I ask you to consider this scenario:
A devoutly Born-Again Christian man, who strives to live every facet of his life in accordance with what is written in the Gospels, spends all of his time helping the poor, reading his Bible cover-to-cover, living an austere life and genuinely feels that his life is motivated by his love of Christ. A “real” Christian in practice, both public and private. He avoids joining any institutional organized religion, as he sees the Bible as God’s message to HIM, and Christ’s ransom sacrifice a gift to HIM. But he is for all intents and purposes blameless and exemplary in his love to his family, neighbors and God.
One day he has some Jehovah’s Witness knock on his door to try to preach to him about “The Truth”, something that only THEY have. They speak about how all other Christian denominations are false and only Jehovah’s Organization, which manifests itself in the form of the Watchtower & Bible Tract Society has the real and correct understanding of the Bible; even going so far as to offer him a free bible study from a book actually titled “What the Bible Really Teaches”.
So now this man is faced with, quite frankly, a challenge to his faith. He has dedicated his entire life and being to Jesus and the Ransom Sacrifice as understood in the Christian theology. His life has been a true and undeniable testament to the concept of “Christian Love”.
My question is this: Could such a person be eligible for the benefits of the Ransom WITHOUT accepting the Watchtower as God’s channel here on Earth? How would you, as a practicing Jehovah’s Witness, answer that?
Mental gymnastics aside, that question can be answered in only three ways. “Yes”, “No”, or “I don’t know.” I wish to consider each response and its unavoidable implications.
If you answer “Yes”, then you negate the entire purpose for going around trying to fulfill what you interpret as Jesus’ commandment to “go and make disciples” (convincing people that you have “The Truth”).
An answer of “No” would indicate that this man’s lifetime endeavor to follow the model of Christ as depicted from the Bible was all a waste of his time. As noble as it was, such a consecrated way of life is wholly in vain, because he does not see his salvation as contingent upon whether he dedicated himself to a publishing company based out of North Jersey. He needs to recognize the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses as God’s “Faithful and Discreet Slave” and follow THEIR interpretations. In this respect, belief in the ransom sacrifice of Jesus, rests not on faith in the Messiah, but faith in the Watchtower Organization. The position of Redeemer has been usurped by the Watchtower.
One could always seek to avoid the question or defer it by admitting that they “just don’t know”. But this echoes of the reply of “Yes” as described above. If you don’t know the fundamental answer as to eligibility for Christ’s Ransom, then knocking on people’s doors with “The Truth” and spouting such other absolutes would ring a bit hollow, yes?
Again, all the twisting and turning to try to explain this question does NOT make the question invalid. It is a very simple question.