The Analgesic Bible

I confess to avoiding evangelizers.

Not long ago, as my wife and I arrived home, we noticed a roving evangelizer—at least that was our assumption, as the individual was casually greeting our neighbor two doors down (who is always out taking care of his lawn) and handing him a flier. Once we were inside, a few minutes later our doorbell rang. Shyly, we pretended we weren’t home.

One might think that, given the nature of this blog, I would be wont to open up the door and begin arguing with this interlocutor about the Bible, its historical veracities, and its consistencies (or inconsistencies). Not so. I also consider myself pragmatic, and I know that attempting to argue with an individual who has literally devoted his life to spreading a faith is a vain attempt: nobody’s mind is going to be changed. And, of course, attempting to argue is a vain (in a different sense) act itself, as one would be presuming you actually knew more about the Bible than the itinerant. No, I let the doorbell ring.

The flier that was left in our door (we later found) indicated he was a Jehovah’s Witness, announcing a “talk” at the nearest sports center. I must say, I am intrigued by the flier, although not for the reason it is intending. It sets forth a very modern promises: “Would you like to wake up every morning,” it asks, “with happy, positive thoughts?” Who wouldn’t? “That’s exactly what the Bible promises us for the future.” It does?

The flier cites Isaiah 65:17 for this claim, which upon further reflection seems a bit dubious.* More importantly, though, is the angle the flier is searching for: it’s right out of the self-help section of the bookstore. The Jehovah’s Witnesses, at least with this particular call, are not pushing the divinity of Jesus or the nature of Truth or anything like that; instead, they are claiming that the Bible promises it will make you feel better. The Bible is presented here, essentially, as an analgesic.

As it turns out, the”talk” (read: recruiting event) the flier is advertising is entitled just that: “the Former Things Will Not…Come Up Into the Heart.” My guess: this is probably what actually works in recruiting new members.

The flier also advertises a freely obtainable book, “What Does the Bible Really Teach?” Indeed, what does it teach? Certainly not, at least, that you should follow its words simply because it will make you feel better.

*This verse says: “Here I am creating new heavens and a new earth,” God says, “and the former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into heart.” I think that’s a bit of a stretch to indicate this passage actually refers to some sort of existential well-being—but maybe you have different thoughts. It’s not surprising that the Book of Isaiah would be quoted here, as the Jehovah’s Witnesses take their name from a passage in that book.

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3 Responses to The Analgesic Bible

  1. Jehovahs Witnesses who are they?

    A) They are at your door to recruit you for their watchtower society corporation,they will say that *we are just here to share a message from the Bible*… this is deception right off.
    B) Their *message* creed is a false Gospel that Jesus had his second coming in 1914.The problem with this is it’s not just a cute fairy tale,Jesus warned of the false prophets who would claim *..look he is here in the wilderness,or see here he is at the temple*.
    C) Their anti-blood transfusion ban against *whole blood* has killed thousands.
    D) once they recruit you they will *love bomb* you in cult fashion to also recruit your family & friends or cut them off.
    —-
    3rd generation Jehovah’s Witness Danny Haszard
    FMI dannyhaszard(dot)com

  2. Roger says:

    Hi There Greg,
    Thanks for that, “In the start, God created paradise and also Planet.. inch therefore starts the Old Testament from the Scriptures. However, Science states the beginning of our Universe happened thirteen. seven billion in years past with all the Large Bang, whenever all the issue which comprises our own Universe was created. With the Scriptures, there is just “faith” – acknowledge or even reject it; along with Technology yet , you can find rules and studies as well as details and also circumstances which may be discovered — therefore understanding is actually obtained.
    I look forward to your next post

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