|They come in pax/packs|
I have written about Jehovah’s Witnesses before. I know a little about this cult, for cult it is, as I had the unhappy privilege of growing up in a JW household. To say I hold these folks and their so-called doctrines in scant regard is a veritable understatement. I haven’t experienced their baleful knock for a couple of years now. Imagine my surprise when I heard a rat-tat on my door at 11.00am last Monday and was confronted by a well-appointed young man. He smiled the beatific smile of the true believer and opined: “I am a Jehovah witness.” His candid approach threw me off guard for a second as their invariable opening gambit is usually along the lines of: “The world is an evil mess, but do you think it will always be so?” This question is not expected to yield an answer, it is merely a tactic whereby the earnest young man will launch into a well-rehearsed scree about how Jehovah is about to intervene in this wicked world and rid Satan and his evil henchmen from this existence thus heralding in the kingdom of God on earth, but only for those who follow the one true way. Guess what that might be? Anyway, before my protagonist could launch into his script, I asked the delightfully innocent question? “From whence does evil originate?” Before I continue it should be noted that JWs always travel in pairs, a young fella with an older more experienced colleague. In this regard, I was not to be disappointed. An older gent was clearly visible in the driver seat of the car. He was listening intently to his younger brethren and would surely intervene if his acolyte started to wallow or get out of his depth. The young JW smiled with relish as this was something he could counter with one of his stock replies: “Satan is responsible for the evil in this world. And imperfect humans have the free will to follow Satan’s evil path or follow the good grace of Jehovah.” He had clearly learned this answer by wrote but had not thought it through or had any idea of its devasting implications. The problem of free will is a thorn in the theological hide of any thinking Christian, especially in the light of the conventional view of the Christian God. The attributes of God are not just superlative they are without bounds or limits. This stance causes a lot of inconsistencies which cannot be resolved. I countered, thusly: “How can man have free will if God is aware of all our actions past and present. When we are born we are destined to follow a mapped-out plan of life for which we have no control. If we perform evil it is because we have no choice to do otherwise. Therefore, morally we should receive no opprobrium or admonishment for the evil we do. Similarly, if we perform wholly good deeds we should accrue no praise as we are robots following an unerring script. God is therefore ultimately responsible for all evil in the world and is no different from an evil Demon and therefore not worthy of worship. To think otherwise of your deity invites limitation and the dreaded notation of imperfection.” He looked flustered and turned to the impassive fellow in the car. Without turning his head, the Elder (for it is he) made a terse hand gesture. The Acolyte (who else) made an implausible excuse and left.
Now you may think I scored an easy victory against a young and inexperienced man. But my intent was not humiliation. I was hoping to plant an intellectual seed. It would be foolish of me to think that our brief encounter will bring forth a revolution in this young man’s mind resulting in the eschewing of his religion to which he was born. Mayhap it will make him question some of his deeply indoctrinated beliefs and perhaps read outside the prescribed JW tracts. This seems unlikely but I’m an optimist at heart.
I don’t expect them to come back and was rather surprised that they turned up so soon after we had moved into our retirement abode. A coincidence? I suspect not. They are probably trolling through the real estate listings looking for new meat. Tis a fundamental tenant of the JW doctrine to ‘save’ as many of us poor unredeemed sinners before the final confrontation between the forces of good and evil. On this occasion, they failed. Therefore, I will be denied, ‘paradise on earth’ according to the JW worldview. I must admit their picture of paradise holds no appeal. Heaven or hell is a matter of taste and perspective. I am content with my oblivion, this holds no terrors and no prospect of the worst horrors, eternal boredom. Arse.
Postscript: My good friend, Dioclese, has admonished me for not posting more frequently since retirement. And, for this, I am guilty as charged. In truth, retiring is bloody hard work and I haven’t had the time to put pen to paper of late. However, don’t despair gentle readers, the flaxen haired one, the man of wondrous physical aspect and proportions, will have more time to spin out his wisdom to the unenlightened masses. Ain’t dat the sad truth?
|Something to look forward to|