Jehovah`s Witness/odd behavior or just a misunderstanding?
To the person who asked Mr. Holland about the so called "odd behavior" of Jehovah's Witnesses, may I present a balanced and reasonable point view in contrast to the uneven-handed bias one offered by a JW opponent?
Ms. Rita, I seem to remember reading the same questions posted (to Mr. Holland) a while back, I wonder if you're that same person.
In any case you stated:
>>I have a nephew who married a jehovah witness girl years ago. My husband and I have graciously invited their family to many of our family gatherings only to be rejected every time. They will not permit their children to associate with their cousins on our side of the family. Frankly, we do not understand this avoidance of our family. They seem to prefer to spend a great deal of time with other witnesses. I do not appreciate this behavior. We have helped my nephew and his family a lot over the years, and yet they cannot find the time to visit or even call to see how anyone in the family is doing. Its rude. Its to the point now where there is pretty much no family connection with them. Is this what they want? If so, why? Is this what your religion teaches, to ignore family that are not witnesses? Thank you for any insight.<<
then followed it with:
>>Everything you explained [Mr. Holland] is spot on. Why can't they see how wrong this is? Are they that brainwashed? Do they fear being seen as less than "perfect" witnesses to other witnesses. Yes, my nephew converted. He is a sweet man but has never made good choices or wise decisions. His intelligence level falls short, and he has always been weak and gullible. The woman he married was older and I think recognized this in him. I read Jw men are suppose to be the head of the family, but in their case, she is. He does whatever she says. Always has. No wonder many view jw's as a cult. They do many things that resemble one. I feel sorry for all of them.<<
then ended it with this:
>> Thanks for your answer [Mr. Holland]. Its all so true. I have seen much hypocrisy from my nephew and his wife over the years. They accept birthday gifts and xmas gifts because "they don't want to offend anyone", but have no problem blowing you off for a gathering. The wife is a bit of a cheapskate,so if she sees a oppurunity to get a free gift she takes it." I think deep down on some level they know that a lot of what the organization teaches is way off, but they are weak and fearful to really say or do anything. The organization threatens them with excommunication from everyone they know. This is probably why they are told to "limit" associations with outsiders. No outside influence to prove that what the organization teaches is wrong, and no one to turn to if you leave. I agree with you, it is a cult. So happy to not be a part of anything like that. Take Care.<<
Wow, very damning accusation - if accurate and true. But is it? Might there be a hidden agenda on your part? I hope not.
First off though, thank for your generosity and kindness, this is very commendable on your part. Please don't stop being generous to anyone who needs help - whoever they are or what ever that maybe because as Jesus said:
“There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.”—Acts 20:35
So I hope you're not begrudging the help you gave your nephew for...
“. . .he that sows sparingly will also reap sparingly; and he that sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Let each one do just as he has resolved in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:6, 7)
"Love is long-suffering and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, does not get puffed up, 5 does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury."(1 Corinthians 13:4, 5)
“. . . YOU will have no reward with YOUR Father who is in the heavens."
"...when you go making gifts of mercy, do not blow a trumpet ahead of you, just as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be glorified by men. Truly I say to YOU, They are having their reward in full. 3 But you, when making gifts of mercy, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, 4 that your gifts of mercy may be in secret; then your Father who is looking on in secret will repay you.” (Matthew 6:1-4)
As for your nephew and his wife, since I don't know them (personally) or their situation or your relationship with them thus I will not (personally) comment about them. What I will comment on though is your blanket accusation that "ALL" Jehovah's Witnesses have "odd behavior" because your nephew somehow "offended" you.
I assure you mam, True Witnesses of Jehovah are NOT like your nephew (if what you've accused him of are true). In fact we're normal people having the same imperfections and problems as the rest. The ONLY difference is, we bear the NAME Jehovah's Witnesses. As such, TRUE Witnesses of Jehovah hold to a much higher standard than anyone else.
What does this mean?
This means that a true Witness of Jehovah will hold to the standards set by OUR God Jehovah and His son our Lord and master Jesus Christ.
Thus every true and active Jehovah's Witness will avoid things that WILL bring reproach to our God's name Jehovah. If one doesn't hold to such standards then that person is accountable to God - NOW and in the coming judgement. That is a fact!
For instance, listed below are some of the standards Jehovah's Witnesses believe and adhere to.
(1) Bible: Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God, and instead of adhering to a creed based on human tradition, they hold to the Bible as the standard for all their beliefs.
(2) God: They worship Jehovah as the only true God and freely speak to others about him and his loving purposes toward mankind. Anyone who publicly witnesses about Jehovah is usually identified as belonging to the one group—“Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
(3) Jesus Christ: They believe, not that Jesus Christ is part of a Trinity, but that, as the Bible says, he is the Son of God, the first of God’s creations; that he had a prehuman existence and that his life was transferred from heaven to the womb of a virgin, Mary; that his perfect human life laid down in sacrifice makes possible salvation to eternal life for those who exercise faith; that Christ is actively ruling as King, with God-given authority over all the earth since 1914.
(4) God’s Kingdom: They believe that God’s Kingdom is the only hope for mankind; that it is a real government; that it will soon destroy the present wicked system of things, including all human governments, and that it will produce a new system in which righteousness will prevail.
(5) Heavenly life: They believe that 144,000 spirit-anointed Christians will share with Christ in his heavenly Kingdom, ruling as kings with him. They do not believe that heaven is the reward for everyone who is “good.”
(6) The earth: They believe that God’s original purpose for the earth will be fulfilled; that the earth will be completely populated by worshipers of Jehovah and that these will be able to enjoy eternal life in human perfection; that even the dead will be raised to an opportunity to share in these blessings.
(7) Death: They believe that the dead are conscious of absolutely nothing; that they are experiencing neither pain nor pleasure in some spirit realm; that they do not exist except in God’s memory, so hope for their future life lies in a resurrection from the dead.
(8) Last days: They believe that we are living now, since 1914, in the last days of this wicked system of things; that some who saw the events of 1914 will also see the complete destruction of the present wicked world; that lovers of righteousness will survive into a cleansed earth.
(9) Separate from the world: They earnestly endeavor to be no part of the world, as Jesus said would be true of his followers. They show genuine Christian love for their neighbors, but they do not share in the politics or the wars of any nation. They provide for the material needs of their families but shun the world’s avid pursuit of material things and personal fame and its excessive indulgence in pleasure.
(10) Apply Bible counsel: They believe that it is important to apply the counsel of God’s Word in everyday life now—at home, in school, in business, in their congregation. Regardless of a person’s past way of life, he may become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses if he abandons practices condemned by God’s Word and applies its godly counsel. But if anyone thereafter makes a practice of adultery, fornication, homosexuality, drug abuse, drunkenness, lying, or stealing, he will be disfellowshipped from the organization.
(The above list briefly states some outstanding beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses but by no means all the points on which their beliefs are different from those of other groups.)
As for daily conduct - Jehovah's Witnesses are guided not just by laws but by principle, that is, the principle of love embodied in The Law of Christ, namely:
“. . .you must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and with your whole strength.’” (Mark 12:30)
In this sense, if one loves Jehovah with his whole heart and with his whole soul and with his whole mind and with his whole strength, that person will NOT DO ANYTHING that will hurt his Father's feeling!
“. . .The second is this, ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”” (Mark 12:31)
If one loves his his neighbor as himself, that person will NOT DO ANYTHING that will hurt his neighbor's feeling!
I hope you understand and get the point.
Now, going back to what you stated, you said:
>>I have a nephew who married a jehovah witness girl years ago. My husband and I have graciously invited their family to many of our family gatherings only to be rejected every time.<<
Curious, what kind of gatherings are these you've invited them to attend? Do they somehow involve parties where there might be drinking, gossiping, dancing, loud music, unwholesome activities? Or we're they patriotic gatherings, holidays, birthdays and the likes? If none of the above, then I have to agree with you - it's odd on their part not to accept your invitation. Maybe you should ask them why.
>>They will not permit their children to associate with their cousins on our side of the family.<<
I wonder why? Might it be that they don't want to have their kids pick up traits that will reflect bad on them - being a JW? What if they told their kids that it's not okay for them to to play violent video games but you're OK with your kids? Might that be the reason why? For example, is it okay in your home to watch violent movies? What if it involves witches and witchcraft and magical arts and sex and all sorts of bad images and bad conduct? Do you allow your children to watch such movies? If so what standard do you hold them to?
>>Frankly, we do not understand this avoidance of our family.<<
I'm sure you do. Unless of course you haven't asked then why.
>>They seem to prefer to spend a great deal of time with other witnesses. I do not appreciate this behavior.<<
Like I said, how high are your standards? Is it the same as the Witnesses'?
>> We have helped my nephew and his family a lot over the years, and yet they cannot find the time to visit or even call to see how anyone in the family is doing. Its rude. Its to the point now where there is pretty much no family connection with them. Is this what they want? If so, why? Is this what your religion teaches, to ignore family that are not witnesses? Thank you for any insight.<<
If they are true ACTIVE Witnesses - I'm sure they are thankful of it and will endeavor to pay you a visit. After all, that's what we're commanded to do. Talk to our relatives about the Good News. In fact we want ALL of our relatives to come and join us. Sadly many take it the wrong way.
Just like you said:
>>...Why can't they see how wrong this is? Are they that brainwashed? Do they fear being seen as less than "perfect" witnesses to other witnesses.<<
No mam, Jehovah's Witnesses are not "brainwashed", because if we are then we will be like robots, unable to decide on our own. The truth is we endeavor (in our own imperfect ways) to to be obedient to our lord and master Jesus Christ.
Like he said: “If YOU remain in my word, YOU are really my disciples, and YOU will know the truth, and the truth will set YOU free.”” (John 8:31, 32)
Funny thing is, from the worlds point of view we're always on the losing side. If we, for instance do something that "seems" to be in contradiction with what we believe, we're automatically accused by people as hypocrites. But if we decline to do such a thing, we're automatically accused by people as odd / brainwashed.
>>Yes, my nephew converted. He is a sweet man but has never made good choices or wise decisions. His intelligence level falls short, and he has always been weak and gullible. The woman he married was older and I think recognized this in him. I read Jw men are suppose to be the head of the family, but in their case, she is. He does whatever she says. Always has. No wonder many view jw's as a cult. They do many things that resemble one. I feel sorry for all of them.<<
Now this is what I call a busybody - always gossiping about other peoples business. How would you feel mam if you hear the same thing about you?
As for the rest of what you said - no need to bring them up as they are worthless gossip. But as for Mr. Holland, beware of the wormwood he's feeding you (Revelation 8:10, 11)
. It will lead you to your demise.
“LET them be. Blind guides is what they are. If, then, a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”” (Matthew 15:14)