Thanks to everyone who posted their thoughts about my article. That's why I love to discuss this research on JWN because so many of you take my material and run with it, and not only do I learn, but I get more material to do research on.
Farkel, thank you for reminding us about the mysticism connected with the three major doctrines of mainline Christian religions. Your points are well taken.
Simon's true-life experience proves what we've all been saying these past few years—JWs can't keep up with all the refinements, clarifications, new light, increased light, flashes of light, modification, alteration, reinterpretation, fine-tuning, up-dating, etc. No wonder Witnesses really don't want to go there in their heads because then they will have to admit something is horribly wrong with their religion.
Life is to short: Wow, timing is everything. I must have had a flash of light to nail exactly how JWs think! Guess my 43 years as a Witness helped out. Actually, my observation was based on what I told myself after another, and another, and yet another "flash of light" was published or announced at a convention.
BluesBrother: I thought the same thing as MrMonroe did about the paragraphs from the July 15, 2008 Watchtower magazine that you posted. I also found it quite odd that the material didn't say anything about the Kingdom, yet the discussion was centered on the reasons for preaching which in the past was primarily to announce the good news of the Kingdom.
Now it appears that the Witnesses responsibility is to tell about the "good news." Good news about what? The scripture the WT writer quoted is from 2 Thess. 1:7, 8 which states the good news is about our Lord Jesus, something most non-Witnesses in the Western world already know about and a subject most Witnesses can't carry on a basic discussion about. It's difficult for Witnesses to talk about Jesus, almost like the words are cursed. Now ask them about "Jehovah" and they relax!
What struck me about the most important reason for preaching: "Rendering 'a sacrifice of praise' to Jehovah is our foremost reason for preaching publicly and from house to house" is that the emphasis is different. It's certainly not like it was in the past when we all went out door-to-door to save others, no matter if it was rain or shine, or we were aged or sick. Going out in the ministry because it’s a Witnesses responsibility to have people judged on their response to the good news is not exactly a joyous thing to do, even though they might think they are praising Jehovah’s name by doing it.
Is that last reason, or as the writer called it, "the foremost reason," reason enough to keep JWs zealously preaching? They might go out door-to-door because it’s a requirement for gaining a little recognition from other Witnesses, but few JWs can convert anybody to a religion that nobody within it is quite sure what the beliefs are because they change so much. JWs might not believe in Christendom's three big ones, but what Witness today wants to bring up any one of those three doctrines to anyone they meet in their so-called ministry work because very few of them are able to fluently discuss the subjects.