Call it evangelical guilt if you will, but I feel like if someone opens the door to a conversation about God, that means that God put me in their life to witness to them. This is not super comfy for me, as I’m about as interested in conflict as a plushy panda bear. I do it anyway. I mean, really – what are we on this planet for, except to spread the Word of God?
So. We get a ton of Jehovah’s Witnesses on our block, and I always talk to them. (Okay, mostly – sometimes I’m busy). There’s a few that our family has developed a relationship with. DH has a gentleman who comes calling every couple months of a Saturday, I have a lady that I see every month or so.
Theoretically, we’re comparing theological notes. Everyone in the conversation knows we’re all trying for conversion, so it’s a little more …interesting… than that.
Today the lady came by, she wanted to talk about resurrection. Cool. I asked her what I thought was a simple question, and it took over two hours to get the answer. Since I’m still processing (and coming down from the intensity) I’m going to spew on y’all. Lucky you.
My question: How do you get to your afterlife, and how is it determined who gets what? (I know that the Witnesses don’t think that most of them go to Heaven, and they don’t believe in Hell, so).
The answer: Righteous living – which includes telling people about the “kingdom”. (Aka the millennial reign of Christ, living in which is as good as it gets for most of them in the afterlife). You live righteously, as righteously as you can (and Jesus’ sacrifice covers what you can’t, but you have to try really hard until the day you die). Some folks (the 144K) get to go to Heaven but mostly you don’t. Death is soul-sleep, and if you’re not good enough for the afterlife, you just … don’t wake up. **This is why they’re knocking on your doors. If they don’t tell people about the kingdom, they don’t get to be part of it.
- The witnesses who don’t think they’re one of the 144K (I should have gotten details on this, but it was a rabbit trail) don’t take communion. They observe it without partaking, and only once/year.
- They don’t believe that God fore-knew that Adam and Eve would choose to sin. Their millennium is the time to make God’s foiled plan come to fruition. The lady was shocked and appalled at the idea that God could have known (because He is eternal and outside of time) what Adam and Eve would do without stopping them. The words she used were “chose not to know”. I know, you could throw a cat through that argument.
- Only the 144K get spiritual bodies. I read her the bit in 1 Cor about being sown flesh and raised spirit (which I want read at my funeral, btw) and … yeah. Not impressed. Their model of resurrection is Lazarus. (Who died again).
- They believe that the reign of Christ will be a gradual return to the perfection of earth before the fall. Not instantaneous, gradual… and that it will be their privilege to clean up the mess.
It was interesting. And you can check this out with the next witnesses that knock on your door, because apparently something they are proud of is that they all will hold exactly the same doctrine, on even the smallest details.
I don’t really know why I’m on this assignment. It’s interesting, but fairly depressing.
Personally, *I* am looking forward to Heaven, and I am absolutely sure I’m going there, and it doesn’t depend on little old **me**. Can I get an Amen?