Jehovah’s Witnesses: A Definition

One of the saddest words in the English language is the word “futile”.

Webster’s defines it this way:

serving no useful purpose : completely ineffective

Jesus spoke of this type of futility with regard to worship:

Matthew 15:9 “They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’”

Someone asked me a few days ago if there was anything that I thought was beneficial about the Jehovah’s Witness teaching. I went into a long explanation of what I thought was right and wrong with their religion and teaching. I’m going to spare you a long explanation and give you all a concise version. My personal definition of a Jehovah’s Witness is as follows: “Someone who does all the right things for all the wrong reasons.”

  • They have a strict moral code but they observe this because they think it will save them.
  • They sell magazines and books door to door because they believe this will save them.
  • They attend meetings five times a week because they believe this will save them.

When you become a Jehovah’s Witness you learn very quickly that everyone is watching you. Not only your brothers and sisters in the congregation but also “the world”. You are taught to put more stock in appearances than you do actual substance. You worry more about what brother and sister “so and so” think than what Jehovah and Jesus think! Things that are done from our hearts rather than out of compulsion are infinitely more valuable to God. I’ll illustrate: Which of these statements is more meaningful to you?

  • Your child cleaned up his room because you promised him five dollars upon satisfactory completion and you also told him that if he didn’t clean up his room that he wouldn’t get any supper.
  • Your child cleaned up his room because he loves you and did so without your even asking him.

Did you notice the difference?

Now as a parent, who do you think will get a more meaningful reward: The first example for a payoff / penalty or the second one without any expectation and only love?

Jehovah’s Witnesses love to quote James 2:20 always stating “Faith without works is dead.”

This is certainly true.

But who is it that that gets to define what acceptable works are? Is it attending meetings, knocking on doors, and observing a laundry list of shalts and shalt nots?

Notice what James stated:

James 1:27 (New World Translation)

The form of worship that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation, and to keep oneself without spot from the world.

I maintain that anyone who becomes a real Christian will have works in their lives and these works will come from a pure heart and not out of compulsion.They will come out of the vast store of gifts that this specific person has.These aren’t quantifiable in the sense of keeping up with dollars collected, hours worked or calls made. That is what a sales corporation does. That isn’t what a disciple of Christ does!

A kind word when needed or a visit to a sick friend in the hospital or perhaps a few dollars to the man who looks hungry standing outside of the McDonalds are all acceptable works in God’s eyes. Giving to charity, volunteering in your community and helping those who need it are all vastly superior in terms of making an impact than knocking on doors.

These are natural works from a pure heart and not things that you can put down on your time report. These don’t involve a “payoff” or a “penalty”. They simply are!

We do them because WE WANT TO not because WE HAVE TO!

Do you get it?

I really hope that you do because doing things for God with any eye to a payoff or a penalty and/or the respect and admiration of others is FUTILE!

Jesus stated this about the Pharisees:

Matthew 6:16

“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get.

I’m wishing all of you a safe, healthy and spiritually rich new year in 2012!

Yours in Christ,

Doug Shields