Jehovah`s Witness/Cult -A most damaging word -But are you?
Hello Sister T, Hope all is well with you. As usual I was reading through the questions and replies and came across the question of are the Jehovahs Witnesses a Cult. One of the comments you made is so so True:
"Many people are simply misinformed."
This is probably one of the most accurate statements as relates to Jehovahs Witnesses. Many have been taught that the Witnesses are not "Christians", Do not believe in "Jesus", " Baptize in the name of the Father Son and WTBS". These statements could not be farther from the "TRUTH".
Years ago, I attended a class on Jehovahs Witnesses at a local Church. An Ex-Elder of the Jehovahs Witnesses was giving the class. The above comments came from him during this class. He had videos and talking points etc. very organized. The room was full wall to wall holding 300 + people; all of them in awe and in agreement. All except 1; me! I was furious. A friend that invited me to the class kept begging me to keep my seat and not say anything...Needless to say, I could not hold my seat, I couldn't keep shut. I am sure you know how things turned out.
If I had not been raised in a Witness Home and watched several family members get Baptized as well as many others, I probably would have fell for the same thing. All through the class I kept wondering: Why are you an EX-Elder an Why are you Lying?
Now I am sure you will not agree with most that I am about to state, but all readers should pay close attention:
Are the Jehovahs Witnesses a Cult? Yes!And then again; No! Are they a Sect, Denomination? YES!We must all understand that the words have different senses and applications. You have very well laid out the usage in the derogatory sense of the word cult. However, there is another sense of the word.
According to the definition of the Word "Cult", every religion is a cult. In the case of Christianity, we find that Jesus himself during his life here on earth was considered one of the biggest Cult leaders.
So first how are Jehovahs Witnesses a cult?
Definition of CULT
1formal religious veneration : worship
Veneration is a feeling of great respect or awe. #noun#
A feeling of great respect and reverence for God that Christians feel is an example of veneration.
2 a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also: its body of adherents
The Jehovahs Witnesses do have a system of religious beliefs and teachings#doctrine# and those that adhere to it. They, like most protestant Churches only have 2 Rituals; The passover; incorrectly called "easter" in the Churches; and Baptism. The Jehovahs Witnesses hold a different doctrine on who should partake in what is called "communion" in the Churches. Witness only celebrate the Passover once a year according to the Bibles explanation for the timing, whereas the Church celebrates "easter" once a year, but vary denomination to denomination on how often "communion" is taken.
3 a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also: its body of adherents
The Jehovahs Witnesses are unorthodox as far as mainstream belief. As far as "spurious" well lets look at the definition:
1.Not being what it purports to be; false or fake: "spurious claims".
2.#of a line of reasoning# Apparently but not actually valid: "this spurious reasoning results in nonsense".
If we were to go by this definition, it could be applied to any Christian denomination. Example: Catholics say they are Christians. The Bible says there is only one mediator between God and Man and that is Jesus #1 Tim 2:5#.But, do not the Catholics pray to Mary, St. Michael, Peter etc. for intercession? Does not the Bible clearly state that prayer is to the Father through the Son?
Could it not be said that Catholics are fake and not Christians because they do not follow what the guide and rule for Christianity ; the Bible,says?
Are the Jehovahs Witnesses a Sect?
1. A group of people forming a distinct unit within a larger group by virtue of certain refinements or distinctions of belief or practice.
2. A religious body, especially one that has separated from a larger denomination.
3. A faction united by common interests or beliefs.
1a: a dissenting or schismatic religious body; especially: one regarded as extreme or heretical
b: a religious denomination
The Jehovahs Witnesses were birthed from the Advent movement in the 1800's; Millenialsit Christian Movement based on the teachings of Russell later called the Bible Student Movement. Were once known as the International Bible Students; broke away from the International Bible students and adopted the name of Jehovahs Witnesses in 1931.
There are also many breakaway denominations from the Jehovahs Witnesses. They call each other "apostates".
So in this way, Yes, the Witnesses are in fact a sect and a denomination.They are a Denomination of Millenialist Christian Restorationsists.
Again, I know the Jehovahs Witnesses will not agree, just as they don't agree that they are part of Christendom. However, these are the facts.
Now as I have seen it argued that the JWs follow a leader etc etc, that argument can be applied to all the Protestant denominations and the Catholic Church as well. The Catholics had Augustan, Tertullian, Iraneaus etc etc, the Protestants had Calvin, Luther etc; the Witnesses, Barbour, Miller, Russell, Rutherford.
Now we do not have to get into doctrinal differences, interpretations etc. It is just that the word "cult" burns me to no ends. It is a word that starts a Christian "Pot calling the Kettle Black" argument and never results in true understanding.
So plainly as it can be put, IN THE NEGATIVE SENSE OF THE WORD CULT, THE JEHOVAHS WITNESSES DO NOT, AND NEVER HAVE FIT THE DESCRIPTION OR DEFINITION IN ACTION OR BELIEF.
Now...Here is an offshoot of the Jehovahs Witnesses that is not only a "Cult" But a TRUE example of Apostate:
Divine Truth / God's Way of Love
The Divine Truth / God's Way of Love group is headed by Alan John Miller, an ex-Jehovah's Witness elder located in Queensland, Australia. According to Miller, he is Jesus Christ incarnate, and he is paired up with Mary Luck, who is the reincarnate Mary Magdalene. Luck isn't the first to be claimed as Mary Magdalene; the first claimant to this name was a woman named Karen, whom Miller left his wife and children for. Many of his followers claim to be other reincarnations from the Bible, such as Cornelius the soldier, John the Baptist and the parents of Jesus, Joseph and Mary. Miller always refers to himself as Jesus, and when he speaks of events from the New Testament he speaks of them in the first person #ex. "when I fed the crowd with two fishes and five loaves of bread...." #.
Now, I wrote this not in defense of the Witnesses, nor did I write it to bring accusation. This is written more for the reader who may hold certain feelings due to lack of information, improper information and misuse of a word that has such broad meaning.
Sister T, I know we do not agree, I am also sure you know this writing is not going to be popular, but I would rather have TRUTH be told than win a popularity contest.
Have A Good Day Sister T, I really enjoyed your explanation as well as the scriptures.
Rev. Darryl Murphy
Hello Rev Darryl Murphy,
Yes, you are right about we will not agree that JW's are a sect or cult, but thank you for enjoying my response.
We didn't break away from any religion, as like with Catholicism the Protestants broke away from it and still kept most of the beliefs, only changed a few things, most so called Christian religions, broke away from Catholicism to form their own religion but keeping most of the teachings that Catholicism has. That includes Baptist, even though some Baptist believe in the Trinity and some do not. You are one who does not...and your upbringing may very well play a part in that. But you still are on the outside looking in, so to speak.
The International Bible Students did not break away just because they adopted the name Jehovah's Witnesses. Taking on God's name is not breaking away, it's moving forward as Bible understanding and accurate knowledge grew. (Prov 4:18)
Which helps us to appreciate this even more so:
John 16:12 “I have many things yet to say to YOU, but YOU are not able to bear them at present."
This helps us to see a gradual understanding was needed and was given.
We are footstep followers of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:21) in preaching about God's Kingdom
Matt 24:14 "And this good news of the kingdom
will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness
to all the nations; and then the end will come"
This prophecy by Jesus shows that we, as was Jesus, a Witness of Jehovah God and his Kingdom, since Jesus is the Faithful and true Witness.
Rev. 3:14 "And to the angel of the congregation in La‧o‧di‧ce′a write: These are the things that the Amen says, the faithful and true witness,
the beginning of the creation by God," (compare 2 Cor. 1:20)
Rev. 1:5 "and from Jesus Christ, “the Faithful Witness,”
“The firstborn from the dead,” and “The Ruler of the kings of the earth.”......"
So since we do as Jesus did, and are the only ones who are preaching the good news about the kingdom of God, (which is a real government Dan. 2:44) then we too, like Jesus, are Witnesses of Jehovah, thus Jehovah's Witnesses!
Isaiah 43:7,10 "everyone that is called by my name and that I have created for my own glory, that I have formed, yes, that I have made.’ 10 “YOU are my witnesses,”
is the utterance of Jehovah, “even my servant whom I have chosen, in order that YOU may know and have faith in me, and that YOU may understand that I am the same One. Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none."
Acts 15:14,17 "Sym′e‧on has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name. 17 in order that those who remain of the men may earnestly seek Jehovah, together with people of all the nations, people who are called by my name,
says Jehovah, who is doing these things,"
Zechariah shows that there will be a people who ones who want God's approval will have to be attached to, just as the proselytes had to attach themselves to the Jews in order to reap the blessings from Jehovah, so today too.
Zech 8:23 "This is what Jehovah of armies has said, ‘It will be in those days that ten men out of all the languages of the nations will take hold, yes, they will actually take hold of the skirt of a man who is a Jew, saying: “We will go with YOU people, for we have heard [that] God is with YOU people."
2 Peter 3:14-17 "Hence, beloved ones, since YOU are awaiting these things, do YOUR utmost to be found finally by him spotless and unblemished and in peace. 15 Furthermore, consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul according to the wisdom given him
also wrote YOU, 16 speaking about these things as he does also in all [his] letters. In them, however, are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unsteady are twisting, as [they do] also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 YOU, therefore, beloved ones, having this advance knowledge, be on YOUR guard that YOU may not be led away with them by the error of the law-defying people and fall from YOUR own steadfastness."
That helps us to see that a person can't be all over the place and do his own thing, Paul was given his wisdom, not that he got it on his own...God is organized and so are his people. As the Bible clearly tells us he is not a God of disorder, so if people were supposed to do their own thing and not be organized, thus organization, then this scripture would be a lie.
1 Cor. 14:33 "For God is [a God], not of disorder, but of peace."
But it's not a lie!
You say So plainly as it can be put, IN THE NEGATIVE SENSE OF THE WORD CULT, THE JEHOVAHS WITNESSES DO NOT, AND NEVER HAVE FIT THE DESCRIPTION OR DEFINITION IN ACTION OR BELIEF."
Right we do not fit the description in the negative, but nor the positive, but as it is, this word is always used in the negative. In the Bible it's also used in the negative:
Rev. 2:6 "Still, you do have this, that you hate the deeds of the sect of Nic‧o‧la′us, which I also hate."
Since the misconception is that we follow a man, and ones say that Bro. Russell is/was our leader, we get the misinformation about being a cult, but we have said many times, we do not follow a man, we follow Jesus. The men who take the lead as laid out in the Bible, follow Jesus, they are not making up a religion or following to themselves, they are relating what the Bible says, thus the many scriptures included in our publications. Thus the many words from them telling us to look to Jesus and to Jehovah, to pray to Jehovah, not to them. To read the Bible daily! Thus why they make corrections when needed to keep in line with the Bible, not themselves! We have seen the backlash that we get because we make corrections to our understanding, if it was about a cult following, or following a man, it would be more about what they themselves thought rather then directing us to the Bible and making needed corrections as laid out in the scriptures, regardless of the backlash, that shows looking to the Bible for direction, not to themselves. There is no cult here! There is no sect here.
You take up for us in a lot of things, but then you are against us too, which is all over the place, you can't do both...it's not of any type of order, just as you see fit to express how you view things and how you think things should be. Indecisive as it were, which is dangerous.
James 1:7,8 "In fact, let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from Jehovah; 8 he is an indecisive man, unsteady in all his ways." (also James 4:8, Matt 7:13,14)
1 Cor. 10:21 "YOU cannot be drinking the cup of Jehovah and the cup of demons; YOU cannot be partaking of “the table of Jehovah” and the table of demons."
There are only two roads, two tables, one is on either one, either on the table of Jehovah or the table of the demons, there is no straddling, no inbetween, it's only either or. As JW's we are organized the world over...all others are not! That is not me saying it, it's a fact! If you break away from your religion and go on doing your own thing, it doesn't mean you are at the table of Jehovah, it just means you are just at another table of the demons.
For example, People who leave Satanism or spiritism and say they are reborn and believe in the Trinity, or say they found Christ and are saved are not eating at Jehovah's table just because they no longer practice spiritism, they are still eating at the same table of demons.
Let's look at the Moabites during the time of the Israelites, as we see that some took them as marriage mates after they were told not to. In fact ended up losing out with Jehovah because they started to serve the Moabites gods...just because the Moabites were mixing in with the Israelites, they did not stop their worship of false gods, so they were not considered proselytes, they still were not approved by Jehovah.
There's just one faith (Eph. 4:5)
We can't be indecisive, or lukewarm, Jesus warns us here:
Rev. 3:15,16 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or else hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth."
The Bible tells us that Jehovah God is giving understanding to certain ones, if he was not, then the scriptures will be pointless in saying this, if everyone were supposed to take away from the Bible what they feel it means, then it would be no reason for God to pen these scriptures here:
Prov. 3:5-7 "Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding.
6 In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight. 7 Do not become wise in your own eyes. Fear Jehovah and turn away from bad."
Dan. 12:10 "Many will cleanse themselves and whiten themselves and will be refined. And the wicked ones will certainly act wickedly, and no wicked ones at all will understand; but the ones having insight will understand."
Dan. 12:3 "And the ones having insight
will shine like the brightness of the expanse; and those who are bringing the many to righteousness, like the stars to time indefinite, even forever."
Dan. 11:33 "And as regards those having insight among the people, they will impart understanding to the many.
And they will certainly be made to stumble by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plundering, for [some] days."
Matt 13:11 "In reply he said: “To YOU it is granted to understand the sacred secrets of the kingdom of the heavens, but to those people it is not granted"
See there is an order of things. And there are ones who are given understanding and insight. So to think it's all about what we ourselves think or feel is not of order but of disorder.
Thus we should all speak in agreement per the Bible,
1 Cor. 1:10 "Now I exhort YOU, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that YOU should all speak in agreement, and that there should not be divisions among YOU, but that YOU may be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought"
Who are united the world over? It's only one, Jehovah's Witnesses!!
I am sure you will not agree with me either, so we can just agree to disagree!
Have a nice day Sir!