Why do Jehovah's Witnesses always answer questions through the bible?
Recently I've been researching Jehovah's Witnesses and their beliefs and found out that they don't believe in blood transfusions. So, I've asked one of my friends who is a JW as to what is the reason for this, and so far, they had always directed me to a bible verse that is in their bible.
Clearly, I wasn't getting anywhere and so far, it's pretty much frustrating to even make my friend give me reasonable reason. When I was getting somewhere, even a smidgen, they would answer with a question. So you can get why I'm getting a little frustrated.
So, why do Jehovah's Witnesses always answer questions through the bible?
The reason I've asked this question is because I'm trying to get people (the friend stated above is one of them) I know who are JWs that their religion is surely not what it seems to be.
I've read Crisis of Conscience by Raymond Franz and let's just say it is the most shocking thing I've read. Ever.
It felt like I reading a horror story but the events actually happened to people. Like not with monsters and ghosts, but mere ruining their lives.
Also, is there any advice or tips that can be given to help me do this?
I really don't want these people I know experience what these people in CoC experienced.
You have to keep asking questions that they can’t answer, for example about the blood transfusion topic you may ask about how jesus said in Mathew chapter 12 when taking about the sabbath and or helping people he said “we desire mercy not sacrifice “ you may ask how does this not apply to the blood doctrine?
Also mathew 15 he says “nothing entering into a man can defile him “, so again ask how does this not apply to blood?
Another thought is in Leviticus chapter 17 theres a scripture about how it’s ok to eat an animal found already dead and you would only be unclean until evening. An animal already dead it’s blood can not effectively be drained well , there would still be much blood left in the meat and organs. Anyway asking these questions you can only hope that a light bulb comes on in the mind of the one your talking to and they start to think.
It may take years of these little events before the person truly wakes up.
I'm not a Witnesses. I'm a historian. Personal narratives tell the story as the author would have it, not always as it is. Approach them all with caution, both the favorable and the unfavorable.
The Witness religion is bibliocentric. They will answer from the Bible because their beliefs are derived from it. This is not to say that everything they see as Biblically correct is so. But they think it is, and when they explain a belief they will do so from the Bible. Take the Bible from the equation and the religion has no reason for being.
A more neutral approach - and more scholarly approach - to Witness belief and practice are Zoe Knox's Jehovah's Witnesses and the Secular World and George Chryssides' Jehovah's Witnesses: Continuity and Change. Neither book is totally free from error, but they are largely so, and both are written by scholars with an academic rather than polemic interest. Both books are very, very expensive. I recommend Interlibrary Loan.
If you want something that details the very earliest years of the Watch Tower, then I recommend [shameless plug] Schulz and de Vienne: Separate Identity, vol 1. This is not nearly as expensive.
Approaching the study of any religion though the work of disaffected members or anti cult activists will mislead you.
Jehovahs Witnesses believe in something called " sola scripture" that is that the Bible is the perfect and infallible word of God. The problem with that is that the bible has many inconsistencies and anyway each religion interprets the bible in various ways, not to mention the many various translations including the JW "New world translation" which has several notable changes to other translations.
Because of the various interpretations, Most Christian faiths allow, to a certain degree, the use of ones own conscience. Not so the Witnesses. They must absolutely believe and follow the dictates of their governing body who call themselves "the faithfull and discrete slave." It is because they say you must abstain from blood that Witnesses do so. If the Governing Body were to change their minds tomorrow, so would the Witnesses.JWs beliefs have nothing to do with their own conscience and that is what is so frightening - and that is why they are a cult - that 8 men have absolute power over their lives. Literally, in the case of the blood doctrine.
These men have never proven they are gods anointed....they just say they are. Far from it, in fact, as they have wrongly predicted Armageddon would come in 1878, 1914, 1925, 1975 as well as " in this 20th century".
Ask your friend if tommorrow the* GB gave orders all blood products were acceptable, would she too say they were ok. The answer will be yes, so then ask her should a Christian not use their own conscience, just as Paul said we should ?
* Edited to say If she insists this would never happen tell her it happened with organ transplants. They GB changed their minds and said they were no longer " canabalism" . We have members of this board whose relatives died, just prior to this change of mind, from refusing a kidney transplant.
Much of it stems from out dated and nutty amateur ideas of medicine watchtower presidents held: such as vaccinations being quackery and wrong, and that there have been " well documented instances of women changing into men". Just two examples!! Research Jwfacts.com for more.
Academics vs non-academics on occasion will come to roughly the same conclusion in some matters. Such is the case with JW's.
JW's, and especially their ruling GB, must be judged against their current and historical claims.Both those who use to be JW's (or "disaffected members", likely those who are shunned for the simple act of disagreement I imagine) or "anti cult activists" (those who correctly point out the dead from those who weren't really able to take blood medicine and still keep an active status within JW's, or perhaps those who have been molested by cult leaders) often provide real time and real life experiences into what the day to day is like.
Though not scholarly, I would politely disagree with vienne's comment above about how "misleading" such source information is. While vienne is well within his rights to point out how outliers like "six screens of WT" will latch on to ANY story, regardless of veracity, to discredit JW's, most who leave and blog simply tell their story. Like a puzzle, piece them together, and most reasonable people will see a picture come together. That picture of course, is that JW's are a cult....
A scholarly study is just that. An examination of writings, dogma, and changes through the years. That too disproves JW/WT/GB teachings, unless you have been inoculated from these changes by buying into "new light" and all that goes with it.
My comments are motivated by vienne's closing statement: "Approaching the study of any religion though the work of disaffected members or anti cult activists will mislead you." This is as false as claiming that a study of the Nixon presidency via the claims of John Dean was void because he was once a member of the Nixon administration. Far from it, his first hand accounts laid bare the true nature of the beast. So it is with former JW's and the light they hold up against the former cult they belonged to and their ruling, idiotic, despotic, governing body.
I appreciate the help. But the more I ask questions, it just seems it's not going anywhere unfortunately.
Right now, we're on the topic of 1914. And I know that 1914 is very looked upon due to Armageddon was suppose to happen. Obviously, it never did and nothing significant happened that time but WWI. I'm at the very near to take the conversation we're having on the topic of false prophecy that relates to the current topic of 1914.
I just don't know what type of questions to ask without seeming so blunt and distasteful of their religion.
Apologies for my comments. This is your topic you started, so I will stay on topic...
I think you are on to something when you noted "When I was getting somewhere, even a smidgen, they would answer with a question. So you can get why I'm getting a little frustrated."
My comments are, don't look for logic where it doesn't exist, and don't use logic where it is not welcome or useful.
Most reasonable people know that JW's are just a little off. (ok, a lot off) JW's dodge questions when their initial answer isn't accepted. In other words, they are shallow. They are taught and trained to go two levels deep, if you will. Even when there are many more levels.
Elders are taught to give up at a certain point when talking to potential "apostates". They know that if the argument gets too deep, they'll be discredited. So there is a bit of a poison pill built into how far JW's will try to win. If you continue to go further and educate them, it is likely you will be rebuffed.
Sometimes, you can plant seeds of real truth (ironic, since that is what JW's claim they do all the time) but it takes a while. There is no immediate satisfaction in arguing or debating with a JW, because you are dealing with insidious indoctrination that frankly takes months or years to get over. Few ever do.
I appreciate the comments. Really do. However, I feel like my friend still has reasonable doubts of what they believe in. So that's why I feel as though there can be some immediate responses here. It's not physically shown, but it's like they are slowly breaking their closed walls.
Yes, I've mentioned they answer questions with questions. But as soon as we keep talking, it's like they start to contradict what they've previously said to me earlier. And when I put them on the spot for it, it's like they feel embarrassed if that's the correct term for.
I feel there is some sort of hope that I'll be able to make them see the real truth. I just need to know what is the next approach.
Go to: Bridget fromAZ on Youtube
I've plugged this youtube channel before, but listening to this christian's phone witnessing to JWs will help give you ideas. She also believes Sola scriptura, but knows JWs and Watchtower more than many who used to be JWs. She tries to be kind, and 99% of the time is very nice. JWs push buttons, and every once in a while you can see it gets to her. She shares scriptures with them, when they don't hang up! The Bible is usually what wakes up JWs, but sometimes it's non-biblical stuff like evolution or science.
Hope this helps and Good Luck. Here's one on blood:
So, why do Jehovah's Witnesses always answer questions through the bible?
It's what they claim they base all their believes on. They aren't the only religion who believe that everything they preach comes from the bible.
It doesn't at all, however. They have gazillions of publications and meeting to discuss and interpret the bible, hence, it's merely interpretations like other religion that uses the bible as their official guide.
... I'm trying to get people (the friend stated above is one of them) I know who are JWs that their religion is surely not what it seems to be.
First, why on Earth do you want to intervene in people's private life decisions without their permission to change their religious believes? What exactly is your intention? And who are you to get into people's matters like that?
I can't care less about the WT and their believes, but that doesn't entitle me to intervene in other people's decisions.
Furthermore, the first thing you should know about your friends, before anything related to doctrine and the bible is WHY DID THEY JOIN? You don't think that they entered that organization knowing all that bible nonsense, right? Then there have to be reasons for them to join. That's what you should look for if you have a real interest in their well being.
Good friends love their friends unconditionally and respect boundaries and their decisions, and love them anyway. Just sayin'.