(THIS IS A VIDEO TRANSCRIPT. Speech of Gerrit Lösch, member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s witnesses, given in Italian during a special JW convention on May 22, 2005 in the city of Monza, near Milan, Italy.)
“Going to college or not may be a reflexion of your faith or lack of your faith, and it may indicate how present the imminence of the Great Tribulation in your mind. What is undoubtable is that the time left is reduced, as Paul said I Corintians 7:29. If you are currently going to college, why don’t you meditate in prayer on the possibility of dropping out and doing something better? But for us, who scrutinize of the meaning of the world events in the light of Bible prophecy, there are more worthy reasons for not putting worldly career first in our lives. We could liken ourselves to someone who sees a building with a sign that reads, “The company is running out of business.” Would you apply for a job there? Of course not. And if we were working for such a company, we would wisely look for a job elsewhere. Well, on all the institutions of this world lies a sing reading imminent liquidation. The end is near. Yes, the Bible assures us that the world is passing away. Therefore we will be wise, and we will not imitate those who are an integral part of it.
Now you have listened to the advise. What will you do now? Some advocate going to college by citing the example of some elders’ children who are attending college or that did so (in the past). We are not able nor willing to tell you what you should do. Your parents and you should make the decision. We are not the masters over your faith. However, the Faithful and Discreet Slave has the responsibility to warn against spiritual dangers and to encourage to put Kingdom interest first. So, the Slave discourages from going to college for a long period of time.
I have often times heard experiences of individuals who were about to complete their college programs, and who dropped out when they learned the truth. Some other baptized individuals have turned down scholarships. What will you do? What decision will you make? Will you refuse or not? Will you get a university education or not? You will be accountable to Jehovah for this. We would like to praise those in the audience who dropped out the college when they heard the truth, (as we praise) those who other listening to this talk will make the same decision. Maybe you still want to advocate the possibility of going to college. You may say, “You see Brother X going to college, and now he is serving in the congregation and is also a pioneer. “ True, he may survived college, so to speak. But what follows is a true experience of a young man who suffered from a compulsive disorder which made him wash his hands over and over again, even 100 times a day. This disorder discouraged him so much, that one day he decided to commit suicide. He bought a rifle, put it in his mouth and pulled the trigger. The bullet, however, didn’t kill him but instead perforated the part of his brain that was responsible for his compulsive disorder. He survived and after that he managed to live a normal life. Yes, its true, he survived… he survived. But would you recommend that other people imitate what that young man did? Similarly, some have survived college, but would you recommend that to others?
Instead of investing in a higher education, it would be advisable to grow in the knowledge of Jehovah. In order to start knowing the Bible better, we must read the Bible every day. Every day. Are we going to do that?”