60,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses together

Let the news ring throughout the land – for the next four days, it’s safe to answer the doorbell.

The nation’s entire population of 60,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses have suspended their door-knocking activities to descend on Sydney’s Telstra Stadium for a five-yearly international convention to celebrate their faith.

Jehovah’s Witnesses
Theologically, Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult of Christianity. The oppressive organization does not represent historical, Biblical Christianity in any way.

Ad: Vacation? City Trip? Weekend Break? Book Skip-the-line tickets

Sociologically, it is a destructive cult whose false teachings frequently result in spiritual and psychological abuse, as well as needless deaths.

That leaves only 50,000 Mormons to contend with.

But with the Jehovah’s Witnesses four-day program including topics such as “Spreading the Good News Everywhere” and “Declare the Good News Without Letup”, the group’s media manager, Alex McMillan, concedes this is a rare reprieve.

“It will be the only time there’ll be no-one knocking on doors, so people had better make the most of it,” Mr McMillan said.

“We are really carrying out a bible-based mandate. Jesus and his followers carried out the same work, and Jesus told his followers to go out and make disciples and preach the good news.”

As for proselytising to gain new converts, “it’s really a command, and we believe it’s a requirement of all Christians“.

While home-dwellers are safe from unwanted intrusions for the next three days, chairman John Rhodes opened the convention with a skit about how the 60,000 Witnesses at the convention could put their downtime to best use – converting the waiters and cleaners.

That’s a large captive audience, with 17,000 hotel rooms booked throughout Sydney for the gathering.

Mr Rhodes told those gathered that the lapel badges issued to delegates proclaiming “Give God Glory” will “inspire people to inquire further and give brothers and sisters a chance to introduce Jehovah”.

Over the next three days the clean-cut faithful will hear testimonials from foreign missionaries and see a costumed bible drama. On Saturday, a mass baptism will be held for about 500 converts.

The group, which was founded by American Charles Taze Russell in 1879, has three times prophesied the end of the world and the second coming of Christ.

Jehovah’s Witnesses now eschew naming doomsday dates, but stand by their post-Armageddon scenario.

They believe 144,000 people will join Jesus in heaven in an administrative government that rules over an earth saved only for those who listened to Christ’s word.

This hope for future perfection means the Witnesses refuse to vote for worldly governments.

Travel Religiously

Book skip-the-line tickets to the worlds major religious sites — or to any other place in the world.

We appreciate your support

One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at Amazon.com.

AFFILIATE LINKS

Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission — at no additional cost to you — for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this service free of charge.

Source

(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
The Australian, Australia
Dec. 12, 2003
Vanessa Walker, Religious affairs writer
www.theaustralian.news.com.au

More About This Subject

Religion News Blog last updated this post on CET (Central European Time)