, this curriculum is in developmental stages and is being taught at a few select churches.
- Jehovah Witnesses love to present, to unsuspecting listeners, their out of context teachings distorting the truth of the Bible. In a blog series called “Accurately Interpreting the Scriptures,” I will expose the false interpretations of the Watchtower Organization.