The Tragedy of Living and Dying in a False Religion

The Tragedy of Living and Dying in a False Religion

The interesting and fascinating account of a couple who died on the same day!

From time to time we read the interesting story of a couple who have lived their lives together and then, strangely, they die at nearly the same time. We all marvel at how close a husband and wife can be and then it seems that they can’t bear to live alone.

These kinds of stories are not frequent but when they do come, we find them interesting and inspiring.  Recently two of these stories came to light and I read of both of them.  Just now, I’m thinking of one couple and, to relate the story, I need to quote a portion of the story as it was related on the internet.

Let’s read over this amazing account of their lifetime love relationship.  We’ll be following the story of Daniel Brown, the writer:

Helen and Les Brown of Long Beach were married 75 years. They died one day apart in July 2013. Helen and Les Brown were married 75 years until their death, one day apart, last week. When Les and Helen Brown became high school sweethearts more than 75 years ago, their parents didn’t believe the match would last.

Les’ father was a businessman and prosperous landowner in Southern California. Helen’s father worked on the railroad. “Both families were not too thrilled about the union,” their son Les Brown Jr. told TODAY.com. “The good news is they proved them wrong.” . . . .

Les and Helen, who were born on the same day in 1918, celebrated 75 years of marriage in September with a quiet gathering over cake. “They really enjoyed each other’s company,” Les Jr. said. “They were really inseparable and were never apart.”

That bond was so strong that neither Les nor Helen wanted to live without each other, though they knew that the end might be imminent. Les had been sick with Parkinson’s disease for some time, and Helen was battling stomach cancer. . . .

Les recently slipped into a coma at the couple’s Long Beach, Calif., home, and hospice workers said he might live for just a few more days. Helen, who was expected to survive for some months, became very weak. She passed away on July 16. Les died the following day — he never knew about his wife’s death. They were 94 years old.

Do you find this amazing, as I do?  In some ways, it is also inspiring. We are living in a world where large numbers of people—in the millions—divorce and go their separate ways. In this case, Les and Helen continued on and on, for 75 long years! Let’s continue:

Les and Helen’s love story, first reported by the Long Beach Press-Telegram, has since gone viral. Their son Daniel told TODAY.com that his parents wouldn’t have shared the same opinion of the ensuing attention. . . .

The couple loved to travel and often took road trips up the California coast to San Francisco and Monterey. They doted on their many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They also shared a deep religious faith as Jehovah’s Witnesses, which helped them weather a difficult period of their marriage in the 1950s. “They were very forgiving of each other’s foibles and weaknesses. They were so willing to work at making themselves happy.”

Daniel said that their marriage was a testament to the power of love: “It knows no barriers and seems to know no bounds. They were from different sides of the tracks and it didn’t seem to matter to them. After 78 years, they were very much in love.” . . . .

(today.com/news/lifetime-love-couple-married-75-years-die-day-apart-6C10786498)

As you read the account above, did it shock you to read this: “They also shared a deep religious faith as Jehovah’s Witnesses. . .”? Did it not only shock you, but also disappoint you? In some ways, you and I were encouraged by the bond that this couple shared over the better part of a century. On the other hand, did it bring you an empty feeling to realize that they spent their life in a false religion, one that denies many of the basic teachings of Scripture?

Those of you who have studied the cults, particularly the Watchtower Witnesses, know that this aberrant group denies the deity of Christ, the personality of the Holy Spirit, the existence of hell, the present conscious life of those who have died, and the rightfulness of blood transfusions. They believe in annihilation of the non-Witnesses, the leadership of a small group of men in Brooklyn (their headquarters), and the idea that the Witness organization is actually “God’s organization” which is essential to belong to in order to have eternal life!

They believe that only 144,000 of them (mainly the first generation of Witnesses) will go to heaven, whereas the great majority of contemporary Witnesses will be consigned to earth for eternity. I’ve found that this is one of the most closed religious groups that profess to be Christian and the leaders are some of the most belligerent ones I’ve encountered. Furthermore, they are willing to lie (they call it “theocratic lying”) for their cause. (I’ve had a number of them lie to me over the years!)

The ironic thing about all of this is that Les and Helen (and the Watchtower organization with them) expected to be resurrected sometime in the future and then spend eternity on a renewed, verdant, and blessed earth.  But the Word of God says otherwise.  The Bible says that when one dies unprepared, he immediately goes to Hades, a place of torment, agony, and flames (Luke 16:19-31). It is a place of hopelessness and futility.  Later, at the resurrection of the body, the unsaved will go to “eternal punishment” and “eternal fire” (Matthew 25:46, 41). Of course, this is called hell or the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8).

This ironic twist of circumstances shows the reason why again and again in Scripture we read, “Do not be deceived” (1 Corinthians 6:9; cf. 15:33; Galatians 6:7; James 1:16; 1 John 3:7; Luke 21:8).  We are not only to keep from being deceived by others (especially religious leaders and false churches), but Paul admonishes us, “Let no man deceive himself” (1 Corinthians 3:18). We must not be like this devoted couple who spent a lifetime promoting a heretical and destructive religious group. We must be absolutely sure of the truth, for Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32).

But Les and Helen’s story can still inspire us to remain true and faithful to our spouse for life.  Just as they shunned all others in favor of the spouse that they originally chose, we should do likewise.  Just as they were committed to their marriage declarations and commitments, so we should do the same. Love each other, work with each other, spend time with each other, and remain with each other—until the Lord calls you home! That is the lesson that we can learn!

–Richard Hollerman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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