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A Jehovah's Witness Connection

This morning I was enjoying last night's episode of "The Daily Show" (THANK YOU TIVO!) when the doorbell rang. I couldn't figure out who it was through the peephole but I decided to answer the door anyways. A man had a little pamphlet which he gave me and asked me to read it and left. No pressure, just leaving it with me. So, who was it?

My initial reaction was that it must be a Jehovah's Witness but I've found most of them are much more confrontational and never just leave something in your hand without arguing over something. I began to think it might have been an Adventist. Well, what did the pamphlet look like and what did it talk about?

The front declared, "The End of False Religion is Near!" Inside it described false religions as those that meddle in war and politics, spread false doctrine, and tolerate immoral sex. On the next page, what did I see but decpictions of scary beasts and the scarlet woman of Revealtion. The text describes how false religion will end and goes directly to Revelation 17. Then it states, "What must you do if you do not want to share the fate of false religion? 'Get out her, my people,' urges God's messenger (Rev 18:4). Indeed, now is the time to flee false religion! But to where can you flee?" On the back it shares that true religion practices love, trust's God's Word, and strengthens families and upholds moral standards.

So who produced this pamphlet? It was the Jehovah's Witnesses but Adventists could virtually just put our information at the end instead of theirs and call it a day. I don't know anyone who likes it when Jehovah's Witnesses come to their door or praise God when they get another copy of the "Lightower/Watchtower" (Can't remember the name because when I get I throw it away immediately). Why do we spend so much money sending out literature and pamphlets like this? It only makes us look like crazy people.

I found out that leading up to the evangelistic series, the Conference spend hundreds of thousands of dollars sending out a special copy of "The Great Controversy" to every home in SF that also had information about the series. How many people came because of that mailing? I'm 99.9% sure that 0 people came because of that mailing. Now, we don't know what will happen. Maybe people read it and were blessed but let's think about what we could have done with all that money.

Why didn't we take that money and develop long-term community programs in Hunter's Point that would actually make a difference in the community and develop strong contacts? Why not spend some of that money on the traning of church members in different areas so the local church would be stronger? Why not turn a room in the SDA church in downtown SF into a coffee shop since it's right across the street from a teaching hospital?

Jehovah's Witnesses seem to be one of the easy targets that Adventists love talking bad about. I know I've taken my fair share of shots at them. But, I realized today that in some of our key evangelistic strategies we're just like Jehovah's Witnesses.


Anonymous said…
You make some valid-and very scarey points. I believe that your postings on the evangelistic crusade are extremely important & will hopefully open some eyes. Paying money to get an audience--is that how desparate we've become? Sometimes you just want to cry. If this is the future of the church, I'd rather be a JW.
I spoke recently with my dad about how we spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to direct mail the Great Controversy to everyone in San Francisco prior to our meetings. After I finished explaining the process to him he shared with me that his boss at the American Red Cross forbids them to do any direct mail marketing. Forbids it. The American Red Cross has done its own research and found that it is not only ineffective, it is counter-productive. My dad then explained that his boss told him that he is to be in his community forming and nurturing relationships with people, and that is where the support comes from.

It kind of stopped me in my tracks. Then I said to my dad, "I don't actually believe what I am going to say. I think what the Red Cross does is very important. But, you are just the Red Cross and you've figured out that it all comes down to relationships. We are the Body of Christ and we are still choosing to mail it in."

We can do better fellas, we can do better.
Anonymous said…
I've read The Great Controversey and have even wrote an email to someone named Larry not to long ago about it. He was the name on the website to send email too.

The tract campagin right now being carried out for the distribution of "The End Of False Religion Is Near!" is being carried out around the world.

We are little concerned with the cost of the campaign as we are trying to save people's lives.

Obviously we view things differently. But check out those last few chapters in The Great Controversy. It had enough insight to understand that at the end of it all, there would be witnesses around the world giving out tracts to the people to tell them what was about to come.

It was these very people, who refused to get invovled with the world and it's politics and wars, that would be persecutted on all sides because of it and their message.
Anonymous said…
Wanted to respond to the anonymous comment with my own two cents:

We are little concerned with the cost of the campaign as we are trying to save people's lives.

Saving people's lives is priceless... that's true; however, what if that same amount of money can be used in a different way and save even more lives than the current, popular outreach methods? Don't get me wrong... I'm not bashing the message in the tracts. I have read my fair share of EG White (and definitely appreciate her message) and read Revelation more times than is probably good for me, but religion is such a personal thing that it's easier to share your thoughts on religion/God with someone if you're already friends with them or they see you as a caring member of the community than if they see you as a complete stranger handing out tracts or if they receive tracts in the mail from an organization you have never heard of. I just feel like we sometimes are so eager to share the message that we jump over the "being friends" part.
trevan said…
I fully agree with you Anonymous #2.

I don't necessarily disagree with the information in the tracts, although I'm not terribly excited about it either, but they make the groups sending them out look crazy. They are meant to be sensational and grab attention so they usually contain the most controversial material the church believes.

I just don't think these are good outreach methods. I think it reflects an attitude that just wants to give everyone a "chance" to hear the Gospel so their blood won't be on our hands anymore. The attitude can be, "Hey, they got a tract and had a chance to accept the truth so we've come closer to the whole world hearing about Jesus and we don't have to worry about them anymore."
Anonymous said…

I am a JW, and I came across your Blog in a random Blog search.

I noticed your comments about "The End of False Religion is Near!"

I just thought I would comment:

In his great prophecy pointing to our day and the time of the end, Jesus Christ declared: “In all the nations the good news has to be preached first.” (Mark 13:10) The end would come after the good news had been preached “in all the inhabited earth.” (Matthew 24:14)

Jesus Christ set his followers an excellent example as an evangelizer. Regarding the ministry of Christ and his apostles, God’s Word states: “He went journeying from city to city and from village to village, preaching and declaring the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him.” (Luke 8:1)

The house-to-house ministry can be challenging. For example, some are offended when we come to their door with the Bible’s message. It is not our desire to offend people. Yet, the house-to-house ministry is Scriptural, and love of God and neighbor motivates us to bear witness in this way. (Mark 12:28-31)


Kind Regards

A Jehovah's Witness

More information can be obtained at:
Anonymous said…
Hi again,

I am the JW who posted the "The house-to-house ministry can be challenging" comments etc

I just thought I would add some comments in regards to the costs of "evangelising" from a JW point of view.

Those who have undertaken this activity have not been enticed by any idea of worldly ambition. They have been frankly told that when they go from house to house or offer literature on a street corner, they will be viewed as “foolish, weak, lowly,” that they will be “despised, persecuted,” and that they will be classed as “not of much account from a worldly standpoint.” But they know that Jesus and his early disciples were treated in the same way.—John 15:18-20; 1 Cor. 1:18-31.

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses think that somehow they are earning salvation by their preaching activity? Not at all! Eternal life is ‘the gift God gives . . . by Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8-10) Nevertheless, if we have faith in that gift and appreciation for the manner in which it was made possible, we will make this manifest. Discerning how marvelously Jehovah has used Jesus in accomplishing His will and how vital it is that all of us follow Jesus’ steps closely, we will make the Christian ministry one of the most important things in our life.”

How has the enormous worldwide work of preaching the good news, building necessary Kingdom Halls, caring for those in special full-time service, and giving aid to Christians in need been accomplished?

As dedicated, baptized Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses have voluntarily accepted the responsibility to serve God, no matter what their personal circumstances. For some, that means full-time service as missionaries or as volunteers in branch offices and facilities for printing Christian publications. For others such Christian willingness leads them to construction work on religious buildings, to full-time preaching as pioneer ministers, or to part-time preaching as publishers of the good news in local congregations.

In every Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world, there is a contribution box marked “Contributions for the Society’s Worldwide Work—Matthew 24:14.” Unsolicited contributions placed in those boxes are available for use wherever there is a need. Money placed in a contribution box in one country might support the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses in another country thousands of miles away. Contributions have been used in some lands to provide emergency aid for fellow believers suffering because of such things as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and civil wars. And such donations are being used to support missionaries in well over 200 lands.

In the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as a general rule, financial matters are mentioned just once a month—and only for a few minutes. No collection plates are passed in Kingdom Halls or at assemblies. No solicitations for funds are sent to individuals. No fund-raisers are hired. Normally, The Watchtower has just one article a year explaining how those who so desire can make contributions to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in order to support the worldwide work.

Thanks Again

A Jehovah’s Witness
trevan said…
Anonymous JW,

Thanks for givinig us an inside look at JW's.

I hope you didn't think I was suggesting that JW's did their work out of worldly ambition or trying to earn their salvation. I hope that was just part of your descriptions of JW's.

I have a huge amount of respect for the work of both JW's and Mormons because doing the door-to-door work is grueling and takes major sacrifices and commitment. I have nothing but respect and admiration for those who make that decision.

I don't doubt the sincerity of anyone that takes up that call to ministry. I just believe that those efforts might be used more effectively in creating long-term ministries and outreach in local communities. If you read my blog, you'll see that I just went through a typical Adventist evangelistic series. I was quite critical of how it went but I never criticized the sincerity or commitment of those who work on these series. I just have a problem with the methodology which I believe is sincerely wrong in many respects.

All the things you shared about JW's is inspiring and I'm really happy about. The problem is that the world has a much different picture of JW's. Whenever that name comes up, people automatically think -- annoying people who always show up at my door when I'm busy and shove literature down my throat and try to get in arguments. Now, whether that's fair or not, I would say that is the standard opinion about JW's. We don't hear about all the good things you do because of the primary evangelistic technique which is giving literature out door-to-door. I'm not saying this should completely stop, but I think JW's might want to re-think the public image they are sending to the world about their denomination.

If we heard more about all the service work you do, maybe the public perception would not be so negative.
Anonymous said…
Hi Trevan,

Thanks for you generous and kind response.

I thought I would take this point up:

"If we heard more about all the service work you do, maybe the public perception would not be so negative.”

I have a personal Blog, it is not an “official” Watchtower media thing. It has one section for a lot of JW filmed videos from YouTube, from all over the world. I put them all together on a Blog. It will give you and your Blog readers, a bird’s eye personal on the ground view of JW life, the world would not know about. I hope you enjoy viewing them, however there are a lot of them, but over time (it you have the time); I think you will be surprised.

My Blog address is:


Jehovah's Witnesses in Video

It is also linked to my "home page"

Thanks again for the opportunity to post on your Blog


Philip (poster of the two anonymous comments)

From Australia
Anonymous said…
Hello, I just want to thank you for posting your point of view. And you're right. When people hear of us, eyes roll and groans are heard. But Jesus wasn't very popular either. His disciples weren't either, for the fact that they kept ending up in prison and being persecuted and killed. Jesus declared that his followers would be hated (John 15.19). Even the apostle John mentioned the same (1John 3.13), no matter what they did. But what did they do? After they were let go, Acts 5.42 responds: "And every day in the temple and from house to house they continued without letup teaching and declaring the good news about the Christ, Jesus."

And the door-to-door method has been proved to be the most effective way to preach, mainly being that it's the All-Knowing God's commandment to do it that way.

Well, I hope that helps a bit on why we continue to use that method, Mr. Trevan.

And adding to what Philip has written, you may also have heard of the documentary that recently came out, called "Knocking". It is a documentary done by someone who was raised as a JW, but isn't one. It will be broadcasted on PBS in the 2006-07 season. You can find more info on this at

Thank you for your time,

Admin said…
I just wanted to add to the comments about going from door to door:

Some say JW's are not involved in their community. So how much more involved can one get, by going out and meeting the community face to face, in their homes.

The house-to-house challenge tends to make one more sympathetic, more empathetic. On the one hand, one learns to feel for persons who have been blinded spiritually by false shepherds, and on the other hand, one learns to commiserate with people as they tell of their problems: poverty, unemployment, sickness, domestic discord, juvenile delinquency, and so forth. Even as was true in Jesus’ day, the people today are “skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.” They need Jehovah’s kingdom. Jesus’ words to his disciples of the first century are even more meaningful in these “last days,” namely, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.” While praying for more workers to be sent out into the harvest, are we ourselves sharing zealously in Kingdom work, successfully meeting the house-to-house challenge?—Matt. 9:36-38.


Anonymous said…

You ask why Adventists continue to spend so much money mailing out tracts and books. The answer is quite simple. Ellen White published a comment to the effect that many people saved in the kingdom will trace their knowledge of "the truth" to the reading of Adventist printed material.

And if Ellen says something is successful, then regardless of how much times or people's attitudes change, it has to be true for all time.

I know of a church which spent 10s of thousands of dollars to set up a low-power FM radio station to re-broadcast 3ABN programming (and continues to spend hundreds of dollars to keep it on the air) which few, if any, of the local listening public listens to, while deciding that the $25 a month they were sending to a local ministry that helps single moms was too much and lowered it $20 a month. And given the church's curent budgetary challenges, have probably stopped helping the single moms altogether while continuing to suport 3ABN radio.

Somehow too many Adventists believe the "truth" is Adventist doctrine rather than the Person who said "I am the truth," the person who always put people first.
Anonymous said…
The Adventist's doctrines are indeed highly similiar to those of Jehovah's Witnesses. I'd have become on Adventist years ago if not for their Trinity doctrine (I can get past the foot washing). Thus, I serve Jehovah God. No Trinity yet I've got the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit... plus all sorts of wonderful good bible truths, that I suspect only Adventists can appreciate.
Anonymous said…
Adventists and JW's share many bible truths that other denominations don't appreciate. I'd have become an Adventist many years ago had it not been for their Trinity doctrine. As a Jehovah's Witness I've got bible truth, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit... and don't have to wash feet. - ok, I would have if not for the Trinity.
Anonymous said…
Oh, I am enjoying this thread very much.
I am also one of Jehovah's Witnesses and I just thought that I would offer this. Although we are hated by people of all the nations for doing exactly what Jesus and his desciples did, we do have a great deal of success. In 2005, Jehovah's Witnesses around the world conducted an average of 6,085,387 personal bible studies each month. We baptize an average of roughly 1000 people each week (each of whom has studied for an average of 2.5 years).
We might not be popular but the command was not to 'go forth and be popular'. It was to 'preach, and teach people to observe the commandments of Christ and to baptize them'.
The consequences of doing that, Jesus said, would be that we would not be popular... at all. We are ok with that because we are just doing what Jesus told us to do.

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