JW and communion
A few years ago I attended the kingdom hall during "Easter" as my mother in law asked me to come to a service. I was hesitant at first, being a christian and a believer in Jesus, she told me that JW believe in Jesus and to come see for myself. I finally agreed to go. The first time I went to a JW service. I was quite surprised that JW do not believe or practice communion- the sharing of the bread and wine. The unleavened bread and wine was passed around the entire congregation but nobody was allowed to take it. My mother in law told me it was only the elders. Am I understanding correctly, that only elders are "worthy" of the bread and wine? Who are the elders- the disciples or elders of the kingdom hall? WHERE in scripture does it say only the elders can participate in communion. Perhaps my understanding is very mis informed from my own church up bringing, but I don't feel in my heart and reading bible scriptures that only "certain" people are allowed to participate in this. I feel that would go against all that Jesus came for? He came for everybody, not just the elders of the congregation and if the elders are only allowed to participate why would that be right? Is the elders sinless? This is confusing to me. Can someone please explain how my mother in law is taught so I can better understand.
I was in that religion for 11 years and couldn't understand that.
I don't think anyone can provide a convincing explanation, even its Existing members (Including their priests and Popes called as elders and Governing Body ..)
First let me say welcome!
Your understanding is a bit flawed, that is certainly understandable as jw’s have some unusual beliefs to say the least.
jw’s elders dont Partake of the bread or wine either, per say. The jw’s believe only a small number, 144,000 partake. That small number are the only ones who actively share in the communion and share in going to heaven.
The majority of witnesses believe they will live forever on earth. They attend the memorial (a once a year communion held around the time of the jewish passover) as observers but do not actively partake in the communion. They believe they befit from christ sacrfice but do not eat the communion as they not a part of the covenant christ made for hevenly life.
its all a bit convoluted and you have to really really read between the lines in a lot of scruptures and have a whole lot of speculation throw in to get their conclusions but that basics.
i hope that helps, id be happy to answer more if needed
JWs believe that only a literal 144,000 "true" Christians will go to heaven. They refer to these folks as "anointed". They believe that the Eucharist was established as a covenant to rule as kings and priests with Jesus. Therefore, only the individuals that are anointed are allowed to take the bread and wine. That number is supposed to include all of the anointed that have ever lived, back to the apostles.
As you can see, the math likely doesn't add up and obviously the scriptures having to do with that number are symbolic (if you believe in the Bible which is appears you do).
Most elders are not anointed and there are only about 18,000 or so that partake in the emblems each year. I'll let others go into more detail.
How do you know if your the 144,000? The 144,000 are Jews according to scripture. There is over a million JW world wide, therefore how do you know if your anointed? Do you only take the wine and bread in heaven. This is very confusing. My mother in law told me she would explain it to me, but I wanted to be prepared for what she would say.
There are about 8 million jw’s worldwide and they believe the 144,000 began to be selected way back in the early 1900’s. The math most certainly does not add up, especially since they believe all christains in the first century were of that number as well.
They believe that gods spirit bears witness with theirs and they simply KNOW they are anointed and desire to go to heaven. They are fond of saying “if you have to ask that if you are of the number you are not”
Actually, with all due respect to Morpheus, they believe that the 144,000 began to be selected way back in the first century at Pentecost. This was when the tongues of fire/Holy Spirit was seen to be over the heads of the early Christian congregation.
This is part of what makes the teaching so unfathomable: 21 centuries! To find only 144,000 people from among all,of the billions who have lived and are now living!
The Witnesses believe that the Bible is written primarily to, and for, those anointed ones. So all others have to be "discerning" enough to sort it out what applies to them as non-anointed and what is meant for the anointed "class."
Yeah, it is super confusing. You correctly point out that the scripture refers to them as 1) Jews with 12,000 out of each tribe (but they don't correspond exactly with the tribes of Israel), and 2) male virgins.
To me, the insane part of the teaching is that the part about them being Jews (spiritual Israel in JW speak) and male virgins are symbolic but the 144,000 is literal. Either its all symbolic or all literal. It makes no sense to pick and choose but that's what JWs do on virtually every aspect of their unique teachings.
If you take the 3 million or so Christians martyred after Christ's death back in the Roman days the 144,000 were full already.
But the jws don't believe they were true Christians.
My guess is your mother-in-law will have a very hard time explaining to you if she even bothers to even try.
She is just as confused as the rest of the jws.
@stillin- you are indeed correct, and i mentioned them in the second half of the opening remark. The number simply makes no sense.