Who Are Doing Jehovah’s Will Today? is a Watchtower Publication that can be found online at JW.org.
Lesson 1 from this publication asks the question; ‘What Sort of People Are Jehovah’s Witnesses?’
It offers three answers. 1) We are ordinary people 2) We benefit from studying the Bible 3) We live by Godly values.
This article seeks to examine these three answers in light of what else is known about Jehovah’s Witnesses.
1) We are ordinary people. We come from various backgrounds and social conditions. Some of us formerly practiced a different religion, while others did not believe in God. Before becoming Witnesses, however, all of us took the time to examine carefully the teachings of the Bible. (Acts 17:11) We agreed with what we learned, and then we made a personal choice to worship Jehovah God. (‘What Sort of People Are Jehovah’s Witnesses?’)
It is sad but true that many who join Jehovah’s Witnesses were once in church. They may have been to Sunday School or sat through many sermons, but they never really knew what they believed or why they believed it. Consequently, when they have come into contact with the JWs on their doorstep, they have had no defence. To those who have not been taught what the Bible really teaches, cults are a real danger. The JWs, using their Bible, can very quickly convince a person that what the churches teach is clearly not the same as what the Bible teaches.
For the unsuspecting, the offer of a free home Bible study is very appealing. What they fail to realise is that the ‘Bible Study’ is actually a ‘Watchtower Book Study’. So rather than these ‘ordinary people’ taking ‘time to examine carefully the teachings of the Bible’ they are being indoctrinated with The Watchtower interpretation of the Bible. This is very different from the verse they cite Acts 17:11 ‘Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.’
As the following quotes show you need The Watchtower to interpret the Bible for you:
“Only this organization functions for Jehovah’s purpose and to his praise. To it alone God’s Sacred Word, the Bible, is not a sealed book,” (Watchtower, July 1, 1973, p. 402)
“Thus the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible,” (Watchtower, Oct. 1, 1967, p. 587).
“We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ organization,” (Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1981).
That individuals end up agreeing with Watchtower theology is clearly shown in the final sentence. ‘We agreed with what we learned, and then we made a personal choice to worship Jehovah God’.
To study the Bible independently, without the help of Watchtower publications, would never lead to a person making the decision ‘to worship Jehovah God’. Though some Christians erroneously use the name Jehovah for God, it is not his name. Only studying Watchtower publications, rather than the Bible, would lead to a person making ‘a personal choice to worship Jehovah God’.
2) We benefit from studying the Bible. Like everyone else, we have to deal with problems and our own weaknesses. But by trying to apply Bible principles in our everyday lives, we have experienced a marked improvement in our quality of life. (Psalm 128:1, 2) That is one reason why we share with others the good things that we have learned from the Bible. (‘What Sort of People Are Jehovah’s Witnesses?’)
There is no doubt that studying the Bible and living out its principles does benefit people. Even for those who join ‘Christian’ cults like JWs/Mormons, can have a marked improvement in the quality of their lives. There exists within these groups a strong morality, friendship, loving concern and a secure support network. The problem is that many of the principles they live by are really non-biblical principles taught as biblical principles.
Take for example the following ’non-Biblical’ principles that JWs must follow: Not allowed to have a blood transfusion; cannot celebrate Christmas or Birthdays; must ‘publish the Good News’ (go door to door) in order to please Jehovah; cannot disagree with the teachings of the Watchtower for fear of being disfellowshipped.
These are the ‘good things’ that they claimed to have learned from the Bible that they are to share with others! Is that really ‘Good News’?
3) We live by godly values. These values, as taught in the Bible, promote well-being and respect for others, along with such qualities as honesty and kindness. They contribute to the development of healthy and productive members of society, and they encourage family unity and morality. Convinced that “God is not partial,” we belong to a spiritual brotherhood that is truly international, free of racial and political barriers. Although we are ordinary, we make up a unique people.—Acts 4:13; 10:34, 35. (‘What Sort of People Are Jehovah’s Witnesses?’)
Let us consider some the adjectives used here for the JWs:
Honest – Are JWs always honest people?
The WT teaches a strategy known as ‘Theocratic Warfare’ which teaches the JWs that is okay to lie or withhold the truth from certain people.
“As a soldier of Christ he is in theocratic warfare and he must exercise added caution when dealing with God’s foes. Thus the Scriptures show that for the purpose of protecting the interest of God’s cause, it is proper to hide the truth from God’s enemies.” (The Watchtower, June 1st, 1960 p.352)
Kind – Are JWs always kind to people?
Perhaps the cruelest of all WT doctrines is the disfellowshipping (shunning) of former members. This cruel practice results in family break ups, mental breakdown and suicides. How they can say that ‘they encourage family unity…’ is mindboggling. Consider this quote from The Watchtower – July 15th 2011 (p.31,32)
“Suppose, for example, that the only son of an exemplary Christian couple leaves the truth. Preferring “the temporary enjoyment of sin” to a personal relationship with Jehovah and with his godly parents, the young man is disfellowshipped. … the Bible says “to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator. … They also realise that the word “anyone” in this verse includes family members not living under their roof. … Our hearts go out to those parents. After all, their son had a choice, and he chose to pursue his unchristian lifestyle rather than to continue to enjoy close association with his parents and other fellow believers. The parents, on the other hand, had no say in the matter. … But what will those dear parents do? Will they obey Jehovah’s clear direction? Or will they rationalize that they can have regular association with the disfellowshipped son and call it, “necessary family business”? In making their decision, they must not fail to consider how Jehovah feels about what they are doing. … Today, Jehovah does not immediately execute those who violate his laws. He lovingly gives them an opportunity to repent from their unrighteous works. How would Jehovah feel, though, if the parents of an unrepentant wrongdoer kept putting Him to the test by having unnecessary association with their disfellowshipped son or daughter?”
Kind? Loving? Clearly not!
They say that ‘God is not partial’, but The Watchtower clearly is. Any who question the Watchtower’s teaching, any who do not do what The Watchtower says, any who have an ‘independent’ spirit, will soon find out ‘What sort of people Jehovah’s Witnesses are’
‘What sort of people are Jehovah’s Witnesses? Jehovah’s Witnesses are not ordinary people who study the Bible and live by godly values as this booklet would have you believe. Instead they are Watchtower slaves who need to be set free in the name of Jesus.