The Kingdom Ministry, February 2001 (the internal magazine of the Watchtower Society) had an interesting article under the title Facing Challenges in 2001. We reproduce a little of it here – in italics and with added comment- because reading between the lines it appears we can see what is happening to many in the organisation. We can also see how the Witness on your doorstep has had “mind control” applied so that they are ready to simply dismiss many of the arguments and reactions of Christians today.
What a joy to receive the 2001 Yearbook and the January 1, 2001 issue of The Watchtower and to read the world-wide report for the 2000 service year. Even though the “scene of the world is changing” bringing increased challenges to our brothers and sisters, yet the majority continue to “put up a hard fight for the faith.”-l Cor. 7:31; Jude 3. The majority are putting up a hard fight but quite a large minority have voted with their feet, not around the doors but out of the organisation.
As the “end of all things” draws nearer, the Devil’s anger against God’s people will increase. He knows that “he has a short period of time” left to make good his challenges as to God’s sovereignty and the integrity of Jehovah’s servants. (1 Pet. 4:7; Rev. 12:12, 17) Apart from opposition expressed by some of Christendom’s religious leaders to the preaching of the kingdom good news, some countries have reported extensive political pressure to curtail or even ban our preaching work. Not only have our brothers had to resist these challenges but thousands have had to endure natural disasters, ethnic violence, and the shortage of life’s necessities. How grateful they have been for the relief measures mounted by Jehovah’s organization to care for their physical and spiritual needs.
Of course, the opposition from Christendom’s leaders is to the false gospel that the Watchtower spreads. Note though how the Society, along with other such groups, turn the work of Christian opposition against the error to be Satan’s work against the truth. This is why we need to be as wise as serpents in our work so that the ‘opposition’ is brought with such love and grace that it will be hard for them to consider it as from ‘the devil’.
Notice too the emphasis on the good that the Society is doing without any mention of the vast work ‘Christendom’ is doing in the same areas. This develops the attitude – we are doing it – you are not. However, this conclusion only comes because of the lack of information that is fed into the Witness.
Most countries in the Western World have not been affected in these ways. However, it saddens us to realize that some have been side-tracked by the world’s materialism and the lowering of moral standards. Others have grown weary of well-doing. As a result, a number have fallen into inactivity so that, whilst a healthy number are baptized each year, yet as many, if not more, become inactive. Although having ‘tasted that Jehovah is good’, they allow themselves to be sucked back into Satan’s world and lose their precious relationship with Jehovah.
No mention of course of those who leave the Society but continue to love Jehovah and for the first time have a true relationship with the Father through Jesus and not the false one through the organisation.
What can be done to address this situation? First of all we must realize that it is only by staying loyal to Jehovah and his organization that we are able to cope. (Phil. 4:13) The Devil uses many crafty devices to make us shift or fall from our steadfastness. (1 Cor. 15:58; 2 Pet. 3:17) More than ever before, we must face this fact and fortify ourselves to take a stand against him, solid in the faith, along with our international brotherhood – 1 Pet. 5:8,9.
Notice the total misuse of these Scriptures taken out of context. Philippians 4:13 speaks of Christ not Jehovah and the organisation. Again with 1 Corinthians 15:58 it is abounding in the work of the Lord, not the organisation. As for 2 Peter 3:17 the ‘error of unprincipled men’ surely describes some of the actions taken by the leaders of the Society. Finally 1 Peter 5:8 and 9 refers to all Christians, not just to members of the Watchtower.
As drawn to our attention at last year’s “Doers of God’s Word” District Conventions, we must beware of rumours and gossip. Let us not be “quickly shaken from our faith” by unfounded and distorted media reports, statements of apostates, and opinions of outsiders seeking to sensationalize certain activities of Jehovah’s people. (2 Thess. 2:2.) Rather, let us keep on doing God’s will in harmony with our unreserved dedication to Jehovah.
First, 2 Thessalonians 2:2 refers to some being shaken by those who say that the day of the Lord has come – I wonder who that is? Second, as Paul’s previous letter to the Thessalonians pointed out (see 1 Thess.5:21), we are to examine everything carefully and hold fast to the truth and only reject that which is not true. Once again, the Watchtower Society is saying – only believe what we tell you and ignore everything else. Independent thinking is still of the Devil in the organisation!
To the fore must be our preaching and teaching activity. We cannot let up on this commission simply because we face the mounting problems of not-at-homes, apathy in this largely secular environment, and lack of response from the majority of householders. If we ‘appreciate sacred things’ then surely, however busy our schedule may be, we can find time each month to share our faith with others. During the 2000 service year, 18,929 were irregular in field service. This led to 5,076 becoming inactive.
There is only one answer to every problem in the Watchtower Society – do more door-to-door work. How different to the Scriptural answer of first finding rest in Christ and then doing His will rather than our own.
Do elders arrange for regular shepherding visits on all members of the Christian congregation? In some cases these visits may be made before or after meetings at the Kingdom Hall, or while working with publishers in field service. In other cases, it might be helpful to visit publishers (or families) at their homes. In this way, help is provided according to the brothers’ needs… Preventive maintenance is far better than finding it necessary to assist with deep-rooted spiritual problems!
Sadly, though, it is often not to meet the needs of the people that the elders arrange visits but instead to get them to put in more hours and keep the numbers up!