Insight on the News
Should a Christian Doubt?
● The author of a recently published theological best seller entitled “Predigten für Zweifler” (Sermons for Doubters) discussed some of his views during ceremonies held at a Lutheran academy in the Federal Republic of Germany. “Faith needs doubt,” he contended, going on to say that placing our trust in Jesus Christ remains a matter of uncertainty. “There are no guarantees.” He also spoke of certain “wholesome effects” of doubt, such as its preventing a person from becoming fanatical and from getting into a “rut of piety.”
However, the Bible does not link ‘faith and doubt’ as belonging together. It defines true faith as “the assured expectation of things hoped for.” (Heb. 11:1) In fact, God “furnished a guarantee to all men” for their faith by raising Jesus Christ from the dead. (Acts 17:31) Moreover, the Bible makes it clear that there are no “wholesome effects” from a Christian’s having doubt about his faith. When discussing prayer, James wrote: “Let him keep on asking in faith, not doubting at all, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and blown about. In fact, let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from Jehovah; he is an indecisive man, unsteady in all his ways.”—Jas. 1:6-8.
● The United States government has recently stepped in to crack down on so-called “white-collar” and business crime. Federal investigators “have become convinced that business crime is much more widespread than was previously believed,” says the magazine “U.S. News & World Report.” “The estimates of total losses have more than doubled since the early 1970s to as high as 44 billion dollars a year.” The type of theft accounting for the largest share of this—up to $10 billion—is said to be that of employees stealing from their employers. Bribery, kickbacks, embezzlement and shoplifting are also included.
Who are committing “white-collar” type crimes? An expert on the subject, management professor W. S. Albrecht, answers that, among other things, “He’s more likely to be married [than are other property thieves], less likely to be divorced; less likely to have used drugs or alcohol; more likely to be an active church member.”
Evidently the limited moral instruction that such persons are receiving as church members is not helping them to ‘be transformed by making their minds over to the perfect will of God,’ as the apostle Paul said that true Christian instruction would. In fact, such a failure of religion to affect the moral lives of adherents was said to mark the “final age of this world” when many people would “preserve the outward form of religion, but are a standing denial of its reality.”—Rom. 12:2; 2 Tim. 3:1, 5, “The New English Bible.”
Blood View Reasonable
● An article entitled “Synthetic Blood Substitutes” won a prize in an essay contest in the Federal Republic of Germany. The article traced the recent development of synthetic blood substitutes. It explained that experiments had proved that animals whose blood had been partially or wholly replaced by synthetic blood substitutes not only survived but continued to develop normally. It concluded by saying: “Despite many unsolved problems, proof has been given that for a certain period of time synthetic substitutes can take over some of the functions of blood. This means that the use of synthetic blood substitutes for persons who have had a severe loss of blood . . . has now been brought into the realm of possibility.”
One such recently developed blood substitute actually has been used on humans in Japan, and is credited with saving the life of a patient. The key feature of these substitutes is that they have an oxygen-carrying capacity like that of blood.
These facts confirm that Jehovah’s Witnesses are not acting irresponsibly or unreasonably when they, for religious reasons, refuse to accept blood transfusions and request alternatives.—Acts 15:29; 21:25.