Apologetics may be simply defined as the defense of the Christian faith. The word "apologetics" derives from the Greek word apologia, which was originally used as a speech of defense.

The Many False Teachings of the Jehovah Witnesses

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  • The Many False Teachings of the Jehovah Witnesses

    I. The Channel
    A. The Watchtower claim to be the channel of God.

    (1) "The Watchtower is the channel which Jehovah, our God, is using at this time to in the faithful remnant who are keeping the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (The Watchtower - Aug. 1, 1930)

    (2) "We acknowledge as the visible organization of Jehovah on earth the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, and recognize the Society as the Channel or instrument through which Jehovah and Christ Jesus give instruction and meat in due season to the household of faith." (The Watchtower - April 15, 1939)

    (3) "It should be expected that the Lord would have a means of communication to his people on the earth, and he has clearly shown that the magazine called The Watchtower is used for that purpose." (1939 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses)

    (4) "No matter where we may live on earth, God's Word continues to serve as a light to our path and a lamp to our roadway as to our conduct and beliefs. (Ps. 119:105) But Jehovah God has also provided his visible organization, his "faithful and discreet slave," made up of spirit anointed ones, to help Christians in all nations to understand and apply properly the Bible in their lives. Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do." (The Watchtower - Dec. 12, 1981)

    (5) "God's Appointed Channel: Bear in mind that our heavenly Father has an appointed channel of communication, 'the faithful and discreet slave.' That 'slave; has the responsibility to determine what information is made available to the household of faith, as well as 'the proper time' for it to be dispensed. This spiritual food is available only through the theocratic organization. We should always look to God's appointed channel for reliable information, not to a network of Internet users." (Our Kingdom Ministry - Sept. 2002, p. 8)


    B. The Watchtower has claimed that it is a prophet of God.

    (1) "As Jehovah revealed his truths by means of the first-century Christian congregation so he does today by means of the present-day Christian congregation. Through this agency he is having carried out prophesying on an intensified and unparalleled scale. All this activity is not an accident. Jehovah is the one behind all of it." (The Watchtower - June 15, 1964)

    (2) "However, Jehovah did not let the people of Christendom, as led by the clergy, go without being warned that the League was a counterfeit substitute for the real kingdom of God. He had a "prophet" to warn them. This "prophet" was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah's Christian witnesses." (Watchtower - April 1, 1972)

    (3) "In behalf of such individuals who at heart seek God's rule instead of man's rule, the 'prophet' whom Jehovah has raised up has been, not an individual man as in the case of Jeremiah, but a class. The members of this class are, like the prophet-priest Jeremiah, wholly dedicated to Jehovah God through Christ and, by the begettal of Jehovah's holy spirit, they have been made part of "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession." (The Watchtower - Oct. 1, 1982)


    II. The Organization
    A. The Watchtower claims that it is God himself that run their organization.

    (1) "The Watchtower is not the instrument of an man or any set of men, nor is it published according to the whims of men. No man's opinion is expressed in the Watchtower. (The Watchtower - Nov. 1, 1931)

    (2) "Who controls the organization, who directs it? Who is at the head? A man? A group of men? A clergy class? A pope? A hierarchy? A council? No, none of these. How is that possible? In any organization is it not necessary that there be a directing head or policy-making part that controls or guides the organization? Yes. Is the living God, Jehovah, the Director of the theocratic Christian organization? Yes!" (The Watchtower - Nov. 1, 1956)

    (3) "New features of the work have required new methods, which has meant revisions and changes from time to time in organization instructions, but it is all a part of the advancement of Jehovah's theocratically controlled organization under the immediate direction of Jehovah God himself. Therefore, these revisions and changes are themselves fully theocratic, so they do not alter in any way the fully theocratic structure of the organization." (The Watchtower - June 1, 1965)

    (4) "When our heavenly Father, Jehovah God, speaks, whether through his Word, the Bible, or through his earthly organization, it is all the more important for us to listen and obey, thus proving that we are obedient worshipers who do not ignore the loving reminder: "Did you hear me?" (The Watchtower - April 1. 1988)


    B. They claim they are the only organization of God.
    (1) "Only this organization functions for Jehovah's purpose and to his praise. To it alone God's Sacred Word, the Bible, is not a sealed book. (The Watchtower - July 1, 1973)

    (2) "Consider too, the fact that Jehovah's organization alone in all the earth is directed by God's holy spirit or active force." (The Watchtower - July 1, 1973)

    (3) "First, since 'oneness' is to be observed, a mature Christian must be in unity and full harmony with fellow believers as far as faith and knowledge are concerned. He does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding. Rather, he has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by Jehovah God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and 'the faithful and discreet slave.' (The Watchtower - Aug. 1, 2001)


    C. According to the Watchtower, God does not deal with individuals outside of his organization.
    "From a study of God's Word one appreciates that Jehovah does not dispense his dynamic energy through just any organization that chooses to label itself religious. Neither does God deal with individuals independently of his own wifely organization, the 'mother of all those dedicated to God. (Gal. 4:26) He has always had His channel of communication on earth through which his spirit operates." (The Watchtower - July 15, 1961)
     

    D. They also say that every person must agree with the organizations.
    "Jehovah poured out his spirit upon them and assigned them the responsibility of serving as his sole visible channel, through whom alone spiritual instruction was to come. Those who recognize Jehovah's visible theocratic organization, therefore, must recognize and accept this appointment of the 'faithful and discreet slave' and be submissive to it." (The Watchtower - Oct. 1, 1967)
     

    III. The Watchtower and Jesus
    A. The Watchtower claims that the organization is guided by Jesus himself.

    (1) "Similarly today the power of appointment of all servants in congregations rightfully rests with the governing body of the 'faithful and discreet slave' class, which is under the direct supervision of Christ Jesus at the temple. (The Watchtower - June 1, 1955)

    (2) "To hold to the headship of Christ, it is therefore necessary to obey the organization that he is personally directing. Doing what the organization says is to do what he says. Resisting the organization is to resist him. (The Watchtower - May 1, 1959)
     

    B. The Watchtower has claimed that it is anointed (i.e. like Christ) and in some sense equal to him.
    "This is the great mystery of God which has been hidden from all previous ages, and is still hidden from all except a special class--the saints, or consecrated believers. But what is meant by "Christ in you?" We have learned that Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38, and thus we recognize him to be the Christ--the anointed--for the word Christ signifies anointed. And the Apostle John says that the anointing which we (consecrated believers) have received abideth in us. (1 John 2:27) Thus the saints of this Gospel age are anointed company--anointed to be kings and priests unto God (2 Cor. 1:21; 1 Peter 2:9); and together with Jesus, their chief and Lord, they constitute Jehovah's Anointed--the Christ." (The Divine Plan of the Ages - 1906, pp. 81-82)
     

    IV. The Watchtower and Angels
    The Watchtower claims that their organization is direct by angels.

    "The scroll was doubtless delivered to Ezekiel by the hand of one of the cherubs in the vision. This would indicate that Jehovah's witnesses today make their declaration of the good news of the Kingdom under angelic direction and support."(The Watchtower - April 1, 1972)
     

    V. The Watchtower and The Bible
    The Watchtower claims that reading the Bible alone is of no help. The Bible can only be understood by means of their organization.

    (1) "But if each of us were left to himself just because he has a copy of the Bible and were to direct his movements independently as he thought he understood the Word, what? It is likely, or possible, that there would be a great deal of confusion or working in competition among us. Hence, besides individually possessing God's Word, we need a theocratic organization. Yes, besides having God's spirit of illumination, a Christian needs Jehovah's theocratic organization in order to understand the Bible." (The Watchtower - June 15, 1951)

    (2) "The world is full of Bibles, which Book contains the commandments of God. Why, then, do the people not know which way to go? Because they do not also have the teaching or law of the mother, which is light. Jehovah God has provided his holy written Word for all mankind and it contains all the information that is needed for men in taking a course leading to life. But God has not arranged for that Word to speak independently or to shine forth life-giving truths by itself. His Word says: 'Light is sown for the righteous.' (Ps. 97:11) It is through his organization that God provides this light that the proverb says is the teaching or law of the mother. If we are to walk in the light of truth we must recognize not only Jehovah God as our Father but his organization as our mother." (The Watchtower - May 1, 1957)

    (3) "We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the ‘faithful and discreet slave' organization." (The Watchtower - Feb. 15, 1981)

    (4) "We have the opportunity to show love for our brothers who take the lead in the congregation or in connection with Jehovah's visible organization worldwide. This includes being loyal to 'the faithful and discreet slave.' (Matthew 24:45-47) Let us face the fact that no matter how much Bible reading we have done, we would never have learned the truth on our own. (The Watchtower - Dec. 1, 1990)

    (5) "All who want to understand the Bible should appreciate that the 'greatly diversified wisdom of God' can become known only through Jehovah's channel of communication, the 'faithful and discreet slave'." (The Watchtower - Sept. 1, 1994)


    Any thought?
    Last edited by Origen; 08-15-2016, 11:35 AM.

  • #2
    I can't help but notice what Roman Catholics, Mormons and Jws share in common. All of them tend to emphasize a source other than Scripture as equal or as authoritative. I can definitely understand why some lump all three bodies into the category of Cult.

    Notice that when they do use Scripture, they turn to the pages in order to acquire authority.

    God bless,
    William
    Comment>

    • #3
      Originally posted by William View Post
      Notice that when they do use Scripture, they turn to the pages in order to acquire authority.
      That is the enviable out come when something or someone is placed on the same level or above the Scriptures.

      Comment>

      • #4
        Originally posted by Origen View Post
        Any thought?
        Only one ... the teachings of the JW are so fundamentally bizarre, that I find it shocking that they actually require anyone to challenge them. It seems like arguing whether Bigfoot is real. :rolleyes:
        Comment>

        • #5
          Originally posted by William View Post
          I can't help but notice what Roman Catholics, Mormons and Jws share in common. All of them tend to emphasize a source other than Scripture as equal or as authoritative. I can definitely understand why some lump all three bodies into the category of Cult.

          God bless,
          William
          In a sense Catholics. Mormons and JWs can be said to be in the category of cult - as, in the same sense, can Calvanists, Presyterians, Methodists, Anglicans, Episcopalians etc. It depends what you mean by "cult".

          The Online Etymology Dictionary gives us this:
          "cult (n.)
          1610s, "worship," also "a particular form of worship," from French culte (17c.), from Latin cultus "care, labor; cultivation, culture; worship, reverence," originally "tended, cultivated," past participle of colere "to till" (see colony). Rare after 17c.; revived mid-19c. with reference to ancient or primitive rituals. Meaning "devotion to a person or thing" is from 1829. "

          Cult in its original meaning is about devotion, reverence or worship. This is the sense of the first definition of the word given by the Concise Oxford English Dictionary:
          "a system of religious devotion directed towards a particular figure or object."

          In this sense the term has respectable usage.

          In recent times it has been used in secular terms to express something that is fashionable. The Concise Oxford English Dictionary gives this definition of that sense:
          "[often as modifier] a thing that is popular or fashionable among a particular group: a cult film."

          However it has also come to used (in very recent times) by some people as a pejorative word to label some groups, particularly religious groups, that we disagree with.

          The Concise Oxford English Dictionary gives this definition of that sense:
          "a relatively small religious group regarded by others as strange or as imposing excessive control over members."

          However such a usage of the word is no better than the second definition given by the Online Etymology Dictionary:
          "Cult. An organized group of people, religious or not, with whom you disagree."

          According to this article History and usage of the term 'cult' | Apologetics Index Sociologists originally applied the word to some religious groups in particular way.

          They used the word ‘church’ or ‘denomination’ for large identifiable groups in mainstream religion.

          They then used the word ‘sect’ for small groups that broke away from these large groupings but still keep many of the beliefs and practices of the larger group.

          However this left groups that did not fit into either of these categories. Any group that wasn’t a church or a sect was labelled a cult. It was a ‘left-over’ category.

          From the article linked to:

          Social scientists have since set out to refine their definition of "cult" into something more descriptive and precise. Yet no matter what they came up with, they invariably saw cults as religious groups that stood over against the prevailing belief systems of the culture -- which, of course, were reflected and identified with the Judeo-Christian religious institutions.

          Sects were recognized as offshoots that, for the most part, still held to the religious and cultural traditions from which they emerged. Cults, meanwhile, had a religious structure wholly alien to the prevalent religious communities. In a 1978 article written for the Annual Review of the Social Sciences of Religion, sociologist James T. Richardson explained that

          "a cult is usually defined as a small informal group lacking a definite authority structure, somewhat spontaneous in its development (although often possessing a somewhat charismatic leader or group of leaders), transitory, somewhat mystical and individualistically oriented, and deriving its inspiration and ideology from outside the predominant religious culture."
          This definition is still neutral. However (and this is my suggestion) because many of these groups appeared to have strange and destructive tendencies (think David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, or Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple), the word cult as applied to these small groups took on a negative association. The term cult, with its negative association then came to be applied by individuals and groups to other groups that they disagreed with. The word was detached from its sociological meaning and used to express negativity about another group. Cult in this type of usage could be defined as “An organized group of people, religious or not, with whom you disagree”

          In other words it’s just used as a pejorative term to insult groups you disagree with - what I call a Boo word (Boo - said to show disapproval or contempt.(COED). It's a label you can stick on some group and Boo them because they must be nasty if they are a cult.

          Personally, I think that since this usage of the term has become degraded and abused, cult should not be used except in its centuries old meaning.

          Note: The article does not restrict itself to Christianity although the extracts I have given may give that impression.
          Comment>

          • #6
            Here's an old article on whether Mormonism is compatible with the Bible, but I think it does a nice job defining cults from denominations: Is Mormonism Compatible with the Bible? -Christforums

            God bless,
            William
            Comment>

            • #7
              Originally posted by William View Post
              Here's an old article on whether Mormonism is compatible with the Bible, but I think it does a nice job defining cults from denominations: Is Mormonism Compatible with the Bible? -Christforums

              God bless,
              William
              Calling that definition 'a nice job' reminds me of the exchange between Alice and Humpty Dumpty in Alice Through The Looking Glasss by Lewis Caroll

              "I don't know what you mean by 'glory,'?" Alice said.
              Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't-till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!'?"
              "But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice objected.
              "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean-neither more nor less."

              God bless
              Bede
              Comment>

              • #8
                I've heard Jehovah witnesses try to convince me that what I believe is wrong. While I didn't know much about them until I read @Origen's post, the fact they don't believe Christ Jesus is God was enough to convince me that theirs is a false religion. Whoever doesn't acknowledge the Deity of Jesus is no Christian.
                Comment>

                • #9
                  Originally posted by Smithee View Post
                  I've heard Jehovah witnesses try to convince me that what I believe is wrong. While I didn't know much about them until I read @Origen's post, the fact they don't believe Christ Jesus is God was enough to convince me that theirs is a false religion. Whoever doesn't acknowledge the Deity of Jesus is no Christian.
                  They seem to think Jesus is "a" god but not Jehovah God. But they don't believe there are two Gods. Try & work that one out.

                  They also believe Jesus was the Archangel Michael become incarnate. And when he ascended to heaven he became the Archangel Michael again.

                  It's weird how people can get into that sort of stuff.
                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bede View Post
                    They seem to think Jesus is "a" god but not Jehovah God. But they don't believe there are two Gods. Try & work that one out.

                    They also believe Jesus was the Archangel Michael become incarnate. And when he ascended to heaven he became the Archangel Michael again.

                    It's weird how people can get into that sort of stuff.
                    In this case they would understand that the Greek word for "god" as an adjective, thus "The Word was divine" (or they could understand the term to mean "divine being"). While some have followed this rendering (i.e. divine), the vast majority were Trinitarians and were not in an way suggesting that Jesus was not God. The dynamic equivalence translations "what God was the Word was" captures the idea completely (or the Net Bible "the Word was fully God").
                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      My small group just recently completed a Bible Study on religions that claimed to be similar to Christianity and why they actually were not Christians. Mormons, JW, Buddhists, and some others were covered. For me, some of the key issues were having another source that was equal to the Bible, changing scripture (claiming mis-translation in some cases), and how recently some of these religions came about were some key red flags. The single biggest red flag that we came across over and over again was in Jesus and his role in everything. Every religion but Christianity seems to feel that somehow your personal works during our short time on this Earth are a basis for access to Heaven. Christianity, from my experience, is the ONLY religion that allows salvation through the grace of God and not through any works we can do as humans. Only being allowed into Heaven based on your works on Earth may make you want to act like a good person, but Christianity focuses on letting God into your heart after which you will want to do good works, not to secure your place in Heaven, but rather because your heart is filled with the wonder of God.
                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        They [Jehovah witnesses] should read other bible versions if they really seek the truth.
                        No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.
                        And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time . . .
                        It's Christ Jesus who gave the 10 commandments to the Israelites. The God of the Old Testament is Jesus.
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Smithee View Post
                          They [Jehovah witnesses] should read other bible versions if they really seek the truth.
                          Their thinking is very Orwellian. In 1961 the JWs published a complete edition of the New World Translation. Up until that times they used, for the most part, the KJV. They do read other translations but only as a means to an end. That is when it supports their translation.

                          Comment>
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