Congregation Book Study
This is our final study in JW 101. Our next book will provide a little more substance thankfully. We conclude with a review of what is rapidly becoming our brand name, jw.org.
The brochure leaves the reader with the firm conviction that the publishers feel Jehovah’s Witnesses are doing Jehovah’s will today.
Theocratic Ministry School
The best part of the entire meeting, the all-too-brief review of the week’s Bible highlights is followed by the TMS review.
My favorite passages from this week’s Bible reading are Rev. 21:8; 22:15; and 22:20.
In light of our conclusion drawn from this week’s CBS that Jehovah’s Witnesses alone are doing God’s will, I wonder how “all the liars” and “everyone who loves and practices lying” factors in? After all, Jehovah’s “will is that all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” If we claim to be the only one’s doing God’s will, and yet continue teaching failed prophecy like 1914, and a different good news that leads millions to believe they are not God’s children, and the man-honoring doctrine that a small committee of men are God’s voice to the world, can we truly say we are imparting “accurate knowledge of truth”. Or are we “liking and carrying on a lie”? (Rev. 22:15 NWT Reference Bible)
As for Rev. 22:20, do I really need to explain why it is one of my all-time favorite Bible verses? 😉
Help them be ‘Stabilized in the Faith’
The first talk refers to the “over a quarter of a million people baptized each year.” Last year’s number was 268,777. However, if you subtract the average publishers in 2011 from the 2012 number, you get a figure of 170,742. That’s 100,000 fewer than the number baptised. Obviously, there were deaths. Based on the world mortality rate, that number is likely to be around 45,000. So that means that 55,000 are no longer engaging the preaching work. That’s a 20% loss in just one year! We are losing 1 out of 5 every year!
Help Your Child to Become a Publisher
This part in conjunction with the previous one caused me to wonder just how many of those ‘quarter million’ baptisms were the result of our field ministry and how many came from internal growth, i.e., children of witness parents reaching baptismal age. It’s an easy calculation. The world birth rate in 2012 was 19.15 births per thousand. That gives us a rounded-down figure of 144,000. So about half of all baptisms do not come from the field. If you subtract those lost from disfellowshipping or just plain drifting away, and then factor in the world population growth rate, you find that we are not really growing at all. We are just keeping pace with the world population growth. Since we tie so much to numbers and growth rates, using them to ‘prove’ God’s blessing upon us, this must give sincere worshippers pause to consider.
We Are Never Alone
I grant that true Christians serving the Lord are never alone. That is well established in Scripture. However, the odd thing about the account from page 48 of our Yearbook is that nothing is expressed to support that. The faithful brother in question got relief from persecution by appealing to the secular authorities. We can only infer that Jehovah was supporting him because he was all alone but persevered.