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Jehovah's speaker: World is 'terminally diseased'

by David Cole
| April 19, 2010 9:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - David Madsen, a district overseer for the Jehovah's Witnesses, said the world is very sick from head to toe, morally and spiritually.

"Its organs, the political systems, religious organizations, and commercial institutions are terminally diseased," said Madsen, who spoke Sunday at the annual circuit assembly for Jehovah's Witnesses from North Idaho. The event was at North Idaho College, and ran both Saturday and Sunday, with the theme "Safeguard Your Spirituality."

Madsen said the way to avoid the disease of this world is to maintain a strong linkage with God, who's name is Jehovah, a linkage that he said is the roadway to eternity.

"This world's poisonous air, false teachings, speeches, reasonings and philosophies (are), if you look closely at them, in direct opposition to our father's way of thinking and can infect us like gangrene," he said.

He advised the audience not to wait until the last minute to avoid what can lead to spiritual sickness.

"The reason we say that is because gangrene brings rapid death to body tissue," he said. "And similarly, doubts and complaints can engulf your faith. It's much like the uniform advice given to anyone facing any looming disaster: The advice is always 'Get out as soon as possible.'"

Madsen's address, titled "Maintaining Spiritual Health in a Sick World," was the event highlight. Madsen is a traveling representative of Jehovah's Witnesses, a religious group commonly known for its door-to-door ministry.

The circuit here covers the area from Bonners Ferry to Grangeville, and has about 2,200 to 2,500 people.

The circuit assembly "is an opportunity for all of us to get together to be instructed," said Floyd Rogers, a Hayden resident and Coeur d'Alene congregation elder. Nearly 800 people were in attendance for Madsen's talk, Rogers said.

The weekend attendees received "encouragement to keep active in our faith," Rogers said. "This is a program that's put together by the teaching committee at our headquarters" in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The event was open to the public, but much of it was geared toward the Witness population, Rogers said.

During the weekend there were presentations by local congregation elders, focusing on the dangers to the spirituality of Jehovah's Witnesses, and what they can do to counteract those dangers for protection, whether as individuals, couples, or families, Rogers said.

In general, he said, the goal of the religion is to help people understand the Bible.

"We place a lot of emphasis on the Bible, and its benefit in our life," Rogers said. "The Bible is a practical guide for us today, even though it's an old book."

Sunday, Madsen said the best way to maintain spiritual health is to "feast" on Bible scriptures and materials published by Jehovah's Witnesses, regularly exercise the faith, and get routine spiritual checkups such as that made available at the weekend's circuit assembly.

Among other beliefs, Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus Christ is God's son and is inferior to him, that Christ died on a stake, not a cross, and that the human soul ceases to exist at death. They also believe people today are now in the "time of the end," the Earth will never be destroyed or depopulated, Satan is the invisible ruler of the world, and that God will eliminate the present system of things in the battle at "Har-Magedon."

There's hope for some, Madsen said.

"Despite the world's woes, we here today along with many other honest-hearted people share a bright hope for the future."

Next weekend the same program will be offered, with the same speakers, Rogers said.

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