My mom made the statement (again) the other day that if there were only JWs on the earth, we would not need government or money and that there would be no homeless people or hungry people. I deviated from my usual arguments - what about the governing body, won't they take charge from heaven? what about the fights that exist right now between the congregations that share your kingdom hall, will they magically stop? and, anyone can see that, if over 99% of the population was gone, food and resources would be plentiful for a while - and said, "That didn't work out so well after the flood, did it?"
She stopped and looked at me with a blank expression. I asked, "Didn't He destroy everyone except the faithful ones - 6 people - and humans still went back to evil ways within a few generations? Wouldn't the same thing happen if everyone but the faithful were destroyed tomorrow?"
Of course she said that Satan led them astray. So I asked if that meant that the humans could not stay faithful to God unless there was no temptation present. She wound her way around a bit before conceding that WT policies - mainly the chaperone for all dating couples - suggested that faced with temptation anyone would sin.
So, I asked, "Does that mean we would be just like Adam and Eve and fail the test of loyalty if Satan tempts us?" She said no.
So I asked why God had to destroy Satan. Couldn't we just not fall into temptation? She said no, God has to destroy Satan to make the earth a paradise. Satan would destroy paradise.
I asked, "By tempting loyal, faithful people?"
"well... not everyone can withstand temptation."
"So, wouldn't it be better for God to keep Satan around to thin out the riff-raff who can't stay faithful under hard times?"
Horrified!! "Angela! Are you suggesting that Satan not be punished for all the harm he has done?!?"
"I am suggesting that Satan hasn't physically done anything. Humans have performed all of the actions that you attribute to Satan. I would never punish my older son for the actions of his brother, even if he told him to do it, because my younger son knows the rules. He should obey them regardless of what his brother says. Should Satan be punished for simply telling people to do something wrong, when the people knew God's rules.
If the JWs can't keep from sinning if Satan is around, should they be considered faithful?"
She just shook her head, but I could see that I made her think about the whole idea of sin and faithfulness. She is pretty stubborn so I am sure she will hit back with something next time I see her. It has taken me a while to get her to the point that she will even discuss these things with me - the evil apostate - so I don't push too hard.