For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.2 Timothy 2:7
We as humans are susceptible to fear of many things. Fear can take possession of our minds, creating bondage, capturing our minds to the point of declaring black to be white or causing problems to seem to disappear though they are right in front of us.
We are posting a number of e-letters Make Sure Ministries has received from David Henke, founder of Watchman Fellowship, Inc., an apologetics ministry, on a variety of subjects. They will post on Tuesdays into the foreseeable future. As always, we appreciate your comments. Please consider clicking on the link following this blog to learn more about Watchman Fellowship and what they have to offer. E-letters have been slightly edited for clarity.
Christ came that through him we might overcome the enemy of fear. Religion takes advantage of fear for its own ends.
One might ask, “What is it that would cause a person to remain against their will in an organization they don’t believe in? Why don’t they just get out?” For many the answer is FEAR. The fear of losing everything that they hold dear to them, including their friends, family, and religion.
For example, Jehovah’s Witnesses fear the Watchtower Organization that acts as the “voice of Jehovah” for them.
This is an example of high control groups inserting themselves between God and the individual. The fear of being “disfellowshipped” threatens them with losing everything they have come to know as a way of life, and they think of being ostracized by friends and family as simply too much for many of them to risk getting out.
In his book David Reed, an ex-JW elder, explains the effects of this fear:
There are also broken homes, youngsters deprived of a higher education, families separated by mistrust, and millions of people living lives of guilt and fear. There is a whole ‘nation’ of people living under a totalitarian ‘kingdom’ government that denies them freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of conscience.
Jehovah’s Witnesses themselves will vigorously deny these allegations, but that is typical of victims of mind control. Because the fetters are fastened on the mind, instead of on the wrists, they do not chafe. Like persons put under a spell by a hypnotist, the Witnesses open their eyes ‘wide awake, happy, and refreshed,’ not realizing that post-hypnotic suggestions planted in their minds must remain there to control their conduct.Behind the Watchtower Curtain, David Reed
When you realize that the source of fear is coming from the person or group that has come between you and God then you will understand that you can “eliminate the middle man” and go directly to God Who will not turn you away.
Psychologists really are on target in pointing out fear as a motivator. Dr. Jay Adams says:
… fear may get such a tight grip upon you that at times it may seem to be some powerful force from the outside that takes you captive. Because of fear, people have changed jobs, moved from one city to another, sealed themselves in houses, killed, and fled to mental institutions. Because of the fear of cats or bridges or elevators or other people, people have developed styles of life that are weird and unfruitful. Fear of this sort, fear out of control (or would it be better said, fear in complete control), is the fear that you have come to fear.“What Do You Do When Fear Overcomes You?,” Dr. Jay Adams
It is necessary for Christians who witness to Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other high control groups, to remember that they are under such bondage. Unconditional love and a non-judgmental attitude will help to soften their heart to you as a person who is interested in them personally.
Sharing information with a respectful attitude may give them reason to begin thinking for themselves again. But in the final analysis it is the Holy Spirit Who will open their eyes and heart. So, pray for them as you “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).
October 29, 2021 E-Letter
Email: [email protected] (If you would like to receive David’s current e-letters, request them here.)