Dear Jehovah’s Witnesses

I am posting this as someone that doesn’t have an issue with your outreach.  I enjoy having the door-to-door missionaries show up, and grew up with your co-religionists being invited in for coffee and conversation after a warning that we’re Catholic and not interested in conversion.  I am still not interested in conversion, but going door-to-door is an impressive effort, especially in this day and time.  You’re trying to save people.  Now, on to the complaint.

Someone in your church is doing dire harm to your outreach efforts.
A family friend died.  He was buried this weekend.  I posted on his legacy.com guest book, and just got the worst spam “from” someone calling themselves Tiffany Stowers; if it’s valid, you might want to make some suggestions to her, if it’s not, you have a name to use for complaints with legacy.com.

The message:

Hello I’m so sorry for your loss, and i wanted to share some words of encouragement from the bible with you. We hear so much bad news these days its always great when we can hear some good news. Second Peter 3:13 says “there is a new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise and in these righteousness is to dwell” The Bible Gods word promises us a new earth but that’s not all it promises at Revelation 21: 3,4 ” with that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! the tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from there eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” Not only will we be in a new world but we will also never have to worry about sickness or even death and to make this perfect present even better Acts 24:15 says “There is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous” We will be able to enjoy this perfect world and perfect health with our dead loved ones when God resurrects them in a paradise earth. I hope you enjoyed these words from our loving Father from the Bible. Please click the link for more information on http://www.watchtower.org/e/20050815/article_02.htm

It is obviously a form message, it could be applied as easily to a sports game loss as to a friend, it’s poorly formatted (those ‘ ’ things are in the original), it meanders and is far too wordy…and some of it is misspelled.  The quotes are way too long, and to my eye look to have been chosen as much for support of some of your less mainstream views as for supposed comfort to those who have lost a loved one.  I haven’t even checked the citations themselves, I can’t remember which Bible version y’all use.
To make it worse, that messaging service does not have click-through links when you type them in! It’s not just a spam message, it’s a really obvious spam message from someone that doesn’t care enough to even type a different message for different services.

Your door-to-door efforts are best—at least, from my perspective, as someone who will never convert but will defend your church—when they are genuine.

A better possible format:

Hello.  I am sorry for your loss and thought you might be comforted by the thoughts that your loved one is merely ‘sleeping in death’ (Psalm 13:3, and many others) and that ‘the tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.’ (Revelation 21: 3,4)   This separation is not forever; one day we will all be resurrected.  (Acts 24:15)  If this is a comfort and you would like to hear more, there’s an article that goes more in-depth article at (web address); you can visit us at Watchtower.org for questions in general.

Other details would be to fix the web address to something like ‘watchtower.org/deathisswallowedupforever.htm’ or ‘/article/death.htm’—it might even be better to offer just an email address for the in-home Bible studies from your web page.  In that case, something like:

I am sorry for your loss, and this out of the blue message.  If you are searching for some comfort, (web address) might help—this is not forever, they are only asleep in death.  Either way, I pray for your pain to ease.  -(name)

Short and sweet has much to go for it.

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10 thoughts on “Dear Jehovah’s Witnesses”

  1. They use the New World Translation, which I haven’t seen on Bible Gateway (but might be there). You know my position on them and on their bible, so I won’t continue further. But their bible is called the New World Translation.

  2. I really don’t feel like spending much more time on it…. I was so startled by how angry I was at the spam, and what a disservice it did to the folks that I most assuredly disagree with but respect that the post kind of erupted.

    1. Problem being that the message the original approach conveyed was “ham-handed attempt to hit you over the head with a bible,” not “God loves you, and you will see the lost again, I care about your pain and want to help.”

      It hurts the JoHo folks who work hard to spread the word, it hurts all Christians by the appearance of careless and callous exploitation of pain when people are vulnerable.

  3. The biggie with Jehovah’s Witnesses is that their entire doctrinal superstructure rest squarely on the ‘invisible’ second coming of Jesus October 1914.There is no way they can evade this patently false dogma.
    Jesus specifically forewarned about false prophets who would say,”look he is here in the wilderness,or see he is here in the Temple”.Jesus further warned to “not go after them”.
    (Matthew 7:15)

    Danny Haszard
    FMI dannyhaszard(dot)com

    1. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.
      By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

      Very true. No danger that I’ll be converted– when I was younger and less solid in my faith, I still knew enough to not accept the hospitality of the local Baptist churches that are so good about giving military folks a place to unwind. So I try to go through the thorns to find the grapevines, given a chance, so that the fruit can grow better.

  4. Dear Former Sailor,

    I am sorry about the communication you received from an apparent Jehovah’s Witness. You could probably trace Ms. Stowers, if you were so inclined, by a Google search. Intimate communications with others should be effected one on one, not as cold, spammed, releases.

    Your tolerance of other faiths is commendable, as is your tolerance of this perhaps well-intentioned but ill-timed and poorly executed communication. Your edit of the text was nicely done. Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your very good friend. I am old enough to have lost most of my beloved family members – an entire generation of older ones. Over the course of the last year I lost two of them. I am now down to two, one in her 70s and one in her 90s. I know what it is to lose those we care about.

    The media receives a relentless flow of irresponsible statements about Jehovah’s Witnesses by uninformed people. Your posting was not one of them. Again, my deepest sympathies and kindest regards.

    Carolyn Neal, Jehovah’s Witness

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