Friday, 16 July 2010

What Should Be the Theme of Your Ministry?

Jehovah's Witnesses are taught by the Governing Body that the "good news" of the Kingdom is the "vindication of Jehovah's sovereignty". At the outset of this post, I'd challenge any Jehovah's Witnesses reading this to back up the Governing Body's claim with scripture*.

As previously highlighted, Jehovah's Witnesses very rarely talk about Jesus and his work of redemption through the shedding of his innocent blood. Jehovah's Witnesses are told by the Governing Body that they alone most closely match 1st Century Christianity, before it became apostasised. As is the purpose of this blog, such a claim needs to be backed up by evidence.

Therefore, how much truth is there in that claim when we look at the theme of the ministry of 1st Century Christians and compare it to that of the Witnesses?

As stated, the Witnesses believe the "good news" that's to be preached in all the earth is the message that Jehovah's name and sovereignty has been vindicated.

Is that the same message, or word, that the likes of Paul preached?

The answer is in 2 Corinthians 5.
18 But all things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of the reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was by means of Christ reconciling a world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and he committed the word of the reconciliation to us.
20 We are therefore ambassadors substituting for Christ, as though God were making entreaty through us. As substitutes for Christ we beg: “Become reconciled to God.” 21 The one who did not know sin he made to be sin for us, that we might become God’s righteousness by means of him.
What is the message? One of reconciliation between God and man. In other words, we can't do anything to reconcile ourselves to God as our sins have separated us from him. But God, through Christ, reconciled us to him, not of our own accord, but his!

But because this happened 2000 years ago when Christ was crucified, how would people throughout the subsequent centuries get to hear about it? 

Paul says God gave Christians the "ministry of reconciliation"and entrusted them with "word of the reconciliation".

The NIV perhaps makes this a little clearer and is less clumsy in its translation of the Greek text;
8All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. [emphasis added]
So, in simple terms, what was the theme of 1st Century Christian ministry, the "good news" that would be preached in all the earth? "Be reconciled to God through Christ!" Christians are to be ambassadors of Christ, telling the world of God's appeal; "be reconciled to God!"

Why, then, have the Governing Body changed the theme of the "good news"? And what is the Biblical view of those who do such a thing? See Galatians 1:8!

Loyal-to-the-Organisation Jehovah's Witnesses love to point to their "global preaching work" as proof of God's blessing. However, if the core message is wrong, as has been demonstrated here, then the scale or scope of such a ministry is completely worthless and is actually working against Christ.

Remember, Christians are entrusted with the message of reconciliation, not with proving Jehovah's universal sovereignty.

Jehovah's Witnesses, if you feel you simply must work to receive God's favour, please consider using your valuable time, energy and resources in actually preaching what Christ and the 1st Century Christians preached, not a man-made doctrine.

* Typically Matthew 6:9 is cited, but is an inadequate example as Jesus talks continually about the Kingdom and it's good news, and it's never to do with the "vindication of Jehovah's sovereignty". See "Our Kingdom Ministry", July 2010.

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