Are Jehovah's Witnesses fundamentalists?

by Celestial 26 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Celestial
    Celestial

    I Googled the phrase and a Q & A from their official media web site appeared within the first few hits:

    http://www.jw-media.org/aboutjw/article32.htm

    Are you fundamentalists?

    While we have strong religious convictions, we are not fundamentalists in the sense that the term has come to be used. We do not believe that every passage in the Bible is to be interpreted literally. We do not pressure political leaders to promote a certain point of view, nor do we resort to demonstrations and violence against those who disagree with us. The Bible teaches Christians to be kind, good, mild, and reasonable—qualities that do not allow for the kind of fanaticism that is sometimes associated with fundamentalism.—James 3:17.

  • ZeusRocks
    ZeusRocks

    There are a few definitions of what a fundamentalist is.

    One definition is "strict adherence to any set of basic ideas or principles". If you went by that definition, then I would class the Watchtower Society as fundamentalists at least in some core teachings (not everything since they like to change their minds every so often).

  • Phizzy
    Phizzy

    No, they do not have fun. Now, the mentalist bit.........

  • Wizard of Oz
    Wizard of Oz

    Just before my wife and I became estranged, an ex witness wrote a book,"SEX in the SECT". I suggested that where there was smoke there was fire, but NO; "She must have done something to get disfellowed and is carrying a grudge. Jehovah's people aren't like that."

    FUN- DE-MENTAL

    I think that's a meaning for Fun of/with the Mentally Different. Yeah I've decided; They are Fundementalists orrite!!

    L'n'T.........woz

  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions

    Yes, they are.

    And I love how when the dictionary doesn't provide a definition that fits their worldview, e.g. "generation" or "fundamentalist" they feel free to come up with their own. Pretty neat trick!

  • leavingwt
    leavingwt

    They're a high-control group who believe the Bible is without error.

  • undercover
    undercover

    I love how when the dictionary doesn't provide a definition that fits their worldview, e.g. "generation" or "fundamentalist" they feel free to come up with their own. Pretty neat trick!

    Yea... I've noticed on many of these FAQs that the WTS redefines the term (fundamentalism, only JWs to be saved, creation, etc) to whatever they want it to mean so they can answer in a way that puts them in a more positive light, yet never really answers the question.

  • simon17
    simon17

    Easy test for Christian Fundamentalism:

    Do you believe the Genesis account is literal? If yes, then you are. If no, then you're not.

    JW's fall into a very weird in-between area and basically get stuck with the problems of both sides. They strictly believe some of the ridiculous stories to be literal (Flood real, man 6000 years old, Adam and Eve real people) but then randomly interpret some of it figuratively (Earth *could* be billions of years old, or at least "many thousands" lol).

  • Diest
    Diest

    I would agree with what Simon Says.

  • Knowsnothing
    Knowsnothing

    Disfellowshipping? Fundamentalists.

    Also, this statement is misleading:

    We do not believe that every passage in the Bible is to be interpreted literally.

    A fundamentalist does not mean you interpret every passage in the Bible to be literal. The key is which passages they interpret as literal, such as the impossible Flood.

  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions

    Yeah, just clarify a bit on what you interpret as "literal". . .

    Flood, talking snake, etc. = literal

    Dragon, hallucinated beasts, etc. = not literal

    Oh yeah, I forgot. . .

    144,000 = literal

  • mindseye
    mindseye

    I always went back and forth as to whether JWs are fundamentalists. There seems to be an obvious political element to most fundamentalist groups. JWs avoid this, as they don't vote, lobby, or protest to keep evolution and other things from being taught in public school. But using the wikipedia definition of Fundamentalism - a strict adherence to specific theological doctrines usually understood as a reaction against Modernist theology - I would definitely classify the Witnesses as fundamentalists.

    The term comes from an series of Protestant publications from the early 20th century called the Fundamentals. In addition to attacking 'evolutionism', higher criticism, and liberal theology, these early Fundamentalists also attacked the early Bible Students who eventually became Jehovah's Witnesses.

  • skeeter1
    skeeter1

    I think fundamentalists try to live as close to possible up to an "ideal". We can have a Muslim fundamentalist, a Jewish fundamentalist . . how do those differ from a Christian fundamentalist? The don't. Just different ideals.

    The Jehovah's Witnesses are definately trying to live up to a perfect ideal. An ideal of a "True Christian"; complete with women can only wear dresses and skirts to the knees and 30 magic hours a month make you a blessed person for pioneering!

    So, yes, JWs are fundamentalist.

    Skeeter

  • blondie
    blondie

    I think the WTS really hones in on the 24 hour creative day that some fundamentalists believe; but then the old 7,000 year creative day and the now ambigious thousands of years, is not much better.

  • undercover
    undercover

    I think the WTS really hones in on the 24 hour creative day that some fundamentalists believe; but then the old 7,000 year creative day and the now ambigious thousands of years, is not much better.

    The WTS is in a pickle when it comes to creation. Creationists, the literal 6 day folk, make the WTS squirm. Because those people come off looking like loonies. The WTS doesn't want to be associated with that, so they denounce the Creationists as too literal and not taking science into account. Yet they conveniently overlook their own history of promoting 7,000 year long "days".

    What they hope no one notices is that in the course of millions and millions of years, there's not a big difference between the Creationists account of creation vs the WTS account. They're only separated by 43,000 or so years.

  • LongHairGal
    LongHairGal

    Celestial:

    I do consider them to be but they may not see themselves as such. They don't like that term and want to distinguish themselves from other christian sects. Even though they supposedly don't interpret every bible passage as literal, they are too changeable with their beliefs. They are like an amoeba that changes shape when it suits them.

    I once was friends with a man who called JWs part of "radical christianity". So, that about says it all.

  • JeffT
    JeffT

    Just about everybody that calls himself a fundamentalist these days will tell you that 2 of those fundamentals are a belief in the Trinity and belief in Salvation by Grace alone. JW's do not accept either one of these.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    There are so many ways of defining fundamentalism. Rather than describe their views, they are highly insulting to other fundies. They go further than I would. Someone did a study of Supreme Court's use of definitions in their opinions. They use about ten different dictionaries and the usage coincides with what strengthens their argument rather than a belief that any one dictionary, including the Oxford English, is the best.

    They are outside the Fundamentalist movement in the United States. They are outside every movement, however. We know their emphasis is on WT lit rather than the Bible. I would love to know the scriptures they do not take literally. It would be easier to exclude. I see only literal interpretations. Well-the prophecies give them free license.

    In my opinion, they are more fundamentalist than not fundamentalist.

  • TOTH
    TOTH

    Fundementalist implies that they have their beliefs rooted in some valid teaching or set of values and they stick to the basics of that teaching. Following the teachings of the wt does not qualify. IMHO anyways...

  • Witness 007
    Witness 007

    They took the "Fun" out of "Funamentalist."

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