A prominent feature of Jehovah’s Witness teachings is the solemn belief that Armageddon will strike imminently, whereupon divine forces will slaughter pretty much everyone who isn’t a Witness.
Not only is this proposition outrageous and obscene to anyone of modest intellectual capacity who is not under Watchtower’s undue influence, it also poses a problem in Watchtower theology itself. What happens to the millions of people in parts of Asia and the Arab world who will never get to hear the Witness message?
Thus far, a meaningful answer by Watchtower to this conundrum has been notable by its absence. This continues to be the case in the latest December 15th study edition where the issue is masterfully sidestepped.
“When we meditate on the meaning of Jesus’ illustration [of the leaven at Matt. 13:33], we realize that there is no need for us to be overly concerned about how the Kingdom message will reach the millions who have not yet heard it. Jehovah has everything under control. But what is our work? God’s Word answers: ‘Sow your seed in the morning and do not let your hand rest until the evening; for you do not know which will have success, whether this one or that one, or whether they will both do well.’ (Eccl. 11:6)” – Watchtower 12/15 2014 pp.9-10
In case you are wondering what Matthew 13:33 says, here it is (from the revised New World Translation)…
“He told them another illustration: “The Kingdom of the heavens is like leaven that a woman took and mixed with three large measures of flour until the whole mass was fermented.”
And so it is that, because leaven ferments in bread in a process that is “unseen,” Witnesses are to adopt an “out of sight, out of mind / it’ll be alright on the night” attitude to the fact that millions in eastern countries don’t even know what a Jehovah’s Witness is.
Watchtower is essentially saying to any Witness who dares to show concern about the potential slaughter of such ones: “stop asking impertinent questions, and get back to work!”
As this website has previously noted, either a person’s salvation is dependent on him or her responding to the preaching work, or it isn’t. If accepting the ‘good news’ IS a prerequisite, then millions will soon be struck down for the simple ‘crime’ of being born on the wrong side of the planet. If is ISN’T a prerequisite, then what is the point of the preaching work in the first place, beyond a token show of obedience?
No matter how much Watchtower may evade the problem, it isn’t going away any time soon. The map below shows (in red) all the countries where the preaching work is currently under ban (the so-called “30 other lands”)…
The publisher-to-population ratio for the area in red is 1:50,000 (one Jehovah’s Witness for every 50,000 people). The Witnesses aren’t even scratching the surface in a vast part of the globe spanning from the Atlantic ocean to the Korean peninsula!
And the following video, which uses data from the 2014 Yearbook, explains how the ratio is even worse in some countries where the work is not under ban. For example, you are far more likely to meet a Witness in one of the “30 other lands” than in Bangladesh, where the ratio is a staggering 1 Witness per 775,000 people.
The way Watchtower shrugs its shoulders at the fate of millions of non-Westerners is alarming enough, but the total indifference is driven home later in the magazine when the writers attempt to make Witnesses proud of their “spiritual heritage.”
“Only about 1 in every 1,000 people alive today has an accurate knowledge of the truth, and you are one of them. Should that not give all of us, no matter how we learned the truth, cause for rejoicing?” – Watchtower 12/15 2014 page 30
In other words, “don’t worry that 999 out of 1,000 are about to perish. Rejoice in the fact that you are among the special 0.1% who will survive divinely-mandated mass slaughter by obeying the Governing Body!”
For a group of men who pride themselves on “humility,” the solipsism, self-centeredness and indifference with which the Governing Body greets the obliteration of all who don’t see the world exactly as they do is something to behold.