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Preaching the Good News at Commuter Train Stations

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The Jehovah's Witness movement has been on a year-long drive to recruit commuters at UK train stations, shopping centres and parks. It's a change of tactics, writes Sophie Robehmed.
 
Everybody is familiar with the Jehovah's Witnesses' standard modus operandi. Two polite people knock at the door and try and engage a householder in conversation.
 
The visit is often less than welcome and there are plenty of examples of comic sketches mocking the phenomenon.
But for the last year, the Christian-based religious movement has been trying a different method in the UK.
 
Volunteers are targeting train stations, as well as shopping centres and other busy places, in 14 cities across Britain and Ireland - Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield.
 
In London alone, the movement says it has 1,000 people giving away literature - and they get through about 6,000 brochures, 20,000 books, and 100,000 magazines every month.
 
The tactic was pioneered in New York three years ago and is set to expand further. At weekly congregation meetings, volunteers are encouraged to let passers-by approach rather than trying to stop them. The tactics seem the polar opposite of the doorstep approach - most of the day the volunteers stand there smiling but saying little.
 
At Oxford Circus, in the centre of London and the fourth busiest underground/metro station in the UK, the Jehovah's Witnesses are passed by hundreds of thousands of people every week.
Deep Singh, a coordinator for this latest street drive, who converted from Sikhism 23 years ago, stands with his arms outstretched, holding books with the title, What does the Bible really teach?, in capital letters. His wife, Ruth, meanwhile, hovers by a stand, stocked with copies of Awake!, the Jehovah's Witnesses' flagship magazine.
 
The couple are joined by another volunteer. And the station's other entrances and exits are manned by other groups.
Even standing by the volunteers for an hour, it seems that few passers-by stop to talk.
 
The movement doesn't have figures for how many converts this part of its mission has produced. And it's emphasised that it's an addition rather than a departure from the door-to-door evangelism, but adherents are optimistic that the new tactic is making an impact.
The UK Jehovah's Witnesses say that the May issue of Awake!, with its cover line Stress - Keys to Managing It, was the most popular of the current drive.
 
"People were queuing up for a copy in the City [of London]," says Deep. "One woman asked if it was possible to take copies for her colleagues because she said her whole office was stressed."
 
The Singhs are both cutting back on their paid work away from the movement in order to be, as Deep states on his WhatsApp mobile messaging profile, "On the Lord's Work!!" from 7am-7pm. "I feel for people. Life is a mess, and we help to improve people morally, spiritually and emotionally," says Deep.
 
"This ministry is definitely better for secular people who like to be in control," he adds. "They can ignore us, ask questions or just pick up a book to get the answers they're looking for." Ruth, who grew up with a Jehovah's Witness mother and atheist father, agrees. "It makes sense," she says. "People are so busy and this ministry conveniently fits in with their hectic schedules."
 
 
Founded in the US towards the end of the 19th Century, under the leadership of Charles Taze Russell. Headquarters of the movement in New York
 
Although Christian-based, the group believes that the traditional Christian Churches have deviated from the true teachings of the Bible, and do not work in full harmony with God
 
The traditional Christian Church does not regard the movement as a mainstream Christian denomination because it rejects the Christian doctrine of the Trinity
 
Jehovah's witnesses believe that humanity is now in the 'last days' and that the final battle between good and evil will happen soon.
http://m.bbc.com/news/magazine-28166192

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    • By Witness
      The good news is not preached in all the world, as we understand it. 
      Paul talked about that being done, even in the first century. 
      He said of their work of preaching to the Jews; 
      "But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed:
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      And their words *to the ends of the world.’* Rom 10:18

      That word "world", really means, "land". Not all lands, are the whole world.

      Paul also said;
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      He was saying that the gospel was already heard, in the whole land.
      Verse 23 continues; "and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was *preached to every creature under heaven*, of which I, Paul, became a minister."
      Paul did not preach to the whole world. Yet he says that the gospel was preached to "every creature under heaven".
      Rev.14: 6 says; "Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach **to those who dwell on the earth**—to *every nation, tribe, tongue, and people"*.
      We may think from this, that everyone in the world is being referred to.
      But notice that the great crowd is described in the same way...

      "9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, **of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues,** standing before the throne and before the Lamb...) (Rev.7)

      Is the Great Crowd, the whole planet? No.
      Look at how the anointed priests and kings of God are described....

      "9 And they sang a new song, saying:
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      10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
      And we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev.5)

      They are not the whole world either.
      So they too, are described as "from all nations", but they are not the whole world.
      When Rev.14:6 tells us that the good news will be preached "to all those who dwell on the earth"... the word that was translated "earth", also means, a particular land and is occupied by people.
      In Revelation, the "earth" is not the "sea".
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      Gal.3:28-29 agrees;
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      Rom.4: "16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham"
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      He said;
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      Rev.1: "3 Happy is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near."
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