Saturday, October 9th, 2010
"On seeing the crowds [Jesus] felt pity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd" (Matthew 9:36)
In certain parts of the world, people eagerly accept our literature and are keen to study the Bible with us. In one recent year, the brothers and sisters in Zambia conducted over 200,000 Bible studies—that is, on average, more than one Bible study per publisher. In other places, however, publishers may find it difficult to place literature and to conduct Bible studies regularly. Why? Often, people are not at home when a publisher knocks on their door, while those who are at home might be apathetic about religion. They may have been raised in a nonreligious household or may be repulsed by the hypocrisy evident in false religion. Many people have been spiritually injured—skinned and thrown about by false shepherds. Such ones may be wary of becoming involved in discussions about the Bible.
(Watchtower issue: 1/15/09, 2:4, 5)
While we were in Denver there was a Women of Faith 2-day convention going on over the weekend, and a bunch of women who were attending it were staying at our hotel. I'm not sure what the program was about, (the only doctrinal info I saw was that they believe in the Trinity), but other than that, it looked like more of a non-denominational Christian conference that featured entertainment, self-help advice, and inspirational life stories.
So obviously, even in America (where some territories seem more apathetic towards religion), there are still many people who have a strong spiritual yearning and are looking to satisfy it in places *other* than the traditional churches. But if a person isn't being taught the truth about God and the Bible, and being presented with a self-help "social" gospel that's tailored around *personal salvation* rather than "the good news about God's Kingdom" and the vital issue of Universal Sovereignty and what God requires of each one of us in order to gain salvation, then they're really being short-changed in the long run, because they aren't getting their *true* spiritual needs met, or learning what they need to know.
-On a side note- Although the registration for the conference wasn't terribly expensive, ($99), when I added up how much $$$ each event must make, it really made me appreciate how loving and self-sacrificing our brotherhood is by providing conventions and assemblies 3 times a year, all over the world, free of cost -both to us, and to the public in general. It really contrasts the difference between "the world's" view of Christianity, and "genuine" Christianity.