I was listening to a sermon online and the speaker, Francis Chan, mentioned a conversation he had with a Jehovah’s Witnesses. The point was, the Jehovah’s Witnesses was challenged to read the bible and see if he could come away with the conclusion that Jesus was Micheal the archangel. “You can’t. And do you know why you can’t? Because it is not there. The reason you believe this is not because of anything in the bible but because that is what you have been fed!”
Then Francis turn to his listeners and asked:
“What about me? Ask yourself, what about you? If you have NEVER been to a church before; if you had no idea, no knowledge of what to expect; if all you did was read the bible and you read Acts and read what the church was like; what would you expect to see when you walked through the doors of a church?”
“Would you really expect to see a bunch of people sitting in a rows of chairs all facing forward, sing some songs, hear announcements and a lecture, get up and talk to a few people and go home? Is that what you would have gotten from reading the bible?”
“Then I started asking myself, why do we do what we do? Well, it’s because that is what we have been fed.”
There is no way by just reading the new testament we would ever come up with a model for gathering together that comes close to resembling what we see in ANY church service on any Sunday. It is just not there!
So, how would we expect the Jehovah’s Witnesses to respond? I’m sure he could read his beliefs into the scripture and come up with a suitable excuse for believing as he does. But how do we think he should respond?
And how should we respond?
- We could take our beliefs into our reading of the scripture and come up with suitable doctrine for doing church the way we do.
- We could even read scripture, see that we are far removed from what is actually there, but decide that dealing with it is just too much. Too much work and too much change. It is just not practical to pursue this too far.
- Or we could ignore the fact that we were ever challenged and just walk away from this post pretending that it never happened.
What have you been fed
"Truth is unkillable." - Balthasar Hübmaier, a flaming heretic in 1528.