When I wrote “The False Prophecies Approach” chapter of my book, I faced a quandary.
The stated objective of the approach is “to show Jehovah’s Witnesses that the Watchtower organization is not the reliable guide it claims to be in that it has made numerous false prophecies.”
The challenge I faced was this: How much evidence should I recommend that you present to the Witnesses? Clearly, one or two examples will probably not be enough. They can always be shrugged off as an aberration or as not representative of Watchtower literature as a whole.
After all, “nobody’s perfect.”
But there’s the opposite problem of overkill which destroys everything we’re trying to accomplish. You don’t want to drive them further into the Watchtower organization by triggering their persecution complex.
In other words, less can sometimes be better.
Accordingly, when I wrote the “False Prophecies Approach” chapter, I limited the focus to three years about which the Watchtower had a great deal to say—1914, 1925, and 1975.
But now I’ve decided to do this blog series in which I provide you with a lot more information which you can present if someone really wants to see it.
Why? Several reasons:
First, some people who are studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses want as much information as they can get before making a commitment. They will let us know when they’ve seen enough.
Second, some active Jehovah’s Witnesses who decide to examine the Watchtower record also want as much information as they can get. They want to make sure they are getting the whole story, not just cherry-picked excerpts chosen by one side or the other.
For example, one ex-Jehovah’s Witness told me she lost sleep staying up night after night reading everything she could find on the subject. She kept going even though she was “appalled” by what she was seeing. Knowing whether or not the Watchtower was God’s organization, as she had been taught, was crucial to the rest of her life, so she was determined to know the full story no matter how bad it turned out to be.
Not all Witnesses could stand to do that, but some do, and we need to be able to help them.
Peter Gregerson, an ex-Jehovah’s Witness who had been an elder for decades and even trained elders, wanted to reinforce his faith by examining what the Watchtower was teaching in 1918-1919. That’s the time frame in which the organization claims Jesus inspected the spiritual food they were dispensing and found them so faithful and wise that he put them in charge of all his people and affairs on earth.
He stated, “In the beginning, I had wanted so much for their claim to be true… I had been led to expect some beautiful quality spiritual food that would mightily impress God and Jesus…”
Instead, he persisted in reading until he was convinced beyond a doubt that the Watchtower’s writings were “an insult to common intelligence and most certainly an insult to God and Jesus Christ…”
At that point, he resigned as a Jehovah’s Witness and left the organization for good.
Third, some people who have already left the Watchtower develop fears that they’ve made a terrible mistake, that they have wavered in faith in the final hour of the last days, thus throwing away a lifetime of faithful service.
This often happens when the fear of the imminence of God’s fiery judgment at Armageddon is triggered by some frightening world events such as the 2001 terrorist attacks, Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Covid-19 pandemic, missile tests by North Korea, or people with impressive credentials predicting a stock market crash or a U.S. / China war within the next couple of years.
They need to see a mountain of evidence that will convince them beyond any doubt that—in the words of Peter Gregerson—”The Watchtower has sold a grand and fraudulent lie… The Watchtower is a giant fraud… Their core claim to be God’s only organization is totally bogus.”
For these reasons, I have decided to do this blog series in which I give you a lot more examples of the false prophecies of the Watchtower since its inception.
Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and use discernment regarding how much or how little you should share.