Our discussion will take the form of a simulated conversation between a Jehovah's Witness named Joe and a Christian named Chris.
Joe: Look, Chris, I know what you are trying to do. You have shown me where the Watchtower has not always been truthful, but I will still follow the Watchtower because I believe their doctrines are true. You see they have taught me everything that I know about the Bible.
Chris: Joe, what has the Watchtower taught you about why man was created?
Joe: You need to read "You Can Live Forever in Paradise on earth". It is very clear that when Jehovah created Adam and Eve and placed them in the garden of Eden, he made it clear that his purpose for humans was for them to live forever on the earth. Jehovah's purpose was that all the earth be a paradise, and that its human caretakers enjoy life foreveron the condition that they respect and obey their Creator.
Chris: Let me see if I understand you right. Are you saying that God's highest purpose for creating man was for man to be a caretaker of the earth?
Joe: Well, Jehovah didn't create the earth for it to be uninhabited. He made man to live forever on the earth and care for it.
Chris: Does that mean the Watchtower teaches people that man's purpose for existence is to be an eternal caretaker?
Joe: It doesn't sound very nice when you say it that way.
Chris: Joe, that's because that purpose is so shallow. Doesn't the Bible say that our creation has a much higher purpose than that?
Joe: What purpose could be higher then to live forever in paradise on earth?
Chris: Well, Joe, when I read the Bible I see God's purpose for man clearly revealed through what Adam lost when he sinned. You see Adam lost so much more then just his garden home. Adam had a very special relationship with Jehovah God. He walked and talked with Jehovah in the garden. It was not until Adam sinned that he began to fear God and to run and hide from him. In Genesis 3:8 the Bible says that the very presence of Jehovah God was in the garden. It was Jehovah's purpose in creating Adam and Eve that they would share a relationship with him. They were able to talk to Jehovah God and he talked intimately with them. When Adam and Eve sinned they lost their garden home, but even more importantly they lost their relationship with God. Joe does the Watchtower allow you to have a relationship with Jehovah God?
Joe: Of course. We are always taking in knowledge about Jehovah and we pray to him.
Chris: Joe, taking in knowledge isn't knowing God. For example you could know everything there is to know about Wayne Gretzky, read every book about him, and attend all his hockey games and still not know him personally. You couldn't say that you have a relationship with him unless you could pick up the phone and talk to him and he would acknowledge you and talk with you. Are you allowed to have Jehovah God talk with you?
Joe: No... Jehovah God doesn't do that anymore. He uses a human channel to speak to men.
Chris: Does that mean that Jehovah God speaks directly to those who are your leaders?
Joe: No, he uses angels to pass the message on to the governing body and then they pass the message on to us.
Chris: So even your leaders do not hear from Jehovah directly?
Joe: That's right.
Chris: That is amazing, Joe. That means that Adam and Eve were created to have a special relationship with Jehovah that even your leaders do not have.
Joe: You are mistaken about Jehovah's relationship with Adam and Eve. The Watchtower says that Jehovah did not talk directly with them either. It says in the Watchtower August 1, 1995 on page 13 "Although Jehovah could have spoken directly to his perfect human son, Adam, in the garden of Eden, likely he used the prehuman Jesus to speak for Him." You see it was not Jehovah speaking to Adam and Eve in the garden it was Jesus. Jehovah always uses a channel for communication.
Chris: But Joe, the Bible clearly says that it was God who spoke to Adam and God's presence in the garden caused Adam and Eve to hide themselves from him. The Watchtower is denying the very essence of the purpose of mankind. We were created to have fellowship with Jehovah God. He desires to have a real relationship with us just as he had with Adam and Eve. Joe, don't you see that in the Watchtower your relationship with God does not depend on your love for him or your desire for communication with him. Your relationship with God depends solely on your relationship with the Watchtower organization. If the Watchtower Society accepts you, then you are accepted by God. If the Watchtower kicks you out, they are saying that Jehovah God also rejects you. The Watchtower has replaced a personal living relationship with God with a relationship with the Society.
Joe: But Chris, how can Jehovah talk with people today?
Chris: That's a good question. Let's talk about that next week.