Insight on the News
Reaching the People
● Japan’s “Daily Yomiuri” recently carried an article entitled “Foreign Missionaries Here Changing Ideas, Tactics.” The article showed that after over 100 years of activity less than 1 percent of the 113 million Japanese profess Christianity. One reason the missionaries gave for not using a direct approach was: “Not even salesmen go door-to-door. ‘It’s considered impolite.’” So the article disclosed that most of Christendom’s missionaries no longer have the goal of converting large numbers of people and they no longer go door to door. They “work with already-converted Christians and wait for others to come to them.” The result? Churches have closed; one was “converted” into a coffee shop. One large university closed its theology department.
But Jehovah’s Witnesses in Japan have long carried on vigorous door-to-door preaching of the Bible. Since 1949 when the first Witness missionaries arrived till now, Japan has seen phenomenal growth. Today there are over 43,000 Witnesses preaching the “good news.” Yes, some missionaries have changed their tactics. But Jehovah’s Witnesses still heed the Founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ, who did not wait for people to come to him and who commanded: “Go therefore and make disciples.”—Matt. 28:19.
Hope for Good Government
● For many decades the world has been dominated largely by whites. White rule has not been perfect and has left much to be desired, as is evidenced by wars, violence and oppression in many areas. In recent years black rule has made considerable advances; it also appears to be experiencing similar problems. The former first black president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, recently expressed disappointment with what has gone on in many African countries since their independence. Dr. Azikiwe, described as the “doyen [elder statesman] of Nigerian nationalist struggle,” is quoted in Nigeria’s “Sunday Times” as saying: “I used to believe that the black race has a capacity for good government, other things being equal. . . . Judging from what obtains throughout Africa since the attainment of independence by over 50 African states, I am now having second thoughts. I am disenchanted and disillusioned.”
No doubt there have been areas of improvement in some of these countries. But however one might view Dr. Azikiwe’s comment, it does reflect further evidence that human rule, whether black or white, has failed to satisfy mankind’s hopes for a world of peace and security. This is not surprising, since the Bible acknowledges that man cannot, on his own, direct his own ways successfully. (Jer. 10:23; Eccl. 8:9) What is needed is perfect government from a source higher than what humans provide.—Dan. 7:13, 14.
Ignoring God out of Arrogance?
● A self-described agnostic who heads the U.S. Institute for Space Studies has come to the conclusion that God’s existence is far more scientifically believable than formerly. Speaking on “God and the Astronomers,” Robert Jastrow said that astronomers seem to be finding more circumstantial evidence of God’s existence. The gist of the developments, he said, is that the universe began at a specific time, so it had “a beginning in the Judeo-Christian sense.” In view of this, Jastrow finds it troublesome that most scientists do not even concede the possibility that God created the universe. Why? Often, he said, it is out of arrogance. “Science cannot bear the thought that there is an important natural phenomenon which it cannot hope to explain even with unlimited time and money.” He added that “our colleagues like to trivialize the whole matter (of the beginning of the universe) by calling it the Big Bang, talking about it in firecracker terms.”
God’s Word, the Bible, shows that man, with the eye of reason, can discern His existence and invisible qualities through the things He has made. It then describes those who refuse to so recognize the Creator as being “empty-headed in their reasonings.”—Rom. 1:19-21.