Well Jesus said that his followers would be persectued on account of his name. JW's claim they are persecuted because of Jehovah's name. The bible gives a definition of what a true religion is, it is one that takes care of the widows and orphans. Since the JW organization does very little in charity work I believe that excludes them right off the bat. being "no part of the world" is rather vague and can mean anything from complete separation like the Amish, to selective separaion like the JW's.
Research question on "true religion"--for exWitnesses
By the way, what are the other 5 criteria according to the WT Society?
I have actually found 7 items I felt were worth mentioning. Six were contained within a single book, "What Does The Bible Really Teach?" under the heading "How To Identify The True Religion." (I have the 2005 CD ROM) Here they are, with a brief evaluation of each.
1. God's servants base their teachings on the Bible.
This merely limits the playing field to Christianity. There's more than 1500 denominations in the U.S. alone as I understand it. There is no reliable way to no which of them teaches a theology which is most accurate.
2. Those who practice the true religion worship only Jehovah and make his name known.
Jehovah is a transliteration of Yahweh. So this would actually seem to disqualify the Society. (Hey, they're the ones who brought the list to our attention!) But the Society reasons that "Jehovah" is better due to consistency with common usage. I say, bull-cookies! It's not "The true religion will spread the name of God...or whatever name they prefer is also fine, too." That undermines the whole point. Jesus used "father" and "God" more than he used Yahweh in the Bible. What better example of consistency can there be than Jesus' own? And when he taught his disciples how to pray, Jesus used "father," not Yahweh or Jehovah. Several denominations engage in active door-to-door preaching, and both the Catholic's alone have converted millions with their early missionary works throughout history. It's because of them, and other early Protestant missionaries, that Christianity is the largest religion in the world today. Directly and indirectly, they have all converted far more people than the Society has.
3. God's people show genuine, unselfish love for one another.
The article focuses on refusal to serve in the military as their greatest example. But now, the Society allows this! There are still other religions that totally refuse military service. They would seem to be better examples of this virtue. It doesn't say, "unselfish love for one another unless Caesar asks you to kill other Christians." The Society also eschews other goodly works, like charities, while shunning those who are spiritually weak.
4. True Christians accept Jesus Christ as God's means of salvation.
Don't all Christians claim to do this?
5. True worshipers are no part of the world.
The Society is hardly the only one that does this. In fact, the Anabaptist faiths like Mennonites, Amish, and Hutterites do it better. The Church of God and Christadelphians go about it in a similar fashion to the Society. All 5 refuse to serve in the world's armies, which the Society used to do, and they avoid political entanglements.
6. If a person is loved by God, he will be hated by the world. (I got this one elsewhere because the Witnesses love to trot it out too)
The Mormons, Waldensians, and the Anabaptist faiths have suffered as badly as the Witnesses. The latter two were persecuted and executed for centuries by the Catholic Church and the governments of their day. In fact, most small, "cult-like" sects have sufferd some forms of hatred, are no part of the world, and avoid military service as well.
In the end, the list is too vague to be useful. None of them point to the Society and a couple cast some doubt on their claims.
Sorry about the spelling errors, I think I must be dyslexic or something. I sometimes reverse word spellings when I'm writing in a hurry. Even easy ones, like "no" for "know." Very sad for a writer-wannabe.
I think I have what I need on this one now. I've cleaned up the section I was worried about and should be near completing the essay. I had started it with the intent of keeping it personal, but thought I might post it someday. (I even explain that in the essay) Since you guys helped and this is surely an appropriate place for it, I'll try uploading it here as a PDF the way some suggested. If anyone catches a mistake, I'll be able to make corrections and provide a second edition later on.
Don't mean to toot my own horn or anything, but if I cleaned my post to Junction-Guy up a little about the 7 signs of the True Religion, maybe I should put it in the "Best of" section? Others might find this abbreviated article useful in writing their own "Why I left and won't come back to the WT" papers. These "fruits" of the True Religion are a favorite of JWs, and this kinda smacks it in the noggin, you know?
Thanks a lot for helping me with the finishing touches, and for the encouragement. Glad Tall Penguin pointed me to this board!