Another Letter From A Jehovah’s Witness

Oct 14, 2017 by

I received the following note recently, regarding a post I made several years ago. It was on reading into the scriptures. I thought the reasoning of this Jehovah’s Witness was quite telling. I’m including his response in its entirety.

“Excuse me, but Doug, the bible speaks of false godly people, and in 2 Timothy 3 : 5 that men would be having “an appearance of godliness but proving false to it’s power.” I think you bring an example of this. Also we Jehovah Witnesses believe that we are the only true religion because in John 13 : 35 it said, “By this all will know that you are my disciples – if you have love among yourselves.” Have you ever seen a more unified loving organization? Plus we don’t always do things because we aren’t sure of it, which means we don’t want to take our chances such as oral sex. What happens if it is a sin? Also in Matthew it mentions how his disciples would preach the word through out the whole word, and what have we done? Just that! Showing we have the true religion, no matter what anybody says.”

This was my response:

Okay so let’s just take your line of reasoning out a little further.

The Bible says that God will bring to ruin those ruining the earth right? (Rev 11:18) So since automobiles belch greenhouse gases as well as pollution, anyone driving a car out in field service would be destroyed at Armageddon.

Let’s make a new rule: Anyone caught driving an automobile is to be disfellowshipped.

Since Styrofoam products aren’t biodegradable then let’s disfellowship anyone using those products.

But let’s not stop there…since cattle are a large part of the greenhouse emissions, and since the beef industry is largely responsible, let’s make a rule that anyone eating a hamburger be disfellowshipped.

Do you see how messed up your line of reasoning is? Reading things into the scriptures because you want to be “absolutely sure” (when all you’re really doing is misusing scripture as a license to legislate behavior), leaves a LOT of room for interpretation and is, in my view, going way “beyond the things written” (1 Cor 4:6). I also find it quite laughable that anything “new” that the Governing Body comes up with is called “New Light” as if it emanated from Jehovah Himself.

I remember one of our District Overseers had a real problem with men wearing any sort of jewelry like necklaces or bracelets. This was his line of reasoning:

“Homosexuality is condemned in the scriptures. Homosexuals are known to wear jewelry, therefore jewelry worn by men is tantamount to a homosexual act and alerts other gay men that you’re open to experimentation.”

You simply can’t make this stuff up! We had an elder who wore a medical alert bracelet that was gold and attractive and this District Overseer had the unmitigated gall to criticize him for it.

How pompous would one have to be to reason: “Well this is what Jehovah really meant when He said this and He forgot to include this and that and the other thing…”

To assume the role of “God” in the lives of your followers is one of the hallmarks of cult leaders. I can’t think of anything more presumptuous than to read into scripture, as if you know better than God.

With regard to your assertion that your organization is filled with love:

I’ve been in your organization. I spent half my life in it. “Love” isn’t a word that I would use to characterize the way most JW’s treat each other and I’ve got a long list of former JW’s (30,000 plus on this blog alone) who would strongly agree with that last statement. I would add that most of those in positions of responsibility that I’ve come into contact with, have a terrible record of abusing their privilege. The elders and overseers that are the most loving and kind, usually encounter the most difficulty in this organization and I’ve seen that from the District level on down to the local congregations.

I’ve seen the “love” that this organization metes out to those it deems “weak and mentally diseased”. I’ve seen the families torn apart because of their Machiavellian methods and I’ve seen plenty of JW and ex JW suicides in my lifetime.

With regard to your assertion that your religion is the only “truth” because you knock on doors:

The fact that you proselytize doesn’t confirm your organization as teaching “the truth” anymore than standing in a parking space makes you a car.

I’m reminded of Christ’s admonition to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:15:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.”

No, I think I’ll get along just fine without the “Faithful and Discreet Slave” telling me what to think, what to do, and what I can and can’t say and to whom.

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See Any Similarities?

Mar 17, 2014 by

metabible

 

I’ve often stated that the early writings of the Watchtower were rife with occult overtones and philosophies.

I happened to see the cover of the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary and the similarity was so striking that I felt compelled to post this up against the standard cover of the Studies In The Scriptures by Charles Taze Russell, the founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

As you can see, the Egyptian symbol of the sun god Ra are emblazoned on the covers of each.

This is also the symbol of the modern day Rosicrucian order.

If you want to see more of the occult connection between the writings and teachings of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society and other “mystery schools” and “esoteric orders” then check out this link to an article I wrote several years ago.

Jehovah’s Witnesses, Russell, and the Occult Connection

It will amaze and horrify you when you read what is now public information on the interesting history of Charles Taze Russell and the mysterious symbols, odd beliefs and teachings of the founder of the modern day Jehovah’s Witnesses!

thewatchtowerfiles

 

 

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Jehovah’s Witnesses And John 3:16

Apr 7, 2013 by

Jehovah's Witnesses John 3:16It is the single most well known and pivotal scripture in the entire Bible. Most people, even non Christians, can quote the passage from memory. In this single verse the entire purpose of the Old and New Testament is described in just a few words. The simplicity of this verse and the path of salvation it outlines is amazing and profound!

 

 

 

 

 

Given that this is the single most popular and well known scripture in the world, it is quite instructive to see what has been done to it by the Watchtower leadership in their New World Translation.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

John 3:16 New World Translation

 

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only‐begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.”

Immediately an interesting difference emerges from this translation that plays right in to the heavily biased New World Translation’s overall mission.

The obvious departure from any other translation in existence is the “exercising faith” insertion. Every other translation that I’m able to find anywhere translates this strictly as “believing” or “having faith”. The insertion of the word “exercising” is a blatant attempt on the part of the Watchtower leadership to completely change the meaning of this scripture to fit their own preconceived notion of a works based path to salvation. The Greek word for “believe” simply doesn’t mean that.

It would be akin to taking something written like the following:

“The wife really loved her husband.”

and purposely altering it to read the following:

“The wife really worked at loving her husband.”

Did that change the meaning entirely? Yes it did. The wife went from truly loving her husband to having to work at loving her husband who, quite obviously, wasn’t very loveable without her constant effort to do so.

Do you get that nuance?

Let’s take a look, and I promise I won’t bore you, at the actual Greek word for “believe” here translated by the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society as “exercising faith”.

The Greek word is pisteuōn which is always translated as “believe” or “having faith” by other translators. The same Greek word is shown in the following scripture. I’m including the New World Translation of that word so that you can see the obvious mistranslation of this key phrase in John 3:16 which they quote often to justify their works based theology.

John 3:15 (New World Translation):

 

that everyone believing in him may have everlasting life. (The same exact word i.e. πιστεύων or pisteuōn!)

This was the immediately preceding verse to John 3:16 and it was actually translated correctly. Yet the same exact word is translated with a completely different meaning in the famous passage at John 3:16 in the very next line!

There are 244 occurrences of this word in the Bible according to Strong’s Concordance. Not once is it translated as “exercising faith” by any other translators.

Let’s examine other parts of the New World Translation where this same Greek word occurs. For example the New World Translation in 1 John 5 translates this same word, mistranslated in John 3:16, in close to the same way as other mainstream translations.

1 John 5:1 New World Translation:

 

Everyone believing that Jesus is the Christ has been born from God, and everyone who loves the one that caused to be born loves him who has been born from that one.

 

1 John 5:5 New World Translation:

 

Who is the one that conquers the world but he who has faith that Jesus is the Son of God?

 

1 John 5:10 New World Translation:

 

The [person] putting his faith in the Son of God has the witness given in his own case. The [person] not having faith in God has made him a liar, because he has not put his faith in the witness given, which God as witness has given concerning his Son.

All of these scriptures are from the New World Translation and they all render the Greek word, pisteuōn, correctly and far differently than they do in  John 3:16.

Why?

Why would the Watchtower change the meaning of the word in John chapter 3, in multiple cases rendering it as “exercising faith” and in other areas of the New World Translation render it as “believing” or “having faith”?

The reason is this: John 3:16 is such a popular scripture in the minds of most Christians that the Watchtower translators,aka Fred Franz, felt compelled to change it. To leave it as all other translators have rendered it would be to admit that simply believing in Christ is the only thing required of the Christian for salvation.

Can you see where the Watchtower’s own adherents would start questioning their works based path to salvation if John 3:16 wasn’t severely altered in meaning to include works as part of their salvation?

When cornered about a “works based theology” Jehovah’s Witnesses will immediately claim that they don’t earn their salvation. They will say that Christ’s ransom sacrifice paid the way for their salvation. Yet when you really examine their teachings, you’ll find an entirely different mindset. This is the internal belief that if a Jehovah’s Witness doesn’t knock on enough doors, attend enough meetings, and work hard enough for Jehovah, that they will die at His hands at Armageddon!

I recall hearing this from the platform on many occasions: “Now there is a reason that exercising faith is in John 3:16. There is work involved and not just faith or belief!” I heard it more times than I can count.

I welcome any Jehovah’s Witness or non-JW with any knowledge of Greek to weigh in on this. I’ve done the research using concordances and interlinear translations. It is painfully obvious to anyone who has even a basic knowledge of Greek that the Watchtower’s mistranslation of John 3:16 is, in fact, a deliberate attempt to take the word “believe” and completely change the meaning to make it appear that works (“exercise”) are necessary for salvation.

This isn’t the only place where the Watchtower translators make a major departure from all other translations. Every single time any scripture translation disagrees with Watchtower dogma, it is deliberately changed in the New World Translation. If it can’t be changed without incurring suspicion, then other words are added in brackets to make it appear that additional meaning was intended by the Bible writer.

These aren’t rare occurrences. These departures from the actual meaning of the Greek are found all over the New World Translation.

The reason the Watchtower leaders felt it necessary to come out with their own translation is quite obvious. They desperately needed a translation that wouldn’t disagree with their belief system. Up until then it was nearly impossible to convert a Christian that really knew their Bible well.

Now?

The first thing Jehovah’s Witnesses are trained to do is to take you out of your own Bible and introduce you to theirs! They will say that the New World Translation is “easier to understand in the modern English”. They also make the New World Translation easy to afford. Back when we had the “green Bible” it was only a dollar to the householder while other versions of the Bible cost many times that.

Was it in the Watchtower leaders best interest to make their version of the Bible easy to own?

If you said “yes” you get a gold star!

What Jehovah’s Witnesses won’t tell you is that their Bible has intentionally altered every single key scripture that disagrees with their beliefs and teachings in order to make it easier for them to convert you.

If you want to get a real education regarding the scriptures that the Watchtower has altered, simply get a copy of their Greek Interlinear (the purple Bible) and read the actual Greek translation in the left margins and compare it to the New World Translation in the right margin! You’ll see glaring differences in the actual translation and I’ve included a photo of their rendering of John 3:16 shown below for instructional purposes.

The first is the entire page:

wholepage

 

The next photo is of the actual translation shown at the bottom left of the Greek Interlinear page 428:

john 3:16

I’m going to make a challenge to any Jehovah’s Witness who owns a Greek Interlinear. Look up any scripture that varies from standard translations and read the actual Greek translation in your own Interlinear. You’ll be positively shocked at what you find.

I’m going to give you a short list of scriptures that are radical departures from all other translations. Read them in the NWT Greek Interlinear and then tell me what you think:

John 8:58

Colossians 1:16-20

John 1:1

When you read the actual Greek translation for yourself out of your own Greek Interlinear published by the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, you’ll know, without any doubt, that you’ve been hoodwinked by the not so “faithful and discreet slave”.

Doug Shields is an activist against religious oppression, control and abuse. He has a lot of experience dealing with these issues because he was an active Jehovah’s Witness himself for over twenty-three years. Doug has been privileged to help elders, ministerial servants, full time pioneers and even a circuit overseer to find the strength and determination to face the painful truth about the Watchtower Bible And Tract Society.

If you would like to have Doug speak at your church, meetup or other event you can contact him here.

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Jehovah’s Witness Reality Check

Apr 1, 2013 by

jehovah's witness realityI’m going to show you some words and I want you to really think about them in terms of what you feel when you read them:

Murder

Rape

Divorce

Adultery

Smoking

Child Molestation

Embezzlement

Lying

Apostasy

Did you feel the same level of loathing for everything or did one jump out at you more than the others?

If you are a Jehovah’s Witness then the last word, “apostasy”, no doubt triggered a pronounced psychological response of loathing, fear, and repulsion more so than all the others. You might have even experienced a physical sensation of being sick to your stomach as well as your heart beating much faster.

Why?

Why would disagreeing with the Watchtower possibly be worse than murder or the heinous act of molesting a child?

There is only one possible reason:

You’ve been PROGRAMMED to have that response.

There simply is no other logical explanation for the way that word affects you.

Are you starting to see what has been done to you? I hope you are.

Doug Shields is an activist against religious oppression, control and abuse. He has a lot of experience dealing with these issues because he was an active Jehovah’s Witness himself for over twenty-three years. Doug has been privileged to help elders, ministerial servants, full time pioneers and even a circuit overseer to find the strength and determination to face the painful truth about the Watchtower Bible And Tract Society.

If you would like to have Doug speak at your church, meetup or other event you can contact him here.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses And The Death of Christ

Mar 30, 2013 by

jehovah's witness curtainBeing that this is Easter weekend I thought I’d post about the significance of the death of Jesus Christ as it pertains to our salvation. The following scriptures are parallels of each other and witness the events that occurred upon the death of Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark 15: 37-38

 

With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

 

Matthew 27:51

 

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split

 

Luke 23:45

 

The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle.

What was the meaning behind this?

The curtain in the temple, which was 60 feet in height, 30 feet in width and four inches thick, separated the common people from Jehovah. None but the high priest were allowed past that curtain and into the presence of the Almighty and this only once per year and never without the presence of blood as a sacrifice to the Most High.

The fact that this massive curtain was torn down the middle signified the fact that God had removed the separation of man from Himself by the death of His Son Jesus Christ.

All of us, without exception, have access to the Father as a direct result of this truly selfless act on the part of Jesus Christ.

The Watchtower leaders have set themselves up as a substitute “curtain”. They seek to block our willingness and ability to go directly to God without interference, without their “seal of approval”. They state that only they have the “way” to Jehovah and yet Christ stated firmly and plainly:

John 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

The only way to God is through a direct relationship with Jesus Christ. However, the Watchtower teaches that only the 144,000 have that privilege. According to them, the rest of us “hangers on” are only allowed into God’s grace because we are following them.

That isn’t scriptural. It is a false teaching of men. It is an attempt on the part of the Watchtower leaders to control and manipulate us.

Mark 7:7

Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’

Anyone, anytime, can approach the Father through His Son Jesus Christ. There is nobody that can interfere with that arrangement. God doesn’t require membership in ANY man made group. He doesn’t require that we submit to anyone but His Son Jesus Christ.

I’m reminded of the KISS system:

K eep
I t
S imple
S tupid

The sheer simplicity of the path to salvation is more than many are able to fathom. They have to come up with elaborate ideas and structures to make the path to salvation complicated. This is from men and not from God.

It is no wonder that Christ made the following statement to His disciples:

Matthew 18:2-3

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

You see, children don’t make things complicated. Adults do. If you give a child a gift they will hug your neck and then enjoy the gift without feeling obligated. If you give an adult a gift, they will feel obligated to “pay you back” and will not rest until they think they’ve balanced the scales. That is what Jehovah’s Witnesses do. They don’t see the freedom that Christians have in this arrangement. They seek to complicate things. They make it hard. They engage in all sorts of endless activity to somehow “prove” their love for God so that He will spare them when Armageddon comes.

As Christians we have NOTHING to prove. Christ PROVED His love for us when He DIED for us. All we have to do is accept this free gift as a gift and not as an obligation.

Romans 4:1-5

What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation.However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.

Any truly honest Jehovah’s Witness will admit that they feel they are earning their salvation when they go door to door. They believe that they are earning their lives when they attend the meetings regularly. They believe that if they don’t do these things that they will DIE at the hands of Jehovah at Armageddon. If they are HONEST they will admit this. Yet the scriptures teach an entirely different path to salvation.

The Pharisees had a works based path to salvation and Christ condemned them for it!

Matthew 23:15

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

During this time of year I encourage all of us, myself included, when it comes to salvation KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID!

Doug Shields is an activist against religious oppression, control and abuse. He has a lot of experience dealing with these issues because he was an active Jehovah’s Witness himself for over twenty-three years. Doug has been privileged to help elders, ministerial servants, full time pioneers and even a circuit overseer to find the strength and determination to face the painful truth about the Watchtower Bible And Tract Society.

If you would like to have Doug speak at your church, meetup or other event you can contact him here.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses On The Deity of Christ

Mar 24, 2013 by

Jehovah’s Witnesses are one of the few “Christian” religions that teach that Christ isn’t actually God. They do a pretty good job of splitting hairs when it comes to this highly contested subject.

jehovahThey will admit that Christ is “a god” (little “g”) but not fully God and not equal to the Father or Jehovah.

I received the following question from a reader that deals with this subject in view of John 17:3. The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe, somehow, that this scripture puts to rest the whole argument that Christ is fully God. Yet when examined in the context a totally different conclusion is reached.

Here is the email I received

Hi Doug,

I know that only the Holy Spirit can change  a persons heart and then only can they be saved but i did what I said I would never do again and that was debate the Bible with my  husband who is studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses. The discussion was Jesus being Michael the Arc Angel. I was doing fine until the little brown book revealed John 17:3. He (my husband) was so happy with himself! It had nothing to do with Jesus being an angel but that brown book makes sense to him somehow. I was stumped for an answer because the Jehovah’s Witnesses already believe that God is uni-personal. Nowhere in the Bible (does it) say that Jesus is an angel. Somehow the writers got crossed from talking about being an angel to the trinity. I’m curious as to how you respond to that proof text?

Here was my response:

John 17:3 in no way counters the trinity argument. As a matter of fact it helps it and I’ll explain why:

If you read the entire paragraph instead of just picking out this scripture it will reveal a completely different context. John 17:

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

 “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”

How is it that God could possibly “glorify” Christ if He were just an angel or just a man? However if Jesus was in fact an equal part of God then these verses make perfect sense.

Why did Jesus need the Father to glorify Him? Because He had surrendered His glory that He shared with the Father when He agreed to come to earth as a man.

Hebrews 2:9

But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while…

Note too the extremely close relationship that both Father and Son have with each other. This gives very strong indications that they are both equal in that they each glorify each other!

Colossians 1:15-20 really covers a lot of ground with regard to this context:

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Note verse 19 here. The word “fullness” is the Greek word “theotetos” which literally means Godhood.

Now if these words of Paul are in fact true, this means that Jesus was in fact fully God when He was crucified. God Himself suffered through this horrible fate for us through His Son.

I have one more question for anyone who thinks that Jesus is just an angel. Since He is the “image of the invisible God” wouldn’t that mean that God Himself violated the first of His own TEN COMMANDMENTS that He gave to the people of Israel? Note the following:

Exodus 20:1-3

1 And God spoke all these words:
2“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3You shall have no other gods before me.

Now the Jehovah’s Witnesses will admit, grudgingly, that Jesus is a “little god” because John 1:1 states plainly that Jesus is God. They put an “a” in the most inappropriate place to lessen that impact as can be seen here:

John 1:1

“In the beginning was the word. And the word was with God and the word was a god.” New World Translation

No other translation puts that “a” in there with one exception: The translation from Johannes Greber who used his wife, a spirit medium, to translate that verse. The Watchtower actually used his translation to give their questionable version some credibility. Highly questionable at best and a downright demonic translation at worst!

So even with the “a god” translation the fact remains that if God created Christ and that He was just an angel or a man (as the Jehovah’s Witnesses maintain) then God would have according to Colossians 1:16, in fact, violated the first of His own Ten Commandments would He not?

This would be a major inconsistency unless, unless Christ was already fully God and part of a triune Godhead comprised of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It would only make sense if this were the case and, of course, I believe that it was!

I hope this helps you with your debate and perhaps allows you and your husband to see the glaring inconsistencies of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society with regard to the deity of Christ.

Doug Shields is an activist against religious oppression, control and abuse. He has a lot of experience dealing with these issues because he was an active Jehovah’s Witness himself for over twenty-three years. Doug has been privileged to help elders, ministerial servants, full time pioneers and even a circuit overseer to find the strength and determination to face the painful truth about the Watchtower Bible And Tract Society.

If you would like to have Doug speak at your church, meetup or other event you can contact him here.

 

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