Jehovah`s Witness/Okay, I have had it!

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Question
(From Richard)

Seriously, day after day I look at this board and see the ridiculous bickering that occurs.  It's a wonder that allexperts doesn't ban this area of their website.  The purpose of this site is to provide answers to questions, NOT to attack each other on a personal level.  GROW UP PEOPLE!!!

I am infuriated that Brenton has become "unavailable" due to the harassment that occurred from people who profess to be of the same religion.  He more than ANYBODY, myself included, maintains a level-head and provides answers without attack.  So, he has a different belief on doctrine than I do.  SO WHAT!  This is a place to be able to discuss how Jehovah's Witness doctrine varies with that of mainstream Christianity.  This can and should be an environment in which there is mutual respect.  For goodness sake, we all claim to be Christians here.  WHERE ARE THE FRUITS?!?

That said, there are two specific things that I would like to address.  The first one, I will address below.  The second I will get to when I have more time.

Answer
The first issue I have is with a response to Eddie regarding the worship of Jesus.  Eddie and I had a long discussion in private e-mail before he came on board as an expert.  Eddie is very well-informed on why he doesn't believe in the worship of Jesus, and I respect his knowledge in that area.  However, according the answer he recently provided a questioner, he is uninformed as to what the early belief of the Bible Students and ultimately the early Jehovah's Witnesses was regarding the worship of Jesus.

Eddie, you said, "Now how could [the worship of Jesus] be possible since as far as I know Brother Russel and his group of Bible Students already rejected the Trinity doctrine way before 1918?    You then went on to say that the questioner "had no merit"   in what he was saying.

You are correct that they rejected the Trinity doctrine, however they DID believe in the worship of and prayer to Jesus.  And so did Rutherford.  And so did Knorr, initially.  Even after 1931, the year in which the name Jehovah's Witnesses was adopted.

Please allow me to share with you.

"It is undoubtedly proper enough for us to address petitions to our Redeemer and Advocate, who loved us and gave himself for us.... Although we are nowhere instructed to make petitions to him, it evidently could not be improper so to do; for such a course is nowhere prohibited, and the disciples worshiped him."   Zion's Watch Tower 1892 May 15 p.157

"Question. The fact that our Lord received worship is claimed by some to be an evidence that while on earth he was God the Father disguised in a body of flesh and not really a man. Was he really worshiped, or is the translation faulty? Answer. Yes, we believe our Lord Jesus while on earth was really worshiped, and properly so. It was proper for our Lord to receive worship   in view of his having been the only begotten of the Father and his agent in the creation of all things, including man."   Zion's Watch Tower 1898 Jul 15 p.216

"In one respect many of Christendom could learn numerous important lessons from these wise Gentiles....They worshiped him in three senses of the word: (1) They fell before him, prostrated themselves, thus physically expressing their reverence. (2) They worshiped him in their hearts and with the tongue gave expression to their rejoicing and confidence.   (3) They opened their treasure-box and presented to him three gifts appropriate to royalty: the myrrh representing submission, frankincense representing praise, gold representing obedience." Zion's Watch Tower 1906 Jan 1 p.15

That was Russell...now for Rutherford.

"Jehovah God commands all to worship Christ Jesus   because Christ Jesus is the express image of his Father, Jehovah, and because he is the Executive Officer of Jehovah always carrying out Jehovah's purpose (Heb.:3-6)." Watchtower 1939 Nov 15 p.339

"During the Millennium, "the princes will lead the people in their worship of Jehovah and of Christ."   Vindication Volume 3 (J. F. Rutherford, 1932) p.295

"The people of all nations who obtain salvation must come to the house of the Lord to worship there; that is to say, they must believe on and worship Jehovah God and the Lord Jesus Christ, his chief instrument   (Philippians 2:10, 11)." Salvation (J. F. Rutherford, 1939) p.151

And now for Knorr...

"Now, at Christ's coming to reign as king in Jehovah's capital organization Zion, to bring in a righteous new world, Jehovah makes him infinitely higher than the godly angels or messengers and accordingly commands them to worship him. Since Jehovah God now reigns as King by means of his capital organization Zion, then whosoever would worship Him must also worship and bow down to Jehovah's Chief One in that capital organization, namely, Christ Jesus, his Co-regent on the throne of The Theocracy."   Watchtower 1945 Oct 15 p.313

The questioner referred to the Watchtower's legal Charter.  In 1945, Knorr himself amended the Charter to say, ""The purposes of this Society are: To act as the servant of and the legal world-wide governing agency for that body of Christian persons known as Jehovah's Witnesses to preach the gospel of God's kingdom under Christ Jesus unto all nations as a witness to the name, word and supremacy of Almighty Good JEHOVAH; to print and distribute Bibles and to disseminate Bible truths in various languages by means of making and publishing literature containing information and comment explaining Bible truths and prophecy concerning establishment of Jehovah's kingdom under Christ Jesus to authorize and appoint agents, servants, employees, teachers, instructors, evangelists, missionaries and ministers to go forth to all the world publicly and from house to house to preach and teach Bible truths to persons willing to listen by leaving with such persons said literature and by conducting Bible studies thereon to improve men, women and children mentally and morally by Christian missionary work and by charitable and benevolent instruction of the people on the Bible and incidental scientific, historical and literary subjects to establish and maintain private Bible schools and classes for gratuitous instruction of men and women in the Bible, Bible literature and Bible history; to teach, train, prepare and equip men and women as ministers, missionaries, evangelists, preachers, teachers and lecturers to provide and maintain homes, places and buildings for gratuitous housing of such students, lecturers, teachers and minister; to furnish gratuitously to such students, lecturers, teachers, educators and ministers suitable meals and lodging and to prepare, support, maintain and send out to various parts of the world Christian missionaries, teachers and instructors in the Bible and Bible literature and for public Christian worship of Almighty God and Christ Jesus;   to arrange for and hold local and world-wide assemblies for such worship to use or operate radio broadcasting stations for preaching this gospel of the kingdom; and to do any and all other lawful things that its Board of Directors shall deem expedient for the purposes stated."

It wasn't until 1954 that the Watchtower officially stated not to worship Jesus.  However it wasn't until 1999 that the Charter was changed to reflect that.  So, for 45 years, Witnessed were counselled against worshiping Jesus even though to do was stated as the express reason for the existence of the Watchtower.

They knew it was there though.  The Yearbook of 1969 p.50 leaves the words "and Christ Jesus" out altogether, cheekily replacing them with dots.  It says, "for public Christian worship of Almighty God ; to arrange for"  

And in 1971, they said this, "for public Christian worship of Almighty God [through] Christ Jesus; to arrange for..."   Watchtower 1971 Dec 15 p.760

So, to be clear, there is merit in what the questioner was saying.  He did not have to go to an "apostate" site.  He had to go to Watchtower literature.  

Jehovah`s Witness

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Richard

Expertise

I am not a Jehovah's Witness, however I can answer many questions concerning the ideas and doctrines on which they disagree with mainstream Christianity. I have spent a great deal of time in ministry with current and ex-Jehovah's Witnesses, as well as those who have started to become disillusioned with the Watchtower Organization.

Experience

Jehovah's Witnesses are generally wonderful and moral people who are zealous for God. However, in their zeal, they have pledged allegiance to what they believe is God's spirit-directed organization. This allegiance blinds them from allowing God's word alone to work in them. My hope is to share the love of Jesus Christ with all who seek salvation, no matter their label or denomination. My experiences come from the relationship that I have with Him as the source of my daily strength. These experiences create an undeniable testimony of salvation by grace through faith in the cleansing blood of the Lamb of God. Through prayer and meditation on God's holy word alone, we find truth as revealed to us through the Holy Spirit.

Organizations
As the word "organization" is misleading in this particular area, I want to be clear that, as a member of the body of Christ, the label or denomination of the church I attend is not the source of my salvation. I do not go to or through any organization for official knowledge or guidance. I go to God's word alone.

Education/Credentials
I have a Bachelor and Master's Degree with extensive educational experience.

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