Why I’m Not a Jehovah Witness
Nothing written here is in distain towards JW’s. I love them and hope that this writing can be used by the Lord to help them see the error of the Watchtower Society.
To follow are some reasons why I’m not a Jehovah Witness:
1. Jehovah Witnesses must submit to the teachings of the Watch Tower Society
Kingdom Halls are not independent and autonomous under the headship of Jesus Christ. While JW churches have a plurality of elders, these elders must submit to the teachings and policies of the Watch Tower Society. So elders are not free as believer priests to interpret Scripture for doctrine or to make any decisions outside the scope of the Watch Tower Society.
The Watch Tower Society (as of this writing) has a governing body of eight men located in New York. These men decide significant matters for all their churches (Kingdom Halls) to include, doctrine, spending, publications, policies, outreach, and much more.
A fundamental belief of Christians is that the Bible is the final authority for faith and practice. The Bible contains prescriptive teachings and practices for believers within local churches.
The book of Acts details the spread of Christianity over approximately 30 years. Within the book of Acts, to include the New Testament, there is no teaching that a ruling body such as the Watch Tower Society should have final authority over churches, to impose doctrines, policies, printings, digital publications, financial administration, global expansion, etc.
In Acts 6, the early church encountered a problem where widows were neglected in the daily distribution of food. The church did not consult with an outside society for a solution. A decision was made within the church by the 12 disciples on the distribution of food. This account in Acts has applications for local churches.
To establish legitimacy for their governing body, the Watch Tower Society provides Acts 15:2. https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/governing-body
Acts 15 describes a problem that Paul and Barnabas encountered at the church in Antioch. A conflict arose regarding circumcision and salvation. In verse 3, it says, “So, being sent on their way by the church …” So the church was involved in the decision to send Paul, Barnabas, and others to the church in Jerusalem.
They didn’t travel to Jerusalem to meet with an outside organization. Verse 4 says, “they were welcomed by the church, the apostles and elders.”
The church made a decision (including the apostles and elders). In verse 22, after a decision was made, it says, “Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers.”
There is no justification from this passage for the Watch Tower Society —which all active JW’s must submit to.
Because JW churches are under the authority of the Watch Tower Society, their members don’t have freedom in Christ to express disagreement in doctrine and are limited in the exercise of Christian liberty. Believers within these churches who object to the council’s authority are subject to disfellowship and being shunned.
2. Those Disfellowshipped are Shunned to Include One’s Children
Once a person is baptized into the JW organization, they are considered a lifelong member. It can be difficult to leave because of social ties, a sense of family, the pressure to conform, etc. But the greatest loss experienced by those disfellowshipped can be shunning.
Any disagreement with the Watchtower’s doctrine can lead to disfellowshipping. Once disfellowshipped, shunning is required as set forth by the Watchtower Society. This shunning takes place as those disfellowshipped no longer exist.
When an adult is disfellowshipped, they are no longer spoken to by their parents, siblings, church members, etc.
This isolation can cause emotional suffering. Those disfellowshipped can no longer participate in the lives of their immediate family to include weddings, funerals, seeing grandkids, picnics, etc. JW’s may treat those disfellowshipped as if they are dead.
The Bible has instructions on how to treat those who leave the faith. The guidelines found in the Bible are at odds with the rules set by the Watchtower Society.
For further research on this practice, please visit this link:
3. The Watch Tower Society forbids their members from celebrating Birthdays
The Bible doesn’t forbid birthday celebrations. JW’s website provides reasons why their followers are forbidden in this practice. The following quotes are from their website: https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/birthdays/
The first reason is “birthday celebrations have pagan roots.” They provide a quote from the Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend. But this dictionary is not about established facts but folklore, mythology and legends. In other words, there is no credible evidence form this book that the first birthday celebration originated from pagan practices.
For the sake of argument, if pagan roots for the first birthday celebrations were substantiated, this alone doesn’t forbid Christians from celebrating (within Christian liberty) another year of life.
The second reason provided is that “the early Christians did not celebrate birthdays.” What we have here is an argument from silence.
Many Christians today meet inside a building and not homes. Many churches use a PA system, padded pews, and overhead projections. Just because the Bible is silent regarding these practices is not an endorsement or prohibition. If the first person to own a car used it for satanic rituals, this fact alone doesn’t forbid Christians from owning cars (within Christian liberty).
Many Christians celebrate birthdays in gratitude to God for an additional year of life. Birthdays can be celebrated in ways that honor or dishonor Christ. The practice of celebrating birthdays is a Christian liberty issue.
Here is the third reason why they forbid birthday celebrations: “The only commemoration that Christians are required to keep involves, not a birth, but a death—that of Jesus. (Luke 22:17-20) This should not be surprising, for the Bible says that “the day of death is better than the day of birth.” (Ecclesiastes 7:1) By the end of his life on earth, Jesus had made a good name with God, making the day of his death more important than the day of his birth.—Hebrews 1:4.”
There is “spin” inside their rationale. Birthday celebrations (in Christian liberty) are not about something “required to keep.”
Finally, the fact that our death as believers is more important than our birth does not address birthday celebrations.
Here is their final reason for birthday celebrations: “The Bible never refers to a servant of God celebrating a birthday. This is not simply an oversight, for it does record two birthday celebrations by those not serving God. However, both of those events are presented in a bad light.—Genesis 40:20-22; Mark 6:21-29.”
Again, we have an argument of silence (“the Bible never refers to ..”). Using their argument, it could be said that because the New Testament never refers to Christians using musical instruments —therefore, music instruments are forbidden.
The next point made is that because the Bible has two birthday celebrations in a negative light, then all birthday celebrations are forbidden. But when these verses are interpreted in context, they are not teaching that birthday celebrations are forbidden. These passages are accounts of unsaved acting wickedly during birthday celebrations.
The wickedness of the unsaved is not limited to birthday celebrations. Their actions reflect hearts that don’t know and fear God. Christians today have a choice in Christian liberty if they want to celebrate their birthdays.
4. The Watch Tower Society Forbids Christmas Day Celebrations
Another rule imposed on JW’s by their organization is a prohibition to celebrate Christmas. There is the source:
The first reason provided is that “Jesus commanded that we commemorate his death, not his birth.—Luke 22:19, 20.” Once again an argument of silence doesn’t prove or disprove anything.
The second reason provided is that “Jesus’ apostles and early disciples did not celebrate Christmas. The New Catholic Encyclopedia says that “the Nativity feast was instituted no earlier than 243 [C.E.],”” more than a century after the last of the apostles died.”
While it seems unlikely (in my opinion) that the disciples celebrated Christmas, this doesn’t forbid Christmas celebrations (within Christian liberty). Also, the inception of the traditional nativity scene doesn’t inform us when the first Christmas celebration took place.
Again, Christians should search the Scriptures and pray for discernment in matters of Christian liberty.
The next reason provided is that “There is no proof that Jesus was born on December 25; his birth date is not recorded in the Bible.”
The date is not important. Christians don’t know when Jesus was born when he died, and when he will return.
The final reason that JW’s are forbidden to celebrate Christmas is that “we believe that Christmas is not approved by God because it is rooted in pagan customs and rites.—2 Corinthians 6:17.”
The Watchtower Organization doesn’t provide any proof for verification. The passage provided has nothing to do with Christmas Day celebrations.
Under the subtitle “Why Make Christmas and Issue?” more reasons are provided: “Many still celebrate Christmas despite knowing about its pagan roots and lack of support from the Bible.”
Once again, no support for their claim is provided. It’s unlikely that pagans set aside a day to celebrate the birth of Christ whom they didn’t worship; it seems more likely that Christians were the first to celebrate the birth of Christ.
The “lack of support from the Bible” is unreasonable. Those who make these legalistic rules within the Watchtower organization drive cars and do hundreds of things every day that “lack support from the Bible.”
Why does the Watch Tower Society require permission to celebrate the greatest gift God gave to sinful man?
The unsound reasons continue, “Such persons could ask: Why should Christians take such an unpopular stance? Why make it an issue? The Bible encourages us to think for ourselves, to use our “power of reason.” (Romans 12:1, 2) It teaches us to value the truth. (John 4:23, 24).”
The statement that “the Bible encourages us to think for ourselves,” is baffling given that it comes from an organization that limits Christian liberty.
The Bible does teach believers “to value the truth,” but truth comes from God’s Word, not the Watch Tower Society.
The quote continues, “So while we are interested in how others view us, we adhere to Bible principles even if it means that we become unpopular. Although we choose not to celebrate Christmas ourselves, we respect each person’s right to decide for himself in this matter. We do not interfere in the Christmas celebrations of others.”
After providing no Biblical principles that forbid Christmas celebrations, they claim to “adhere to Bible principles” and to “respect each person’s right to decide for himself,” when they don’t allow their followers to decide for themselves!
5. The Watchtower Society Continues to Covers-Up Their Past Failed Prophecies (1914 & 1975).
In the Old Testament, the punishment for false prophets was the death penalty (Deuteronomy 18:20; Zechariah 13:3). While we are no longer under the Old Testament law, nevertheless, the severity of false prophecies is clear.
The Bible is clear that no man can predict the coming of Christ (Matthew 24:36, 25:13; Mark 13:32; 1 Thessalonians 5:2). The Watchtower Organization has engaged in date predictions for Christ’s coming (1914 & 1975). Worse yet, they continue to cover-up their failed prophecies.
The Watchtowers 1914 Failed Prophecy and Cover-Up
The Watchtowers 1975 Failed Prophecy and Cover-Up
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