● How should we react to public criticism of the Kingdom work?
From time to time apostates and other opposers of the Kingdom message publicly criticize the activity and teachings of Jehovah’s people, using TV and radio programs or articles in newspapers and magazines. Usually the best way to handle such adverse publicity is to ignore it, remembering the fine example of Jesus: “When he was being reviled, he did not go reviling in return. When he was suffering, he did not go threatening, but kept on committing himself to the one who judges righteously.”—1 Pet. 2:23.
Some may feel we should make a public reply to criticism, going on radio or TV to do so or perhaps writing letters to editors, and so forth. However, such action often serves only to publicize further the criticism and the erroneous teachings of the opposers. Jehovah’s Witnesses are well known in most communities and many people appreciate our service and the fine publications we distribute. Usually any questions about our beliefs and organization which might be raised by public criticism can be answered at the door as we engage in our house-to-house witnessing. Thus, persons with good motives will have their questions answered and we do not provide opposers with additional free publicity. More importantly, the Kingdom good news continues to be preached with a minimum of distraction and disciple-making goes forward as Jesus directed.—Matt. 28:19, 20.
If the elders in a particular locality feel there should be some public reply to criticism in order to defend Jehovah’s name and people, it is always good first to contact the Society, giving all the facts about the matter and explaining in full the proposed format of any written or other type of defense that might be proposed. The Society can then consider the matter and offer appropriate suggestions.
For further information on this subject please see the following articles: “Replying to Critics” in January 1977 Our Kingdom Service; “Should You Retaliate?” in May 22, 1974, Awake!; and “What Defense Against Defamers of True Christians?” in the November 15, 1976, Watchtower.