The JW’s are out in the neighborhood today with literature that looks surprisingly evangelical, in an evangelical cheesy kind of way. Oh, when you look closer it is clearly JW literature, the bad paper quality, the Watch Tower publishing info, the style (sic) of the coats and ties on the men and the dresses on the women, even the text types that are used—all are dead give away tokens that this is JW propaganda.
But then there are the worst of “evangelical cheesy” elements:
- The direct and initial appeal to the heart
- The promise that this event invitation is to a “fascinating talk” by a great speaker
- The promise of a varied program with a “live play” titled “What is True Love?”
- The pictures of clean cut teenagers showing its wholesome qualities off
- The copy-cat approach to prosperity gospel celebrities: “Would you like to wake up every morning with happy, positive thoughts?” (Are they channeling Joel Osteen here? [ugh!] )
- The smiling indistinct ethnic person (Is he Asian, Hispanic, White, African-American, it is nearly impossible to tell.”
- And of course, the offer of free stuff.
- A way to contact them if you are interested in more information.
It’s all there in the half sheet of an 8.5 x 14 inch piece of paper in full color and delivered to your doorstep by a smiling white-shirted man with a tie and a satchel of materials who wishes you a nice day while he hands out an invitation to receive your dose of his poison.
They will quote the Bible, or a version of the Bible, and do their best to sound biblical but in the end, they still deny the deity of Christ and will push their works-oriented salvation and strange views of prophecy, the end of the world and the eternal destiny of those few (in their view) who will be saved. The gospel they proclaim is “another gospel.” the kind of gospel the apostle Paul warned us about in Galatians (see Galatians 1:6-9).
Though they push poison we can learn from them.
- They are zealous.
- They are not waiting for people to come to them.
- They are friendly.
- They give something that is potentially influential.
- They are not dissuaded by the small return on their efforts.
- They are willing to risk mild rejection and ridicule.
All six of those statements are NOT true of most evangelicals toward their neighbors with a possible exception of #3. Then again, how can we consider ourselves friendly when we do not share the most meaningful news ever announced to mankind?