Jehovah`s Witness/more questions
QUESTION: Hello again Derrick, I have decided to continue to ask more questions of you about Jw's, because of your unbiased opinions. They tend to want to portray themselves, and their organization, in a very positive light than what I think is accurate. Why do they just blindly accept what is told to them by the watchtower society? This organization is man made. Men are imperfect and capable of mistakes and errors. So why would they assume that these folks interpretation of the Bible is 100% accurate. What credentials have been given (if any)to prove their expertise? They have been wrong in the past ( to which they admit). but then follow up with excuses such as "new light" and "progressive learning". So then,how do they know that what they are told is not wrong now? I found it quite hypocritical when they are permitted to have "new light" but other religions are labeled as false. Why are they allowed to be wrong but other religions are not? IMO, they no more have the truth than any other religion, just look at their history. None of this would really matter if they were not so self righteous. They always boast about how many members they have worldwide,but,in reality, its a very low percentage. especially for all the door to door hours that are required of them. Thank you.
ANSWER: Good evening, Rita. So good to hear from you again. I appreciate your words about my answers being unbiased, which is true. JWs see my answers as biased against them, because their doctrines do not always line up favorably with the Scriptures I use in my answers, so they come forth with their accusations of my being an opposer, or having some personal bias against them, which I do not. If they are correct about something and it lines up with the Scripture, then I acknowledge that. If they are not correct, I acknowledge that too. Unfortunately, in a case such as yours and the situation with your nephew, they are simply not correct.
You ask...."Why do they just blindly accept what is told to them by the watchtower society? This organization is man made. Men are imperfect and capable of mistakes and errors. So why would they assume that these folks interpretation of the Bible is 100% accurate."
REPLY: This is because of the fact that they have accepted that the Watchtower Society is the Organization that has been chosen by Jehovah God. To question the Organization that God has chosen, is to question God Himself.
Its interesting, because they can argue 2 points simultaneously....They acknowledge that the Watchtower is made up of imperfect men who can be wrong, and who HAVE made mistakes in doctrine, but on the other hand, they believe to question what is printed in the literature (by these imperfect men), is to basically question God Himself. They believe that Jehovah leads and guides what goes into the publications, but at the same time, acknowledge that false teachings have appeared in the publications.
Something has to give....If certain teachings were false, they obviously did not come from Jehovah God, nor did He have any part in their being printed in the publications.
However, most JWs will not acknowledge that the Watchtower is CURRENTLY teaching anything in error. Of course, they can't say that, until such time that the Organization receives "new light" (as you said). Then when this happens, all Jehovah's Witnesses are to accept the "progressive learning" that Jehovah God is so lovingly providing.
But I agree with you...The Organization is man made, and therefore, has NOTHING to do with a person's salvation. Salvation is only through faith and trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, plus nothing, and minus nothing. There is not one single verse ANYWHERE in the Scriptures, that they can point to, which even comes close to indicating that an Organization somehow plays a part in our salvation. Yet, they preach it as if it is the truth of the matter.
You ask...."What credentials have been given (if any)to prove their expertise?"
REPLY: Excellent question. But most JWs do not believe any "credentials" are necessary, because of the underlying assumption that Jehovah Himself is leading and guiding the Organization.
Just like with the Watchtower's New World Translation of the Bible....Most JWs do not even KNOW who the translators were. These men's identities have become common knowledge for those who study this religion from the OUTSIDE, but are mostly unknown to those on the inside. And why? Because when the identities of these men became known, their credentials to translate the Bible could be examined. And those credentials were found wanting. Only one of the 5 members of the translation committee, had any knowledge at all of the Biblical languages, and even his knowledge was not sufficient enough to undertake a work such as translating the Bible. And that is why most scholars reject the NWT as a valid translation.
You ask..."They have been wrong in the past ( to which they admit). but then follow up with excuses such as "new light" and "progressive learning". So then,how do they know that what they are told is not wrong now?"
REPLY: This is a valid question, and I seem to remember another JW expert on here awhile back, telling anyone who would listen, that NONE of their teachings now are incorrect.
But, its like you said....How can they say that, when they have been wrong in the past, and when they WERE wrong, they didn't BELIEVE they were wrong on anything? Its only when "new light" comes from the Organization, that a JW can believe a former teaching was in error.
Now some do, mind you. But they are few and far between. Interestingly, I just had a former JW who used to frequent this board quite often, and even had some pretty harsh discussions with me, to tell me that I was helpful in showing him where he was wrong on some things, and that my hours discussing with him were not wasted. So, there is hope for them, and that comment alone from him made everything worth while. Don't get me wrong...we still do not see every doctrine eye to eye, but some of the ones we discussed, he came to see that the Organization was in error. And he was honest enough to admit that, when he could no longer reconcile their teachings with the Scriptures. Sadly, most JWs simply trust the WT to get it right, and even when the WT does NOT get it right, they trust that Jehovah "must take care of it in His due time, because this is His Organization".
You ask...."I found it quite hypocritical when they are permitted to have "new light" but other religions are labeled as false. Why are they allowed to be wrong but other religions are not?"
REPLY: You have made a very valid point here. JWs often use 2 different sets of standards...One for them, and one for everyone else. Let me give you a few examples.
In the matter of lying, they view me a "liar", and in fact, do not hesitate to call me such. All because I answer questions and give accurate answers about their religion, but am myself not one of them. Now, in NONE of my answers do I tell lies. I have no reason to, and I do not practice lying, and I detest a lying tongue, and I always have. At no point have I ever willfully given any false information about their religion, and in my 13 years of being here, I think I have been in error on maybe 1 or 2 statements, to which I corrected those statements when it was brought to my attention.
But because I am a non-JW on this forum, I am a "liar". On the other hand, we have 3 experts here that I can think of right off hand, who have printed and knowingly so, FALSE and slanderous statements....lies. One expert in particular (referenced in my last address to Eddie G), has been addressed several times, and had his lies documented beyond dispute.
Yet, JWs will not call him a "liar", because he pledges allegiance to the Watchtower Society.
That's just one example.
Another example, is in regards to the subject of false prophecy. Although JWs have NUMEROUS false predictions regarding the end of the world, to their credit, and they are about to have another one in October of 2015, they assure us that this fact alone does not make them false prophets. If you ask a JW WHY the Organization is not a false prophet, although it has made numerous false predictions, they will tell you why they are not false prophets.
They will say...
1. To be a false prophet, the "prophet" must claim that their predictions came directly from God. In other words, they must utter...."Thus saith Jehovah", for it to be considered a false prophecy.
2. That they are merely "speculating" about what MIGHT happen on a certain date, even when those "speculations" cause JWs worldwide to see their homes, and believe the end is coming at such and such time.
3. That they are not originating any NEW prophecy, but are merely interpreting prophesies already written in the Scripture. I guess it doesn't occur to them that it is STILL falsely prophesying, when they apply a date to the Scriptural prophecy, and the DATE is NOT written in the Scriptures.
Bottom line....Merely making a false prediction of the end of the world, does NOT make them false prophets, so they say.
However, you asked a great question....Why are no other religions allowed to receive "new light", and labeled as "false"?
Do JWs allow others the same amount of tolerance when THEY make false predictions. Uhm, no. Consider this statement printed by the Watchtower Society, concerning OTHER groups who had falsely predicted the end of the world.....
QUOTE: ""True, there have been those in times past who predicted an "end to the world," even announcing a specific date. Yet nothing happened. The "end" did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing? Missing from such people were God's truths and the evidence that he was guiding and using them." Awake! 1968 Oct 8 p.23
They also said....
"The difference between a true and false prophet is that one is speaking the word of the Lord and the other is speaking his own dreams and guesses… their prophecies did not come true Therefore they are false prophets; and the people should no longer trust them as safe guides," (W.T. May,15 pg.155-156, 1930)"
Now Rita, I ask you....Why is it that OTHER religions only had to make a false prediction concerning the end of the world (just like the Watchtower has done), and the other religion is guilty of false prophesying? Now, did these other religions meet all the requirements of a false prophet that I listed above? Did they utter "Thus saith Jehovah"? Were they allowed to receive "new light", or claim that they were merely "speculating"? No! They were labeled as false prophets, merely for predicting a false date for the end of the world.
But when the Watchtower does that, they are NOT to be viewed as false prophets.
See the double standard?
You said...."IMO, they no more have the truth than any other religion, just look at their history. None of this would really matter if they were not so self righteous."
REPLY: Well, I agree. Now, not EVERYTHING they teach is wrong. Their teachings on moral issues, are pretty much on target. And there are things about them that are commendable, as far as their zeal to get out and preach what they believe, although they do believe that this affects their prospects of everlasting life. But I agree with you, because if they do not preach the correct way of salvation as taught in the Bible, then they are no better off than any other religion. They do not preach that a person must be born again, despite the fact that Jesus made that fact plain. And yes, the attitude they present of "moral superiority", is what makes it all the more offensive to those who know better.
Remember how we were told by Mr. Eddie, that Jehovah's Witnesses operate on a MUCH HIGHER STANDARD than anyone else?
Thanks for writing, Rita. It is good to hear from you again. I hope all is well for you and your family, and that things with your nephew and his wife improve. Feel free to write any time! Take care.
That says it all, doesn't it?
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QUESTION: Thanks for your response Derrick . I believe the only people that have a problem with what you say, are Jw's. The information you give shows another side of what they portray, and want people to think. The sad thing is, its true. Any intelligent person would welcome and appreciate more than just one viewpoint and opinion, so I would imagine many who read this forum appreciate what you say. I know I do. I did not realize they believe the Watchtower is "chosen" by God. Who told them that, the Watchtower????? Any religion could make the same claim really. IMO, any organization that creates their own Bible is highly suspect. Especially when its written by fellow members with no credentials???? Frankly,one could go on and on about the hypocrisy within this organization, but they will defend and excuse away all their wrongs because that is what they are trained to do. I think they are wonderful people who have been horribly misguided. Its a shame they are not permitted to open their minds and have an independent thought. This is probably why the Watchtower discourages association with non witnesses, fear of their doctrine being shown as not being all that true after all. Its sad they are trained to live, not by the Bible and Gods teaching, but by a fabricated Bible with the Watchtower teachings. Take good care Derrick.
I agree, Rita. The only people who could possibly have a problem with the whole truth being presented, are those who only want part of the facts told, because there is something to hide. There is simply no other conclusion to come to. If a person were on here giving false or inaccurate answers, then I could understand their outrage. But that is not happening, as evidenced by their comments after you wrote before. They continually labeled me as an "opposer", but never once showed anything in my answer that was not accurate. So they really have nothing to complain about. Their tactic is, and always has been, to try and discredit me (and other non-Witnesses also), by personal attack and slander. But they simply have not been effective in doing so.
Rita, you said..."I did not realize they believe the Watchtower is "chosen" by God. Who told them that, the Watchtower?????"
Yes, this is what they have been taught by the Watchtower. In fact, they believe that the Watcthower was chosen by Jesus Christ Himself in 1919, after Christ supposedly did an inspection of all the Christian groups, and rendered His decision that the "faithful and discreet slave" (Matthew 24) was the only group on earth dispensing the proper "meat in due season". Here are just a few of the many statements to this effect....
""The serving of food, the right sort of food, at the proper time was the issue. It had to be according to this that a decision must be rendered by the returned master... On inspecting the remnant of his anointed disciples in the year 1919 C.E., the reigning King Jesus Christ did find the appointed slave faithful and discreet in the feeding of his domestics. Accordingly, he appointed this slave class over all his belongings." Gods Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached pp.350,355
Some other statements....
"The Watchtower is not the instrument of any 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." (Watchtower 1931 November 1 p.327)
"Surely Jehovah has an organization on earth, because everything with him is done orderly. For many years he has used the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. There is but one class of people that are doing his work on earth today and these we call "the Society", acting under the direction of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society and putting forth the Watchtower publications." (Watchtower 1933 May 15 pp.154-155)
"As surely as Jehovah has an organization on the earth, just so surely he is feeding the members of that organization by the hand of Christ Jesus. The facts prove that he uses the Watchtower publications to bring these truth to attention of his remnant"…(Watchtower 1933 November 1 p.296)
"Jehovah as the great Interpreter makes known the meaning of his revelations in his due time, and speculation by men cannot bring to light the true meaning of prophecy before time. Jehovah has provided a channel, the "faithful and discreet slave" class, who are given spiritual "food at the proper time", and this spiritual food includes among other things the understandings of the prophecies in the course of their fulfillments. (Matt. 24:45, NW) Jehovah's witnesses themselves are not nor can they be interpreters of prophecies. But as fast as the "superior authorities" Jehovah and Christ Jesus reveal the interpretations through their provided channel that fast do God's people publish them the world over to strengthen the faith of all lovers of righteousness." (Watchtower 1952 April 15 p.253 Aids for Understanding Prophecy)
"11 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!
12 Because of the vital fact that the law that governs the operation of the theocratic New World society is the Word of Jehovah God, and because of the fact that the heaven-enthroned Christ Jesus is Jehovah's Executive Officer carrying on his work in the earth, and because of the further fact that the spirit of God by Christ Jesus is operating through his Word and upon the hearts and minds of his dedicated servants, the New World society is theocratic, meaning "God-ruled." (Watchtower 1956 November 1 p.666 Turn to the New World Society)
"Showing respect for Jehovah's organization really resolves itself down to our attitude toward God's visible channel and the trust that we place in our proved, faithful brothers. If we have become thoroughly convinced that this is Jehovah's organization, that he is guiding and directing his people, then we shall not be unsettled by anything that happens." (Watchtower 1957 May 1 p.284 Trust Your Proved, Faithful Brothers)
" 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. Remember how Miriam and Aaron tried to bypass this channel and almost lost their lives as a result? Only after Jesus had been baptized by Jehovah's representative did he receive holy spirit and strength to enable him to do his powerful works. (Num. 12:1-16; Matt. 3:16; Acts 10:38) By and through this holy spirit Jesus aided those associated with him so they could understand the truth, and so they too could receive power to "cure sick people, raise up dead persons, make lepers clean, expel demons." Thus is emphasized the importance of association with Jehovah's organization.-Matt. 10:8; Luke 24:45; 1 Cor. 2:10." (Watchtower 1961 July 15 pp.431-2 Become Activated by the Spirit of Jehovah)
"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." (Watchtower 1967 October 1 p.590 Finding Freedom with Jehovah's Visible Organization)
Now, the next several quotes come from...(Watchtower 1981 February 15 pp.17-19 Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible?)
"True, we need the help of God's holy spirit, but its help also comes to us primarily by association with the channel Jehovah God sees fit to use.—1 Cor. 2:6-10."
"To help us to understand God's Word in these "last days," Jehovah God has lovingly provided a visible organization under Christ-the "faithful and discreet slave." The way Jehovah God has prospered the activities carried on under its direction can leave no doubt in the minds of dedicated Christians as to Jehovah God's approval being upon it.—Matt. 24:45-47."
"If we have once established what instrument God is using as his "slave" to dispense spiritual food to his people, surely Jehovah is not pleased if we receive that food as though it might contain something harmful. We should have confidence in the channel God is using. At the Brooklyn headquarters from which the Bible publications of Jehovah's Witnesses emanate there are more mature Christian elders, both of the "remnant" and of the "other sheep," than anywhere else upon earth."
"No question about it. We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the "faithful and discreet slave" organization."
Rita, so many more could be given, but this should show the view that JWs are taught to have of the Watchtower. This is the kind of faith and trust that we are SUPPOSED to be putting in Jesus Christ and the Scriptures, not some man-made Organization.
You wrote...."I think they are wonderful people who have been horribly misguided."
I agree with this comment, for the most part. I believe the vast majority of them are very sincere, and mainly devout. Of course, there are some rotten people in this group too, and some who are not very honest. Just like in my church, and in any other. But its funny that they often accuse people like us of "hating" Jehovah's Witnesses. Comments like that show just how clueless they really are. This is not about hating anyone, and it never has been. Its about hating a false Organization that has misled many precious people, and kept them from learning the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, and its about loving them enough to tell them the truth, even if they hate you for it. That's something they, if anybody, should be able to understand...but they don't. The only way they can find to discredit you, is to call your motives into question (as they did with you), or slander you, or call you names ("opposer", "apostate", "vile", "demon", etc.)
And I agree that this is one of the biggest reasons that unnecessary association with non-Witness family is not encouraged.
Thanks for writing with your observations, Rita. You are correct that it is truly sad. We simply need to pray for them, and keep giving them the truth of God's Word.
God bless, and have a wonderful day!