May. 15, 2019

Jehovah's Witnesses

In doing some research on the Jehovah's Witnesses organization & their practices, I picked up on some misperceptions some people as websites have on their religious beliefs. I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness since childhood but for personal reasons, I remain an inactive member. Please allow me to explain the following based on my memory: Both Jehovah's Witnesses' beliefs & Practices are all based on the Holy Bible Scriptures. The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures was established in 1879 & is known as the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. Its members called "Jehovah’s Witnesses" have distinctive beliefs that separate them from mainstream Christianity. For example, Jehovah's witnesses believe that God is one person & not a Trinity. They believe that Jesus Christ died for the sins of man & that he was resurrected spiritually within 3 days rather than physically. Many famous people have not only felt drawn to the religion but have united themselves as well mainly due to what the Bible asserts is to come. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the destruction of the present living world is imminent at Armageddon & that based on Jeremiah 10:23 the future establishment of God’s kingdom on earth will be the only solution for all problems faced by humankind since men have greatly failed to accomplish it. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that only one true religion will stand at the end that carries God's Full Acceptance & Approval. Please note that based on 1 Corinthians 10:21 just because one is or becomes a member doesn't mean that they will be saved especially if they are leading or participating in worldly double life. They use the name “Jehovah” because that is God's name stated in the bible which is based on Psalms 83:18 & Isaias 43:11. Jehovah’s Witnesses focus their full worship on Jehovah rather than on Jesus, whom they believe was Jehovah’s very first direct spiritual creation. The Holy Spirit on the other hand is believed to be a force rather than a literal person. A significant uphold belief of Jehovah’s Witnesses is that Jesus' heavenly Kingdom power commenced in 1914 & that this date is believed to have marked when the Last Days began. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that 3 ½ years after 1914, Jesus came to examine & detox out the Watchtower Society, therefore choosing it as the only organization through which Jesus would work & the only means of salvation. Based on Matthew 24:14 & Matthew 28: 19, 20 Jehovah’s Witnesses take command on Jesus' order to go door to door & make disciples of non-believers. Based on Isaiah 43:10 Jehovah’s Witnesses believe there is only one chosen religion by God. They place a strong prominence on world outreach by sharing their beliefs with others to save them from God's forthcoming wrath. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in baptism and follow Christian standards on both morality & love. They study both the Bible & Watchtower publications, using the hindmost to help them interpret scripture. Jehovah’s Witnesses are well known for their bible practices. The correct, exact, real, or true birth of Jesus is not stated, found nor mentioned anywhere within the bible. This is the main reason why they do not celebrate Christmas. They do not observe several holidays because they strongly believe that these have or come from pagan origins, those such as that Christmas, Birthdays, Easter & others. Based on Exodus 20:4,5 They do not salute the national flag or sing the national anthem since they believe that thy honor & praise belongs to God & only him. Based on Psalms 11:5 They also do not take part in both military service since violence is not acceptable to God. They also do not take any part in any political events or voting since their loyalty is sole to God. They are famously known for refusing blood transfusions, even if told that it could be life-saving by doctors. (You may ask why or wonder why) Well, a Jehovah’s Witness is forbidden from ingesting or being transfused with natural human blood or its products, although there are exceptions for some artificial blood products or non-blood alternatives. They stand against blood transfusions because it reflects the significance of blood in their faith. They strongly uphold that blood is sacred & represents life. The belief that they should abstain from blood is based as comes from a biblical passage found in the book of Acts 15:29. Jehovah’s Witnesses attend regular meetings at the Kingdom Halls, which normally contain no religious symbols but are rather more functional. They study both the Watch Tower Society literature & the Bible at their meetings twice per week. They assist Assembly's few times per year to get updated with the latest Watchtower Society news & get further spiritual encouragement. Authority for both Doctrinal & Organizational decisions rests with the Governing Body, which is a small group of men based in the Watchtower Society’s Brooklyn headquarters. Members practice both Baptism and Dedication, but there is no tithing or collection of funds, these funds are raised through voluntary contributions. Each congregation is led by a body of ministerial servants & appointed, unpaid male elders. Those who commit a serious sin & do not repent are "Disfellowshipped” as well as those who make a personal request invoking not to be recognized as a member any longer. These disfellowshipped members can return if they decide to do so but must show as proof they have repented and desire to continue as members. They do not disfellowship those who leave without having committed any sin, these solely remain as inactive members who can return when they desire to do so (I am an example of that choice & I am not disfellowshipped). Contact with members who are disfellowshipped is limited to certain people, such as those who have contractual obligations or family members living within the same home. The Watchtower Society advises Witnesses to minimize socializing with those who aren’t followers or members, this is done to maintain their spiritual integrity & morality. The Watchtower Society teaches about Life after Death. In the beginning, death was not inevitable since men were created by God with both the capacity and desire to live forever. Based on Romans 5:12 When Adam & Eve violated God's divine law, Death became a physical consequence of both their sin and spreading thy sin into mankind. Based on John 3:16 Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus Christ paid the ransom of a perfect human life, releasing mankind from both Sin & Death. Based on Ecclesiastes 9:5 They believe that Death will be no more, for humans will have a second opportunity to enjoy life again as perfect people. Jehovah's Witness believe that at one's death, humans cease to exist completely. The dead do not know, feel, nor experience absolutely anything. Death is compared to sleep because there is no consciousness, activity, or awareness of one’s surroundings & there is, however, an expectation of awakening (resurrection). Therefore death is not to be feared at the end because the dead who are in God’s memory will be resurrected shortly. They believe the dead do not have any influence on the living. Therefore they avoid some customs such as wakes or sacrifices for the dead. Jehovah’s Witnesses' funerals are conducted according to scriptural guidelines & any unclean practices are strictly prohibited. Both funeral celebrations & anniversaries are not prohibited as some may believe & are left for the member to decide if they wish to proceed. Based on Lucas 22:19 The only special occasion Jehovah's Witnesses celebrate yearly is the death of Jesus Christ since Jesus himself stated to keep doing this in his memory. Based on Jeremiah 7:31 & 19:5 Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in a place called Hell where there is believed to exist an eternal torment of life. This belief in the existence of Hell did not arise from God's heart. Based on Revelation 14:1-5 They do believe in a heaven but that only a limited chosen of 144,000 that are tested & tried will go to heaven to reign & rule with Christ as Kings & Priests. Some truly believe that they have been chosen as I know of at least one who has alleged being chosen as part of the 144,000 to reign & rule in heaven. However, based on my biblical research, just because someone claims to be a chosen one does not mean that they were genuinely chosen or thy claim to be Authentic. Due to human imperfections, some truly believe in both heart & mind that they are real chosen ones due to having been a faithful, loyal, or active participant member forever, or maybe because everything has gone so well for them in their present life or are even receiving blessings that they contribute are blessings from God therefore mistakenly believing that God has chosen them. All I do know is that these specially chosen ones are very unique & distinctive almost perfect individuals who have led clean lives in the past and present. Feeling or having any personal desire or ambition has no bearing on a person’s being chosen.‚Äč They do not publicly glorify themselves nor advertise verbally that they have been chosen, they are not selfish, they are not argumentative & they do not take part or participate in any social media activities other than JW.org. Based on Revelations 21: 3,4 As for all others who survive Armageddon plus those who are resurrected will have the opportunity to learn the proper way to worship God & have the chance to live forever in a paradise here on earth shortly where Death, Mourning & Pain will cease to exist altogether. The belief that humans become angels following a death is not a part of their inner religious beliefs. Rather, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that angels are a unique separate creation, differing greatly in their nature & their place in God’s purpose & that God created them long before man was created on earth. One thing that I keep in mind is that just like other religions are imperfect, Jehovah's Witnesses are alongside those imperfections. I am a witness to those imperfections on their part. There is a small percentage deficiency of love, but please keep in mind that I am not saying this occurs worldwide since each congregation is different. For example, when I lived up north there was so much love in the congregations I assisted with my parents while growing up. While it is sad to say for me the following words, yet are so true; I was raised within the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization, and my father who was a baptized member being aware that God is against violence regularly used violence on us while my mother stood back and allowed such abuse. And worse yet, there were members of the JW organization who were aware of such abuse but just like Child Protective Services they did nothing to help us in any way. Then there is also the matter of judging, some of them seem to forget that part is left to God & only him. People think they know you because of what your character may portray in their eyes, but they are surprised by just how God sees the individual that they are misjudging. People will point fingers, spread rumors & criticize rather than help the person they are religiously stoning. This is why many of us stay away from religion & of those who call themselves Christians. Even though It has been well over a decade since I've had any kind of spiritual visit from any JW members to my home, there is not one day that goes by me without answering to my God Jehovah in daily prayers. Only he knows the real me, what I feel, and why I feel the way I do. I strongly believe in God which is based on a childhood life spiritual experience that lead me to believe in God's true presence. I am the kind of person that needs to avoid stress to function normally in life avoiding depression at all costs. I have at least three siblings who are Jehovah's Witnesses & remain within the organization as active members, yet sad as it is to say for me but there are at least one of those three siblings who I am proud to call a Christian follower of the bible. Something that hurts me dearly to this day is that my brother who happens to be the only JW male in the family had made me a promise to come to the family reunion to which he didn't follow through. And worse yet, he didn't even have the decency to apologize for it. I mean really, shame on him. JW should remember that just because you have any sibling or family member that's not part of your religion shouldn't be a strong enough argument or reason to use an excuse not to be part of their life. True religion shouldn't divide but unite instead. At the time being, I have chosen my path in life. No one wants to be a part of any religion that practices what the Bible commands them to do & not live up to it or apply its spiritual standards inequality to all members no matter thy status. Based on what Matthew 7:1-5 said that each one of us should take a good inner spiritual look at ourselves before looking down on anyone. Oneself, I don't blame God for it isn't God that's running things within the organization but rather imperfect men instead. Other than the Jehovah's Witness organization, I have never assisted nor entered any church, therefore I don't know how other religions are in performing what they preach. In end, just because I am an inactive member doesn't mean that I don't believe in the almighty God, nor that I don't believe in the bible. I do continue to follow these beliefs & abstain from worldly practices that are not in accordance with the bible. This is how I was raised, these were the beliefs imputed in me since my upbringing. My advice to all those who follow a spiritual path is as follows: If you are to preach or practice the Love that the bible talks about based on: John 13:34,35 then surely you should manifest that love not only to non-members but especially to members of the same belief & faith whether their active members or not. "Do All Things For God's Glory." 1 Cor. 10:31