It just so happened that I found myself hitching a ride with a JW elder and his wife to attend a recent Circuit Assembly. (I’ll call them Ken and Sadie.) As we got under way, Ken asked me “What is it that you like about attending the assemblies?”
I pride myself on coming up with questions that bump JW’s out of their thinking rut. Now I found myself bumped. The usual question they ask is “Are you enjoying the assembly (or meeting, or convention)?” To which I answer “I’m really glad I came.” A safe, non-committal answer. Now I had to come up with something more specific, and I got the feeling that Ken the elder was probing me for my motivations, trying to see if he had a legitimate seeker or an opposer on his hands. I had to think fast.
My response was: “I enjoy learning about what the Watchtower teaches, and I also enjoy meeting new people, and the conversations that I have with them.” An honest answer, however leaving out the part where I try to plant seeds of discontent with the Watchtower and seeds of attraction to Jesus. I think the answer satisfied Ken, even though I didn’t get to hear his response, because just then Sadie changed the subject, telling me about what had been covered in the assembly the day before. (Yes, they were attending two identical assemblies back-to-back. They had a good reason for doing so, which I can’t go into here.) Sadie’s comments led us into a another conversation (whew!), which was itself another good opportunity to plant a seed.
Ken shared that one of the assembly talks was about the murder of Abel by his brother Cain. The speaker put forth the theory that perhaps Eve had shared with her sons God’s promise of her “seed” who would crush the serpent’s head. And perhaps Eve had mentioned that Abel, being the oldest son, could be the promised seed. Cain’s motive would then have been jealousy of his brother. The theory, though entirely speculative, is not a bad one, and to his credit the speaker did not present it as absolute truth. However, I shared with Ken and Sadie my observation that it did not take generations for the first murder to take place, but that the crime occurred right away, within the first generation, indicating the depths of depravity within humanity that came as a direct result of the fall. “No wonder we need a ransom,” I added.
Ken and Sadie both responded with “Oh!” And their tone seemed to indicate that they had not thought of that insight, and that they were somewhat impressed. More and more I’m thinking that the JW view of both human depravity (sinfulness) and the need for a savior is weak, and eclipsed by their other doctrines. I also think that they don’t know what to do with this non-JW who has more scriptural insight than the typical “pagan” they encounter.
Thank you, Lord, for helping me understand the truth of your word, by your Holy Spirit. And thank you for giving me split-second insight to answer elder Ken. And thank you, for having Sadie conveniently change the subject. I see you at work!