Missionaries and “Missionaries”
CHRIST Jesus when on earth worked hard and long to bring the comfort of the truth of his Father’s Word and kingdom to men of good will, and his disciples and apostles did likewise. (Mark 6:30-34; Luke 8:1; John 4:6, 34) Therein they were opposed by a greedy, lazy and hypocritical clergy who not only refused to enter the Kingdom themselves but opposed those desiring to enter.—Matt. 23:4, 13; Luke 16:9-14.
In this twentieth century true Christians follow the example set by Christ Jesus and his immediate followers by likewise busily bringing the comfort of the truth to men of good will. In this they are opposed by the modern counterpart of the scribes and Pharisees, the false religious leaders of Christendom. Representative of the difference between the two classes is the report recently received from two young missionaries who have been preaching the good news of God’s kingdom in Thailand since last July:
“Well, we are getting used to the work here and are getting to feel quite at home. We have a goodly number of Bible studies with the people and some of them are progressing very well. Last Sunday we had our first public talk in Korat. This was in our house and in English. Since not many people here can understand English we were thrilled to see forty at the lecture. Among those present were the assistant inspector of education for the Northeastern Region of Thailand, and the inspector of the interior and a local judge; all three of whom are studying the Bible with one of the missionaries.
“Jehovah surely made a good job of confusing the tongues. It is no easy task, learning one of these Eastern languages, they are so different and seem to have so many exceptions to the rules we learn. However, the people seem to think that we are doing very well and often ask us how many years we have been in Thailand. We hope to have talks in Thai soon. That is encouraging, isn’t it?
“Not only do Eastern languages but also Eastern religions present a big problem. It takes real effort and time to convince a Buddhist of Bible truth. When you begin a Bible study you first have to do a lot of explaining to prove that God really exists; and then they do not have any knowledge about Adam and Eve, Noah and the flood, Abraham and Moses, or of any other Bible characters and events; so it is a case of starting from the very beginning.
“There are other missionaries here; they call themselves Missionary Alliance, and are from America. While they have been here many years, they have made little progress. Their Bible class in English on Sundays attracts some who want to learn English and then they also have a Sunday school for children. They spend a great deal of time playing tennis and badminton. The people have already noticed the difference between these and the Watchtower missionaries, and often comment on our always being busy and not playing tennis and badminton, and about the many people we are teaching. They also ask why we do not have servants and automobiles as the other missionaries have. The other missionaries resent our being here, have told us that this was their field, and have asked why we had to come along when they were here first.
“Next month we hope to go to an assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses in Bangkok, some 180 miles from here. It will be a new experience for us, as the entire program will be in Thai. It will be a real pleasure to meet other missionaries, as there are only five in our group here.”
Yes, there are missionaries and “missionaries”. “Missionaries” whose only concern is to feed themselves, and missionaries whose chief concern is to feed the flock of sheeplike persons, men of good will.—Ezek. 34:2.