I couldn't have done better myself-Danny Haszard
The Commitment of Jehovah’s Witnesses click to send your response
Cayman Net News, Cayman Islands - 12 minutes ago
According to page 12 of the Watchtower published 15 February 1983, “Jehovah is using only one organization today to accomplish his will. ...
The Commitment of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Wednesday, June 7, 2006
According to page 12 of the Watchtower published 15 February 1983, “Jehovah is using only one organization today to accomplish his will. To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it.”
When Charles Russell founded the Jehovah’s Witnesses (1852-1916), who could have told him that the group would have had such a committed following in 2006?
He did not have any formal theological training. However he tried his best to sincerely convey the truth.
He predicted that Armageddon would take place in 1914. Somehow he got his dates a little mixed up and corrected it to 1915. He was able to realize that Armageddon did not take place, since he died one year later.
A kind gentleman, Joseph Rutherford stepped up to the plate to continue the work. He discovered very early that God would destroy churches in 1918. The vast majority of Christians would be killed. Being the wise man he was, he therefore encouraged people to escape the impending doom by joining Watchtower.
Just in case things did not go as predicted, 1920 was eventually given as a definite year by which destruction would come to all who did not join Watchtower.
Loyal adherents soon discovered that the date setting thing could raise suspicion and eyebrows. They wisely worked therefore with the Bible. However there was a problem!
The King James’ version had teachings which could contradict their ‘truth.’ The New World Translation version was therefore designed. I make use of my copy in the interest of not misquoting.
In your bible, St. John 1:1 would read something like this: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In the New World Translation, it reads, “In the beginning the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.”
This is because Jesus the Christ is not considered Deity in the theological tradition of this group. The orthodox teaching on Trinity would be abhorred.
Perhaps one of the most admirable things about the group is its willingness to change ideas. For example in 1916, the _expression ‘Higher Powers’ in Romans 13:1 referred to governments. However by 1943 they were wiling and open to change that to referring to Jehovah God and Jesus Christ. In the same spirit of willingness this was fortunately reverted to governments in 1964.
This is commendable. How many religious groups would be willing to make these changes? By the same token, ‘Lord’ in Romans 10:12-16 referred to Jesus in 1903. It then referred to Jehovah in 1940. This spirit of truth then returned to using ‘Jesus’ as the meaning in 1978.
The last change was in 1980, when it went back to Jehovah.
Many people criticise them for their marketing abilities especially during prime family time, both for themselves and their prospective customers. How many of us can claim to be even close to this degree of commitment in our own community of faith?
Currently it is anybody’s guess as to when the separating of the ‘sheep and the goats’ as referenced in Matthew 25:31-46, will be realized.
The latest position is that it will take place after the tribulation; although in 1923 it supposedly would take place before the tribulation.
It must take a tremendous leap of faith to hold such beliefs as that of the 144,000 who alone will go to heaven. This is supported by an interpretation of Revelation 7:4 which reads, “Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.”
The more sceptical may be inclined to ask such questions as, “Is it taking so long for this number to be reached? When will they know that the 144,000 has been reached? When it is reached, should the remaining disciples just settle with inhabiting the earth?” What about Jamaica with its many churches per square mile – will none of those persons make the 144,000?
Some may even go as far as asking what about Revelation 7:9 where the word states, “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb…”
The more well known practices of this committed body of believers include abstention from voting in civil politics; no celebration of things like birthdays, Christmas, and Easter; no blood transfusion; no singing of the National Anthem; no handling of the flag; no involvement in the praying or devotional activity of others, since this would grieve Jehovah.
When I was in high school I had friends who got around the birthday matter by accepting the gift on the day after.
About eight years ago I was in my office when two of these dear souls came to bring me the truth. Our conversation went like this:
Witnesses: “We are in the area sharing with the friends. We wanted to ask you, ‘what do you know about Jesus’?” Response: “Well he was a Jew, who was committed to his faith in God and the service of humanity.”
Witness: “You said he was a Jew. Are you saying he was not a Christian?”
Response: “You are wise. That is correct. Jesus was never a Christian.”
Witness: “You mean to tell me that this is how they have people like you telling people in the Cayman Islands that Jesus was never a Christian?”
Response: “They actually do.”
You may disagree with these two evangelists. Regardless of what you may think about them, remember they could only have given what they had. They were honest, tired, thirsty, and above all unswerving in their truth. How many of us would be so bold?
You have probably seen that little quip, “another great mind, destroyed by education.” Is this the reason why studying at the tertiary level is discouraged by Watchtower? To be continued...