The Sparrow and the Hellfire Doctrine
The text of Matthew 10:29-31 came up for discussion one morning at a gathering of those who serve at the headquarters of the Watchtower Society. In this passage Jesus is quoted as saying: “Do not two sparrows sell for a coin of small value? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.”
The one presiding at the discussion asked a student attending the Watchtower missionary school: “How can one use this scripture to reason with someone on the hellfire doctrine?” How would you have answered?
Without hesitation the student went right into her explanation. The text shows the heavenly Father’s deep concern for his creatures, even for the lowly sparrow. Since he is a God of such compassion, surely he would not approve of torturing humans in this life or in a life to come. To support her argument, she quoted Ezekiel 18:23: “‘Do I take any delight at all in the death of someone wicked,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, ‘and not in that he should turn back from his ways and actually keep living?’” “We worship a God of love and compassion,” she added. “May we do all we can to imitate his qualities.”
The one presiding responded: “That certainly shows the missionary students are well taught!” And everyone present heartily agreed.