As the First World War was winding down the Spanish Flu emerged and swiftly swept the earth in successive waves killing more people than were butchered during the bloody Great War. It is no wonder that even years later millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses became convinced that this series of dreadful calamities is evidence that the symbolic horsemen of the Apocalypse had been unleashed. During the war, C.T. Russell passed away and a couple of years later the leading men of the Watchtower were railroaded off to prison on trumped-up charges of sedition.
But then the war ended and Rutherford was released from the Atlanta penitentiary and he immediately began to reorganize the Bible Students and impel them into what was to become the worldwide ministry of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A convention was held in Cedar Point, Ohio, on September 1, 1919 —the first of a series. Several thousand traveled across the country to attend the three-day convention. The extraordinary thing about that assembly was it took place even as the Spanish Flu pandemic was winding down.
As mentioned above, the pandemic spread in waves. It came and waned and came back again. The third surge took place in the spring of 1919. In fact, Woodrow Wilson, the then-president of the United States, became ill with the virus in April of that year. Evidently, though, by the end of summer, the pandemic had subsided, although in some countries it lasted until 1920.
Given the lethality of that particular strain of the virus, it took great courage and faith for those Bible students to leave the safety of their homes and travel some distance to meet in a large gathering. Oh, how times have changed! What happened to the spirit that moved those early anointed Christians? (I personally knew an anointed sister who attended.)
Viruses are always mutating and evolving. The Spanish Flu puzzled medical experts because it killed young and healthy people. The Coronavirus can infect anyone but it is the elderly and those with multiple underlying health issues who are most impacted. To illustrate the point, in California it has been reported that two people under the age of 18 have died from Covid 19. Two! And yet every school is closed? How many children are murdered every year by classmates? What absolute insanity!
The Watchtower’s cartoon instructs JW’s to wash their hands as if virtually everyone on the entire planet is not aware of the importance of soap and water in rinsing away germs. As if talking to kindergartners, the Watchtower illustrates how to sneeze properly and wear a mask and practice social distancing on a park bench. And this from Jehovah’s watchman in the tower?
And for your mental health? Avoid “unverified rumors.” And who might we look to for rumor verification? The Watchtower? Is the Watchtower going to verify that the pandemic was intentionally created as the leading edge of the sword coming against Western civilization? Will the Governing Body care to comment on the rumors that the pandemic is being exploited to empower the United Nations and especially WHO? Is the Watchtower going to step up and seriously discuss the vaccination issue or just make silly cartoons?
The cartoon shows a couple of JW’s out in service knocking on a door and neither one is wearing a mask and one of them appears to be quite elderly, hobbling on a cane. Are they trying to illustrate reckless behavior or would it create the wrong impression in the minds of Jehovah’s ministers if they showed a single publisher at the door wearing a mask? In the cartoon, the door they have just knocked upon is cleverly transformed into a smartphone —as if to suggest that the phone ministry is the same thing as face-to-face contact. The Watchtower is gaslighting their entire kindergarten class.
Although cloistered in their luxurious monastery in Warwick, for now anyway, eventually the Governing Body and their “helpers” are going to have to answer to Christ as to why young and healthy ministers are forbidden to engage in the public ministry. The absence of Jehovah’s Witnesses on street corners and doorsteps is especially astonishing in the United States given the contrast with Republican volunteers who have gained national recognition as the “new door-knocking warriors.”
At the 2:20 minute mark the cartoon narrator says that JW’s invite people to meet with them, if possible in person, but if not then virtually. The question is, why would it not be possible to meet together? In the United States, the Bill of Rights makes it unlawful to prevent lawful assembly —especially in the case of religious assembly. Religious organizations have already successfully challenged lockdown orders. (not the Watchtower) Others simply defy the state orders. You would think, given the Watchtower’s history in championing religious liberty and the emphasis it has always placed on meeting attendance for the sake of mutual encouragement, that Bethel’s lawyers would be in the forefront. After all, the inspired apostle exhorts Christians to not forsake meeting together, but all the more so as we see the Day drawing near. Again, where has the spirit gone?
Of course, the Watchtower is touting their Zoom innovation, as if that is the same thing as personal contact. But is talking on the phone really meeting together?
Even now, though, most states in the United States allow for religious gatherings but offer special guidelines, such as this document for the state of Arizona. The Governing Body is implying that they are merely following laws enacted by the state. That is not true. The dictators of Sodom have imposed their own lockdown.
APOSTASY IS REBELLION AGAINST DIVINE AUTHORITY
We should not suppose that apostasy must involve introducing pagan doctrines —as took place centuries ago in Christendom. Apostasy is a rebellion against the authority of God. When Christ says “go” and the Watchtower says “no,” you have a rebellion against the authority of God. When God’s inspired representative says to meet together and the Watchtower says to stay at home, you have a rebellion against divine authority. That is apostasy. The fact that it is presented by the Governing Body as a life-saving adjustment is telling too.
Ironically, the cartoon invokes the prophecy of Isaiah and the time when no resident will say “I am sick.” That same 33rd chapter of Isaiah portrays God’s people as being presided over by apostates. At the time Jehovah rises up to commence his fiery judgment He succinctly derides His enemies as having conceived “dried grass and give birth to stubble.” How very descriptive of the Watchtower’s vain, childish creation.
The apostates who have imagined they have opened the oyster and found the biggest pearl in the world are in for a dreadful shock. Jehovah speaks: “You who are far away, listen to what I will do! And you who are nearby, acknowledge my might! The sinners in Zion are in dread; trembling has seized the apostates: ‘Who of us can live where there is a consuming fire? Who of us can live with unquenchable flames?’”