I few weeks ago, I went on a web site of a ministry I’ve been interested in the last few years and I watched with great interest the video called “The Man who Changed”. http://www.ptm.org/manwhochanged/default.htm
If I understand correctly, this man, Ralph Woodrow, wrote a book in the 1960s about the supposed connection between some of the current beliefs and practices of so called “Christendom” and the ancient world of Babylon. A lot of his information was obtained from another older book called “the Two Babylons” by Alexander Hislop"
It seems though, that after a couple decades, Mr. Woodrow learned that what he had been led to believe through the writings of Hislop, even though they seemed extremely well documented, were in actuality, not accurate. By this time Mr. Woodrow himself had gained a certain amount of fame for his book called “The Babylon Connection” the book sold over 400,000 copies and many people read it and quoted it as if it were Gospel. Much like the book by Hislop had been.
Why, do I find this story so interesting? Because the Watchtower Society also quoted from Hislops book in their publications. They even went so far as to publish and distribute the book. This book had something they wanted. It contained the necessary “ammunition” to dismantle the teachings of the Catholic church and by extension, the teachings of all of “Christendom” I guess it didn’t really matter if it was true or not. How ironic. An organization that refers to itself as “the truth” promoting something untrue.
This problem runs very deep in the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Some of the publications are chalked full of quotations from so called experts. But when you look into some of these “experts” you find that either their quotes are taken out of context, or the person being quoted doesn’t really believe what they are being portrayed as believing.
I think there is a valuable lesson to be learned here, and it is this. Do we take someone's word for something without bothering to check the facts for ourselves? How many similar mistakes are being made today by Churches or Religions who rely on the writings of men. Whether it be the writings of the early Church Fathers, or some more modern evangelist or smooth talker.
One thing I feel is certain. If, and when we are dealing with the teachings of men. We need to walk carefully. We need to feel free to test what we hear with what Gods word says. We also need to let ourselves be guided by Gods Spirit, and not some human organization or philosophy, no mater how good it may sound.
“But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good” 1 Th. 5:21 (NASB)