Advertisements In Abundance

Lorene Bartch

Some religious magazines are great! Some are blah! And then, consider, for instance, this one: "Jehovah blessed the work," and "It is my decision and desire to keep on serving our great and loving God Jehovah in whatever He directs." So what, you say? Nothing wrong in calling God Jehovah. True!

Let me share more: "To our amazement we received a car and exactly six hundred dollars (which was the exact amount needed) as wedding gifts. Jehovah knew we needed it, and He provided it, because we made the decision to stay in the full time work" (Watchtower, August 1, 1986). You ask, "Did God provide the Jehovah’s Witness people in their kind of religious work?" So it states, doesn’t it?

"Well," you say, "that was just from wedding gifts! They just say that Jehovah was the One it came from." But surely we all know that other churches -- Pentecostals, Baptists, et cetera -- also say, "The Lord knew I needed this," or even "because I am in the full time work -- a missionary."

Now, I know that Pentecostals and others would blink twice, at least, before they would believe that a Jehovah’s Witness really had God’s help in the Jehovah’s Witness beliefs! And I would not only blink at all of these religions mentioned, but I would say, "Whoa! Hold it! Do you really expect me to believe that God approves of all of your religious beliefs?"

The religious organizations call these "testimonials," but I call them ADVERTISEMENTS! -- because they are all, in some way, trying to prove that their organization or church is of, or from, God.

I’ve heard the following "testimonial" (advertisement) several times, from various churches. Each time the person hopes it will convince someone that God works especially through his church. But let’s see how many people would really believe this one (because of this person’s religious affiliation):

"A brother traveling in his car ... did something he had never done before. He had stopped to pick up a hitchhiker. The brother did not know why he did it. ... When the young man got into the car, he said, ‘You’re going to church, aren’t you?’ Surprised, the brother replied, ‘Well, yes. I’m going to the Kingdom Hall.’ ‘I’m going with you,’ said the young man. ...

"The young man told this story: He had left home at 16 years of age and had since become heavily involved in drugs and immorality. ... He did not like what he had become, so he prayed to God for help. He said he told God he would go out on the road and pray that He (God) would direct someone to pick him up and take him to the right church. Cars seldom travel along this lonely road. Only three came by in several hours, and none stopped for him. He was about to give up when our brother came by and picked him up" (Watchtower, April 1, 1986).

You read it correctly. Now, if this had been someone from the mainline church organizations instead of a Jehovah’s Witness, then the world of Christendom would be quick to give its approval to that incident. But since it is a religion that is labeled a cult by the various denominations, they would no doubt just smile (maybe -- maybe not!), and ho-hum, and pass on to talk about their "great" testimonials.

However, shouldn’t we remember that the young man prayed that God was to guide him to the right church? And God did -- or did He? Now, I assure you that I am not promoting the Jehovah’s Witness religion, nor any other mentioned here! What I am saying is that it intrigues me the way the various churches are so sure that it is God, each time they get what they desired!

Another man and his wife testified: "All the credit goes to Jehovah." They were referring to the growing numbers of Jehovah’s Witnesses in other countries that he mentioned. He even told of assisting the brothers in Mozambique, under the Portuguese regime, and that on one occasion they were arrested, all their literature (including Bibles) was taken, and they were told they would never be allowed back into Mozambique! But, "in spite of that, with Jehovah’s help we were able to make more trips into the country."

Okay, I hear you: "Lay off the J.W. ‘advertisements.’" Friends, if they were from any denomination of so-called Christianity, would you believe it? As for me, I’d have to be just as cautious with "advertisements" from any of these religions as I would be with a Jehovah’s Witness. And, as more food for thought, here’s a question I’d like to leave with you: Was it God’s help? Or even, is it His will, whatever a testimonial says? If it were Methodists, Anglicans, Catholics, Assemblies of God denominations, etc., wouldn’t they say very similar words, except for the name "Jehovah"? Yes they would, and they do. And they would think, "Wonderful! What wonderful works our organization does."

To those who consider that this is being very critical, I simply ask them to study the Bible further, and discerningly observe what is going on in the world of religion. Lastly, never forget our Savior’s own words: "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord ... And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me..." (Matthew 7:22-23).