This article is the first in a series of articles to come answering so-called stumper questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses. All entires will appear in the ANSWERS category listed on the footer menu
(Question #1) If the organization did not actually prophesy the end in 1925 and 1975, then how come so many Witnesses left the faith immediately afterwards? (“They lost roughly three-quarters of the movement between 1925 and 1928, then suffered huge losses after 1975, when the end didn’t come as they had implied over and over again,” said Jim Penton, an ex-Witness who writes entries on Jehovah’s Witnesses for the Encyclopedia Americana.)
The Watchtower did attach great meaning to both of those dates. Of course, there was always a quasi-biblical justification for doing so. 1975 was believed to be the 6,000th year since the creation of Adam and it was thought that the 1,000 year reign of Christ would commence on the 6,000th year in order that God’s great sabbath rest would conclude on the 7,000th year.
As compelling as that reasoning may have been at the time, and it may still have validity, the problem is that the Genesis account does not give the lifespan of Eve, as it does for Adam and those in the linage of Christ; point being, God’s day of rest did not begin with Adam’s creation, but rather, after Eve was created. And evidently Adam was alone in Eden for a considerable time before Jehovah made a helper for him. That is why upon seeing Eve Adam exclaimed: “At last….”
Be that as it may, there is no question that many of Jehovah’s Witnesses were stumbled. And most disconcerting, many more will be stumbled during the end phase. But does the mere existence of stumbling blocks disqualify an organization or a people from God’s service? No, not at all. On the contrary, in fact: Jesus forewarned that stumbling blocks were inevitable. The solution, though, will come during the harvest. That is when Jesus will command his angels to uproot persons doing lawlessness and all stumbling blocks. Ironically, at that time Christ himself will become a massive stone of stumbling.