Where Does It Say JWs Can't Read Pubs By Other Churches?

by Cold Steel 39 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Cold Steel
    Cold Steel

    Can JWs read publications by other churches? Or by atheists? I've always heard these are apostate materials.

    Or...can JWs read anything they want?

    Can they get in trouble by reading educational books like, say, a biography of Ellen G. White? Or books like The Great Controversy, which is a promotional book? Where does the Society draw the line? Can someone be disfellowshiped for reading such?

    Also, how do they break this news to a new convert? Say a new member decides he wants to read about another religion? Someone notices he's reading up on it. Do they just come out with it or do they say, "Well, you know, Brother Brown, now that you have the truth, you really don't need to waste your time reading about other religions."

    Or is it okay to read and study other religions and their beliefs? You need to understand other religions so you can discuss them intelligently?

    Is there a general rule or does each KH make it's own policy?

  • Island Man
    Island Man

    It is not explicitly stated in print as far as I'm aware. But it is alluded to. Just a few years ago there was a kingdom ministry article that advised JWs on what to say to "tactfully" refuse christian literature given to them by a householder.

    They regard literature from other churches as spiritual poison that can lead them away from the truth if they read it. They also equate accepting such literature with giving moral support to "Babylon the Great", the world empire of false religion. A JW who persists in reading or listening to religious material from other churches would be regarded as being spiritually unclean and would likely be disqualified from having any privileges in the congregation at the very least, possibly even disfellowshipped for apostasy or interfaith activities depending on the particular case and the disposition of the elders.

    When offered literature by other christians most JWs would refuse giving excuses like:

    "We do not exchange literature"

    "We came to your house to offer you our literature so if you want us to accept yours then you have to come to our house to offer us" (yes i've actually heard that very petty and infantile reasoning from a JW)

    "We are not looking for the truth we already have the truth so we see no need to accept your literature"

    "We only accept literature that talks about God's kingdom" (this is the lying excuse that the KM article suggested they use to decline literature offered to them by other christians)

    A few JWs will accept the literature only to discard it at the nearest bin when out of sight of the householder.

  • steve2

    JWs are not the only ones who discard without reading literature from other religious people.

    When I was a JW, Mormons came to my door. After a brief exchange, I offered them one of the tracts entitled (from memory), "How Can You Tell Which Is the True Religion?"

    Some time later when I was pruning the bushes along the path leading out of my property I came across a scrunched up copy of the tract, now exposed after the bush was pruned back.

    I will credit the Mormon with having the social nicety of taking the tract but give him a "Social Fail" for not even waiting until he was outside my property before disposing of it.

    Of course, if JWs took a tract off a householder, I'd like to think they'd dispose of it somewhere discreet away from the property.

  • schnell

    I don't get the fear either. If an idea is so powerful that it will "take you out of the truth" then what is the truth? What judge considers only one side of the evidence?


  • blondie

    I don't have time to find it but there is a Question From Readers before the current online info that said that jws should not exchange religious literature with people at the door.

  • blondie


    “I’ll Take Your Literature if You Take Mine”

    That is the proposition of some householders. Since we do not exchange our Bible study aids for religious literature that disseminates error, how might we answer tactfully? (Rom. 1:25) We could say: “Thank you for your offer. What does this say about the solution to mankind’s problems? [Allow for response. If he invites you to read his literature to find the answer, you can remind him that you did not offer literature without telling him what it contains. Then read or quote Matthew 6:9, 10.] Jesus indicated that God’s Kingdom will cause God’s will to be done on earth. Therefore, the only religious literature that I read highlights God’s Kingdom. May I show you from the Bible some specific things that God’s Kingdom will accomplish?”

  • blondie

    5/1/84 WT p 31 Questions From Readers


    Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses decline to exchange their Bible study aids for the religious literature of people they meet?

    Jehovah’s Witnesses carry on their public ministry in obedience to divine instructions. Jesus said that during this "conclusion of the system of things," the "good news of the kingdom [must] be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:3, 14) So Witnesses do not go to people’s doors searching for truth or enlightenment. Rather, they already have devoted countless hours learning the truth from God’s Word and, having taken in the "good news," they are obediently going forth to share it.

    Many people who believe that ‘there is good in all religions’ might consider it narrow-minded to think otherwise. (Contrast Jesus’ view expressed at Matthew 7:13, 14, 21-23.) The Greek philosophers in ancient Athens encouraged such an "open-minded" attitude and enjoyed "telling something or listening to something new." (Acts 17:18-21) But when the apostle Paul appeared before them, it was not to swap philosophies or ideas. He used the occasion to present what he knew to be the truth, whether he was considered narrow-minded or not. While some of those Athenians mocked him, a number responded and became believers.—Acts 17:32-34; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

    Paul obviously was aware of some Greek teachings, and he used such knowledge to give a most effective witness. (Acts 17:28) Similarly, Jehovah’s Witnesses are not ignorant of others’ beliefs. They have gained considerable basic knowledge of the doctrinal beliefs of religions common in their area. Consideration to such teachings has been given in the book What Has Religion Done for Mankind? as well as numerous articles in The Watchtower and Awake! Such information on various religions is presented in the context of its contrast with accurate Biblical teachings.

    God’s Word warns Christians that "Satan himself keeps transforming himself into an angel of light. It is therefore nothing great if his ministers also keep transforming themselves into ministers of righteousness. But their end shall be according to their works." (2 Corinthians 11:14, 15) Satan so successfully appeared as "an angel of light" that he was able to deceive even a perfect human, Eve. (1 Timothy 2:14) So it would be foolhardy, as well as a waste of valuable time, for Jehovah’s Witnesses to accept and expose themselves to false religious literature that is designed to deceive. They have no intention of falling into the sad course of the Jews, whom Paul said "exchanged the truth of God for the lie."—Romans 1:25, NW; Revised Standard Version.

    Furthermore, some of the religious literature that people may urge Jehovah’s Witnesses to read is written by, or contains the thoughts of, individuals who have apostatized. True Christians are commanded to shun such apostates. (2 John 9-11; Titus 3:10, 11) Appropriately, then, The Watchtower of June 15, 1983, counseled:

    "In the first century, Hymenaeus and Philetus turned apostate and tried to subvert the faith of others. God’s standard was: ‘Shun such empty speeches that violate what is holy.’ (2 Timothy 2:16-19) Christians holding to that standard would not have been interested in listening to apostates, nor in obtaining any poisonous writings that these might distribute ‘for the sake of dishonest gain.’ Why finance their wickedness by buying their literature? (Titus 1:11) As loyal Christians let us hold to God’s standards, feeding our minds on what is true and righteous, and holding appreciatively and loyally to the channel from which we first learned Bible truth.—Compare 1 Timothy 4:16."—Page 15.

    Hence, it is out of wisdom and respect for God’s counsel that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not make a practice of exchanging valuable Bible study aids containing Scriptural truth for religious literature that disseminates error or apostate views

    Looks like Blondie found it..
  • notsurewheretogo

    Quit touching the unclean thing! Babylon the Great...the world empire of false religion! That is what they use.

  • blondie

    Yes, actually I found it on JWN by searching "exchange literature." I knew this has been in writing before and a reminder printed just awhile ago.

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