Encountering Doublespeak

This last Sunday I attended the “Special Assembly Day” of Jehovah’s Witnesses, along with my friend Mark.
During lunch we chatted with the random couple that we sat near. I showed them on my “JW Library” app (new from the Watchtower) one of my favorite scripture verses, I John 5:13, which says “I write you these things so that you may know that you have life everlasting.” I asked the couple (Mr and Mrs) whether they knew if they had everlasting life. Of course they initially responded with a yes. But when I pressed them, as I usually do, they backed off and said that no one could know for certain until after the final test at the end of the 1000-year earthly kingdom.
I expressed my puzzlement that this verse seems to indicate that we can know for certain NOW. The husband explained with the illustration that he is certain that he will never go to jail, even though he possibly could. I brought up the possibility of future persecution, when we could be jailed for our faith. And he then volunteered the thought that it is within the heart of any man to make a mistake and be jailed for it. Amazing! It was then very easy to point out that no one could be sure of passing the final test, implying that the JW system was flawed in offering no assurance of eternal life, as does scripture.
Rather than leaving things on a downer, I expressed my excitement at having received the assurance everlasting life.
Then the subject got changed, and I let it go. The seeds had been planted.
What amazed me was the way that Mr. Husband was able, in the same sentence, to affirm that he was sure that he had eternal life, while at the same time not having absolute assurance “for sure.” I’m astounded at the doublespeak employed. But then again, aren’t there times when each of us stubbornly holds onto contradictory beliefs? We usually call it “denial.”
It just affirms once again that only Yahweh (Jehovah) can change a human heart.


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