They Stopped Going to Church
THE churches of Christendom today are in a state of decline. Church attendance and support are decreasing annually in country after country. Many persons are abandoning their respective churches because of what they have seen going on in them and because of their desire for Bible truth. The following two experiences illustrate what is happening. The first one is from Canada.
“Early in life I became a member of the Pentecostal religion because that was the religion of my parents. However, I realized that not all religions could be right, since they taught so many different and conflicting ideas. So I would approach my pastor of the Calvary Temple in Winnipeg, Canada, and discuss matters with him.
“I questioned him about the Trinity. At no time did he ever give me a direct answer, but he repeatedly told me that just how three persons could be one God is a mystery, and that I must accept this teaching on faith. Another teaching of the Pentecostal religion that bothered me for many years was that all good people were going to go to heaven. I found this difficult to accept. I asked him, ‘Why has God created this globe? Was he just going to abandon it and take us all to heaven?’
“‘Yes,’ my pastor would always answer. My confusion grew and I searched harder for the truth of God. In 1967 I stopped attending the Calvary Temple and I began to pray earnestly to God for guidance. Not much later that same year, I felt a need to change jobs and, although I did not understand why, I did so. I accepted a position as manager of the pet department in a store. I had a woman employee working under me. We began getting into many discussions on life in general. I quickly noted that her remarks contained quotations from the Bible. This drew me out, and it did not take me long to realize that this woman was telling me the truth from God’s Word. Yes, I knew that this was what I had been searching for.
“I did not care that this humble woman was one of Jehovah’s witnesses nor that most people seem to be prejudiced against them. I realized that Jehovah’s witnesses had the Bible truth and I was so happy to have found the way to learn it.
“I literally begged this woman to study the Bible with me regularly. She and her husband began doing so. I was so overjoyed that I could not seem to get enough knowledge. Two weeks after I began studying the Bible with them, I asked them if I could accompany them in their work of preaching from house to house. They were surprised but kindly encouraged me to take in more knowledge of the Bible first. I withdrew my membership in the Pentecostal church, and since May 1968 I have had the joy and happiness of sharing God’s truth with others as one of his dedicated servants.
“When I look back on my days in the Calvary Temple, I realize now why I was unable to gain a clear understanding of their teachings of the Trinity, immortality of the soul and hellfire. It is because such things are not really taught in the Bible.”
The second experience comes from a woman in South Africa. She writes:
“I belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church here in Johannesburg, South Africa, and my son, a university student, belonged to the Methodist Church. One day we were discussing our church teachings, and to our dismay we discovered that neither of us knew anything about the Holy Bible. We realized that something was very wrong, but we thought that it was our own fault. So we decided in the future to listen more attentively in church to see what we could learn. But during the next few weeks we found that no matter how carefully we listened, we were just not receiving any real spiritual benefit from our respective churches.
“About this time my son discovered a copy of the Watchtower magazine in our home and suggested that we read it together. The main article dealt with the marvelous hope outlined in the Holy Bible about living forever in a paradise earth. It was as clear as crystal. So we decided to subscribe for The Watchtower immediately. When ten days had passed and we had received nothing yet, we looked up the telephone number of the branch office of the Watch Tower Society to inquire about the delay. It was explained that it would take a little longer for the magazines to start coming to us, but that someone would be asked to call on us and bring us the latest issues.
“Later, when one of Jehovah’s witnesses called, we accepted the free home Bible study that was offered. Now we are receiving rich spiritual food. Neither of us went back to church again. After our second study, we attended our first meeting at the Kingdom Hall. We were astounded at the friendliness and enthusiasm of everyone. Since then we have been regularly attending the meetings of Jehovah’s witnesses. We have learned the marvelous truths of God’s Word the Bible, truths that the churches we previously attended simply did not teach.”
How wise these individuals are for fleeing from such institutions that profess to teach God’s truths but are in fact not teaching them, even denying them by their words and actions.—Titus 1:16; Rev. 18:4, 5, 8.