Monday, December 15, 2008

Churches See Growth During Hard Times

In today's NY Times there is an article on this topic, and here are two quotes:
"Bad times are good for evangelical churches. 'It’s a wonderful time, a great evangelistic opportunity for us,' said the Rev. A. R. Bernard, founder and senior pastor of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, New York’s largest evangelical congregation, where regulars are arriving earlier to get a seat.
'When people are shaken to the core, it can open doors.'”
Some of these evangelical churches are seeing huge growth - 10 and 20 percent jumps in membership over the past year. Yet the Watchtower organization saw barely the same minimal rate of growth - 2% - that it has been suffering under for a decade or more, and no growth or negative numbers in the first world countries that are suffering the worst from this economic crisis.
I think that says a great deal about the waning appeal of the Witnesses. Even as we're facing the worst financial and business crisis in modern history, no one is seeking out answers or solace from the Watchtower organization, even though billions of hours are spent on recruitment.

7 comments:

luckyone2k said...

remember that an high percentage of those hours are either completely faked or just spent by creating a maximum length trekking route between all "interested" persons who arent at home for sure.

1Tim 1:18-20 said...

That being said 2% year after year is remarkable when you consider that they have been in decline and only now see growth. And what do you think will happen when things begin looking up again? Their numbers will go down again. In addition Jesus never promoted mass conversion so do you really expect to see huge growth. Only 120 accepted Jesus after his extensive preaching work so why would we expect we could do any better. The churches are tickling their ears. So i do not see your point quite frankly.

Sheeplike said...

What decline? The Witnesses keep increasing.

Remember that Jehovah's Witnesses count only those active in the ministry. There are many more who attend the meetings (or simply believe) that are not counted.

Regardless, true worship is not a contest over who has the largest flock.

luckyone2k said...

@sheeplike:
that means im counted too, because i spent like 4h in fieldservice this year. but i do not believe nor attend meetings anymore.

so subtract "one" please.

Sheeplike said...

luckyone2k said..."sheeplike:
that means im counted too, because i spent like 4h in fieldservice this year. but i do not believe nor attend meetings anymore".

So why do you count time? Just to look good?

The point of counting time is that it helps to keep speaking about the Good News on our minds. If you do not believe the word, God is not impressed with what you put down on a piece of paper.

Just think about one thing: No other religion knows the God of the Bible. No other religion uses hid name, recognizes that there is no trinity, and really understand Jesus role.

Ringwielder said...

Millions of people are born every year. A few thousand become Jehovah's Witnesses. So millions are born to die. Every year that Jehovah 'allows' the system to go on.

What the hell is He waiting for? The Scripture says 'He is patient because he does not desire ANY to be destroyed', and yet He knows that every year He waits He is dooming more and more people to destruction. So how does that Scripture compute?

If Jehovah is real, He does not deserve my worship, because He obviously DOES desire some to be destroyed.

chocolatepuddingeyes said...

Ringwielder,

Jehovah does not desire any to be destroyed. Perhaps you're not aware of the "operation of error." It's described in the Bible:

(2 Thessalonians 2:1-2) . . .However, brothers, respecting the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we request of YOU 2 not to be quickly shaken from YOUR reason nor to be excited either through an inspired expression or through a verbal message or through a letter as though from us, to the effect that the day of Jehovah is here.

The only religion I know of today that fits that description is Jehovah's Witnesses. Russell started teaching that Jesus arrived invisibly in 1874. He was expecting the rapture to happen in 1914. When his expectations weren't realized Rutherford spent the next few years re-working WT doctrine changing the date of Jesus' alleged arrival to 1914. This is the operation of error that Jehovah has allowed.

Let's see why he has allowed this:

(2 Thessalonians 2:11-12) . . .So that is why God lets an operation of error go to them, that they may get to believing the lie, 12 in order that they all may be judged because they did not believe the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness.

As thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses learn the truth about the truth, they have a decision to make. Are they going to take sides with Jehovah and make a stand for righteousness? Or are they going to keep on loving the lie?

As you can see from the passage here in 2 Thessalonians, Jesus' presence would not only reveal who the man of lawlessness is, but do away with him:

(2 Thessalonians 2:8) . . .Then, indeed, the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will do away with by the spirit of his mouth and bring to nothing by the manifestation of his presence.. . .

This is positive proof that the message JW's are preaching is the operation of error mentioned previously because obviously the man of lawlessness still exists, and he would not if Jesus were truly present.

The two witnesses spoken of in Revelation have not yet appeared on the scene. (Revelation 11:3-6) We will know when the real ones arrive because they will be performing miracles, just like Jesus did when he was on earth. The real anointed ones will unmistakably have Jehovah's spirit and be operating under Jesus' direction. They will prophesy for 1,260 days, which is the same period of time that the temple sanctuary is trampled on by the nations, 42 months (Rev. 11:2). Which also equals 3½ years, the same period of time Jesus preached on earth.

When the 1,260 days come to a close, the wild beast (8th king) kills them. The people on earth who were tormented by the two witnesses' preaching work rejoice over their death. But that rejoicing is cut short when 3½ days later the two witnesses are resurrected to heaven in plain view of their enemies. It's at this time that all the anointed ones meet Jesus in heaven. (Rev. 11:11-13)

Then an angel sounds the 7th trumpet, and it will be said, “The kingdom of the world did become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule as king forever and ever.” (Rev. 11:15)

JW's are under the delusion that their religion is their ticket to paradise. Not true. It's faith in Jesus and his ransom sacrifice that will help a person to make the right decision when the mark of the beast is being forced on every human being on the planet. (Rev. 13:11-18)

Will JW's be stumbled when they find out about the fraud perpetrated by the WTB&TS in the name of Jehovah? Or will they humbly repent of the part they had in preaching a false message?

The great crowd mentioned in Rev. 7:9 is made up of people of all nations, tribes, and languages. These are the people who respond to the witnessing work done by the real anointed ones.