J.F. (Judge) Rutherford used "Jehovah's Witnesses" as a
disambiguation branding for a very good reason.
So many fractures among Russell's followers (schisms) challenged his
power and leadership.
Under C.T. (Pastor) Russell, congregations were autonomous self-governing entities who subscribed to Russell's dogma.
After he died, Rutherford ran roughshod. He ignored Russell's Last Will and Testament rather brazenly under a fig leaf. The Bible Students under many different names spoke up and challenged Rutherford's rude takeover and policies.
Rutherford undertook a way of controlling them and guiding them from inside under their local roof, so to speak.
Slowly and insidiously he tightened his grip. The identity of loyal followers
(of Rutherford's bully pulpit style) was an amorphous fog of "who" exactly?
As a part-time Judge and lawyer, the term "witness" had a legal ring to it.
Jehovah's Witnesses was the new brand name and Rutherford boldly launched
a series of schemes to make that brand stand for something completely contrary to mere Bible Students or Christianity.
Rutherford was so fanatical about it - he directed a non-religion uniqueness separating the language of Christianity into a shadow of normal language.
Church into Kingdom Hall
Grace into Undeserved Kindness
Cross into torture stake
Christmas and Easter and etc into Pagan rituals
and on and on and on.
Jehovah was far more important to Rutherford's brand than was Jesus.
Today's JW's are barely Christian at all.
Christ means Anointed but JW's only have very few living anointed and all the rest aren't CHRISTian they are Jehovah's etc.
Very confusing choice the average JW would have to make if those two questions were presented as an EITHER / OR decision.
A "killer" question for Jehovah's Witnesses
J.F. (Judge) Rutherford used "Jehovah's Witnesses" as a
In reality JWS are a blend of Judeo-Christian practices, not really strong in ether select theologies, kind of like a do it yourself home kit for novices.
Definitely a patchwork, cut-and-paste theology from Rusell's days.
Pastor Russell took the buffet approach, walking through Adventist-style doomsday writings and placing on his lunch tray whichever items tickled his bias.
Rutherford was like the villain two-face. He turned Western theology inside out.
He was the Rebel without a Cause who created his own causes. painting a target on rank and file JW's so they'd be always in the cross-hairs of controversy, then
hold the persecution up as a billboard advertising his brand of Jehovah-style home cooking.
This question does jack shit to any JW....jesus h christ....they don't think for themselves Terry....come on you are better than this.
They never even got God's name right.
Jws are truly subservient loyal witnesses to the Watchtower Corporation and its own uniquely expressed doctrines.
Why would Jesus/Jehovah choose these false prophet apostates as his solemnly chosen earthly organization ?
Well that's what J Rutherford president of the WTS. said in 1919.
From the WTS's original beginning the leaders of this organization were false prophet charlatans promoting their own published pieces of literature to the public.
"Jesus has returned, this system of things is to come to a close very soon " was pretty engaging stuff for religious publishers to sell and promote. .
I am an atheist so whoever is trying to pass judgment on me and myself are going to have a very heated discussion. I imagine if there is a judge he will calm me down and say "don't get all upset, you do not belong with either of those groups. I have something special for you."
A good question one might ask a JWS is ....
Why be a part of this organization when you can be a true Christian devoted and loyal to Jesus Christ his words and guidance than be subservient to sinful men who are scriptural false prophet apostates. ?
The purpose of my O.P. question is to confront the JW with LOYALTY to an organization in opposition to LOYALTY to Jesus.
If they called themselves Jehovah's Christian Witnesses the question would not be necessary. But they don't. (They tried it a very short while and then dropped it.)
It is Either / or.
Who does the JW serve? Jehovah OR Jesus. What they call themselves flashes a spotlight on that distinction and the difference it makes.
Yes, there is a difference between being a Jehovah's Witness and being a Christian.
My favorite intro question for JWs is:
When did you become a Christian?
Typically, their response has been to relate which part of Christendom they were associated with before they studied with Witnesses, realized it was the truth and became true Christians.
That gives me the opportunity to share how I came to Christ and experienced His gift of salvation, forgiveness, and eternal life.... in other words, the gospel.
Then I ask them if they have received the gift of eternal life (Ro.6:23) and of course they have not unless they are members of the 144,000. As other sheep, they are not granted eternal life until the close of the millennium. Then I ask them to show me where the Bible speaks of Christians who are not saved, born of the Spirit, or part of the New Covenant. Biblically speaking, there is no such thing as a Christian who is not indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Ro.8:9) or not imputed the righteousness of Christ. They always fall back on John 16:10 and Revelation 7 to support their two-class theory, neither of which speak of unjustified believers bereft of the indwelling Spirit or a heavenly hope.
Their gospel is non-salvific. Witnesses redefine salvation as surviving Armageddon so they can continue working hard to attain a righteous standing and eternal life at the close of the thousand year reign and become sons of God.