When Opposition Leads to Spreading Bible Truth
THOUGH early Christians had to contend with opposition and misrepresentation, these did not prevent honest-hearted ones from becoming followers of Jesus Christ. This has also been the case among Jehovah’s witnesses today.
● After going to bed, one of Jehovah’s witnesses in Mauritius heard, through his open window, sounds of a distant conversation on a Bible subject. He got dressed, left his home and followed the sound of the conversation to its source—the fourth house along the road. Although it was late, he knocked and was invited to come in.
An extensive discussion began with the lady of the house. At midnight it was decided to continue the discussion at another time, but in the presence of her Adventist minister. In that discussion the Witness proved that the Mosaic law was fulfilled in Christ. He also showed that God’s punishing Cain for killing Abel did not prove that the Law covenant existed before Moses’ time, for the punishment was not the same as that required by the Mosaic law. Then the minister began to shout in anger. Did this frighten the woman, causing her to stop any future discussion with the Witness? No. She reminded her minister ‘not to be like Cain, who was cursed for his anger.’ At that the minister left.
This woman became a baptized witness of Jehovah. And her husband and son joined her in sharing Bible truth with others.
● In Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka), in October of 1970, one of Jehovah’s witnesses spoke to a Roman Catholic teacher, and arrangements were made for a Bible study. In December this teacher started telling fellow teachers and relatives what he had learned. Some of them joined him in studying the Bible. Next he spoke to his fiancée, also a Catholic and an ardent political worker, as he had been. She, too, agreed to study and learned very quickly.
By January the teacher had given up smoking and gambling, had resigned from the church and had begun to participate with Jehovah’s witnesses in their preaching work. He and his fiancée studied four times a week and got baptized in April.
Opposition started early. The local priest denounced the Witnesses, instructing all to have nothing to do with them. This only aroused more interest, as some in the village wanted to find out why the priest spoke out against Jehovah’s witnesses.
Since some of the teacher’s sisters were nuns, a meeting was arranged by the priest in an effort to bring the teacher ‘back to the fold.’ Some twenty-five persons were on hand for the discussion; it lasted about two hours. During this time the priest’s lack of Bible knowledge became very apparent.
Nevertheless, priestly denunciations and warnings continued. But this did not hinder sincere persons from continuing their investigation of the Bible. A dozen or more of the teacher’s relatives thereafter traveled about twenty-five miles round trip to attend meetings of Jehovah’s witnesses. Some of them took up zealously declaring Bible truth to others.
● On a tropical island of the Pacific, Jehovah’s witnesses arranged to hold an assembly. But the sessions were delayed for a day because the Office of Religion, at the instigation of the Protestant clergy, did not grant permission for the assembly to be held. Jehovah’s witnesses brought the matter to the attention of the District Intelligence Office. The head of this department, a Moslem, listened with interest as the Witnesses explained why they did not accept the Trinity doctrine. He was surprised to learn that clergymen would oppose this Christian group.
The permit for holding the assembly was granted. The Protestants were required to cease their provocations, which had developed to the point where a mob threatened to smash up the hotel where the sessions were to be held. Several of the government’s intelligence personnel attended the assembly and taped the talks. After the assembly the head of the department stated: “The reports circulating that Jehovah’s witnesses pose a real danger are false. I have seen for myself that their education is practical and logical. They are not like the others who only sing. I do not understand why the other churches oppose them.”
These experiences illustrate that opposition cannot really do harm to the advancement of true worship.—Isa. 54:17.