Jehovah’s Witnesses: The Worst Thing
We’ve discussed many ways that the Watchtower leaders and their followers, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have hurt people. They disseminate misinformation. They mislead people. They teach falsehoods. They depart from the scriptures in just about everything they teach. They break up families. They’ve even produced their own flawed version of the Bible specifically designed to legitimize their false teachings.
However, there is one thing that they do that tops everything else. It is so damaging and so despicable that I can’t begin to describe the traumatic effects on their followers.
Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as most organized religions, teach that their followers aren’t “good enough”.
I can’t think of anything that I was taught as a young person, that was as severely limiting, hurtful, and damaging as this falsehood.
A person’s beliefs about themselves determine almost all of their actions.
When a person is indoctrinated into the JW’s they are taught to believe that they don’t “deserve” to be loved, respected, or valued. They are taught to question everything except what the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society teaches. They are taught to even question themselves. They learn to believe that somehow they can’t “measure up” to Jehovah’s (read Watchtower’s) righteous standards without the help of the Watchtower.
What this does is to make them emotionally (psychologically) dependent on the Watchtower leadership to define their own self worth. Everything they believe about themselves is based, not on their own value as human beings created in the image of God, but by their own level of activity and social standing in the organization.
Then they get on the “Theocratic Treadmill” and start working to improve their “standing” in the group. This in turn improves their own self worth in their eyes and is reinforced by the “love bombing” given to those who take the lead in theocratic activity. In the case of “brothers” this becomes even more toxic as they seek to reinforce the mandate by the Watchtower on their poor families. Everyone is expected to “tow the line” and support him in his theocratic progression to eldership. This creates all sorts of unhealthy dynamics in the family unit.
The more a Jehovah’s Witness works the more they think they are worth to Jehovah (read organization).
I don’t think anyone who is or has been a Jehovah’s Witness would disagree with this statement.
Yet what did Paul say about this?
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. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
“Blessed are those
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”
What Paul is saying is that we are all saved by faith in Christ apart from works. I’m not saying that works aren’t a part of the Christian life. They most certainly are. However the works are the result of our being saved by grace and not the other way around! They also aren’t defined by a strict set of activities but are part of the entire gamut of Christian life.
When was the last time you heard an elder say the following?
“Brothers and sisters instead of knocking doors today and hawking magazines we’re going down to the park to pick up litter.”
“Brothers and sisters instead of knocking doors today and hawking magazines we’re going to volunteer at the local homeless shelter.”
“Brothers and sisters instead of knocking doors today and hawking magazines we’re going to help raise money for a family who recently lost their father.”
All of these are truly Christian works as defined by the Bible (something about “love your neighbor as yourself”). Yet at no time was I ever asked to do any of these things at the Kingdom Hall.
The Watchtower has done a hatchet job on the Word of God and made it about their specific worldwide work instead of about faith in Christ. They teach the unsuspecting newly converted Jehovah’s Witness that knocking doors and attending meetings are what will save him when Armageddon comes. They do this by implying that if they aren’t “doing enough” to spread the message that they will be “blood guilty” (an old Jewish Law concept) and will die at the hands of Jehovah when Armageddon comes. How can you take a Jewish law and apply it to a Christian? You can’t! Yet Jehovah’s Witnesses apply the old Judaic Law to their own “Christian” teaching every day!
Anyone who has been involved with Jehovah’s Witnesses will have to admit that what I have said about their teaching is indeed the truth of the matter.
As a result, newly converted ones become zealous and almost fanatical in their pursuit of advancement in the organizational “pecking order”. They also begin to show judgmental attitudes toward those who don’t work “as much” or “as hard” in their mind. They start to find fault in others and develop a haughty attitude about their own self worth because they have become better in their own eyes. They begin to talk about other people to their peers in the group. They become cliquish and “holier than thou”.
We’ve all seen it. I don’t believe that any Jehovah’s Witness will deny that this happens constantly in the Kingdom Halls.
My exhortation today is simply this:
Learn to love yourself as God loves you and always has. Learn to embrace your own value as a child of God. Act as if God is working in your life every single moment because He can and will if you let Him. Learn to love others with the same love you receive from God, freely and without judgment. Learn to accept and forgive your own faults and those of others, just as God does.
If you do this, then you will be happy.
I guarantee it!