When I saw the recent Watchtower article Exposed: Six Myths About Christianity, I’ll admit that I was intrigued. The tag line encourages the reader to “With an open mind, compare with God’s Word—the source of truth—what you have been taught about Christianity.”
The six “myths” they address include three Biblical doctrines that are actually held by Christians and three heresies that are as foreign to Biblical Christianity as the Hajj. Their list of great Christian myths is woefully inaccurate, because half aren’t Christian and the other half aren’t myths.
Today, I’ll address the first three.
1 & 2. Immortality of the Soul & an Eternal, Literal Hell
Based on a quotation from The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Jehovah’s Witnesses allege that the Christian belief that the human soul survives after physical death is based on Greek philosophy rather than the Bible.To bolster this idea, they quote Ezekiel 18:4, which says, “[…] The soul who sins shall die” (NKJV). The implication is that because the soul dies, it ceases to exist. But this is inconsistent with the rest of the Bible, which teaches death as separation. Among other passages, Ecclesiastes 12:7; Matthew 12:46; and I Corinthians 15:12-19 address the fact that the soul survives physical death. A further reading indicates that their real intention is to attack the idea of an eternal, literal Hell.
They further allege that Hell comes from Christians who adapted the teachings of Plato during the Second Century. But the idea of an immortal soul, a Heaven, and a Hell are not Second Century inventions. Jesus Himself said,
“And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire—where ‘Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched'” (Mark 9:47-48, NKJV).
“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels […]’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:41,46, NKJV).
3. Eternal Rewards for the Good
Many who profess to be Christians believe that “good people” go to Heaven. Real Christians don’t believe there are any “good people,” at least not by God’s standards. When the Watchtower attacked the so-called Christian myth that “All Good People Go to Heaven,” I was fully prepared to address this by pointing out that Christianity doesn’t teach that; pop-culture theology does.
But they went a different direction, attacking not the “good people” part, but the “Heaven” part. I briefly forgot that in their system only a few―144,000 if I recall correctly―make it to Heaven; everyone else gets a restored, earthly paradise. The Bible makes no such claim. In fact in Revelation chapter 7, the 144,000 are named as Jews who are sealed during the Tribulation (vv. 1-8). This cannot be the limit on the number of people in Heaven, as the very next verse after the end of the description of the 144,000 says that the people in God’s presence (in Heaven) will be so numerous that no man could count them (vv. 9-12)! Yet John could count to 144,000.
But back to my original point: while the Jehovah’s Witnesses attack the so-called Christian myth that all good people go to Heaven, Christianity teaches that there are no “good” people and that people only get into Heaven because Christ paid the penalty for their sins.