Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Unshakable Friendship

On Sunday, December 27, 2009, Jehovah’s Witnesses studied together the article from the October 15, 2009 issue of the Watchtower magazine on pages 17-21, entitled: “Maintaining Friendships In A Loveless World”.

Interestingly, paragraph 4 states the following:

"True, those who do not love Jehovah can also form rewarding friendships. But when individuals are drawn together by a mutual love for God, their friendship will be unshakable. If misunderstandings arise, true friends will treat each other in a way that pleases Jehovah. If opposers of God try to cause divisions, these enemies discover that friendships among true Christians are unbreakable. Throughout history, servants of Jehovah have proved their willingness to face death rather than betray one another."


To their credit, it is good to see that the Watchtower Society acknowledges that those who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses can “form rewarding friendships”. However, the above is implying if you are not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses your friendships are ‘shakable’. They out rightly state that friendships among those who have a mutual love for God, while the paragraph links “true Christians” and “servants of Jehovah” , in other words the Watchtower Society’s definition of Jehovah’s Witnesses, are unshakeable. According to the Watchtower, Jehovah’s Witnesses have friendships that are unshakable.

The word unshakable is defined as:

“Marked by firm determination or resolution; not shakable; "firm convictions"; "a firm mouth"; "steadfast resolve"; "a man of unbendable perseverance"; "unwavering loyalty". Not easily panicked or upset, steady, abiding, adamant, firm, fixed, impregnable, inflexible, unflappable, unsinkable, unwavering”.


To summarize, friendships formed by Jehovah’s Witnesses should last through anything. Contradictory to this idea, we see how quickly fleeing and conditional these so-called “unshakable” friendships are in paragraph 15 of the same article. There it states:

"What, though, if a friend inside the congregation decides to turn his or her back on Jehovah, perhaps needing to be disfellowshipped? Such a circumstance can be very distressing. Describing her reaction when a close friend stopped serving Jehovah, one sister said: "I felt as if something inside of me died. I thought my friend was firmly grounded in the truth, but she was not. I wondered if she had been serving Jehovah just to please her family. I then began to reassess my own motives. Was I serving Jehovah for the right reasons?" How did this sister cope? "l threw my burden on Jehovah," she says. "I am determined to show Jehovah that I love him for who he is, not just because he provides me with friends inside his organization.""


There is an old saying, ‘With friends like these, who needs enemies?’ The above paragraph epitomizes that statement. From the start, many Jehovah’s Witness friendships and overall relationships are conditioned and highly influenced, if not completely controlled by one’s loyalty to the Watchtower Society. As long as an individual follows the organization’s interpretations and directions including knocking on doors and attending the meetings, the friendship continues. However, the moment a person no longer supports the Watchtower Society, the friendship ends.

This type of conditional friendship is an excellent example of the conditional love found within the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Make no mistake about it, many family ties are handled in the same fashion. The teaching and belief of ‘unshakable’ friendships among Jehovah’s Witnesses is more a farce and fa├žade. The truth among Jehovah’s Witnesses is you will find many conditional friendships with loyalty to the Watchtower Society as the determining factor.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Enoch’s "Death"

Watchtower Society doctrine stipulates that only a literal 144,000 individuals go to heaven when they physically die. Their version of the Bible, The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures is used in conjunction with systematic cherry picking of verses and convenient interpretation of passage to stipulate that the remaining members who are worthy of everlasting life will be resurrected and bound to the Earth only.

Members who do not make up the 144,000 include faithful servants of God prior to Jesus Christ. All of those individuals will make up in part, those who will live forever upon the Earth according to the Watchtower Society doctrine. However, once again the Watchtower Society's own literature works against them as Enoch is one such individual who would fall into this category. Interestingly, the Watchtower, July 15, 2009 issue – which was studied in Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Halls on Sunday, September 27, 2009 -- Paragraph 5, page 20, makes the following statements:

“This enmity quickly became evident when Abel, a righteous man, was killed by his brother. Later, enmity was directed against Enoch, another faithful man who lived before the Flood. He prophesied that God would come with HIS holy myriads to execute judgment against the ungodly. (Jude 14, 15) This message was certainly not a popular one. People hated Enoch and evidently would have murdered him had Jehovah not cut his life short. What boldness Enoch displayed! - Gen 5:21-24.”


According to the Watchtower Society, Jehovah cut his life short – killed him – to avoid being murdered. This on the surface may appear to be wonderful to a Jehovah’s Witness as God took Enoch away from persecution and he will receive Everlasting Life on a Paradise Earth, according to their beliefs as established by the Watchtower Society.

The reality is that reasoning doesn’t make sense. It would be the same as saying, “People hated Enoch and evidently would have cut his life short had Jehovah not murdered him.” Or, it could also be worded as: “People hated Enoch and evidently would have murdered him had Jehovah not murdered him”.

Looking at the New World Translation, what the Bible verse actually states at Genesis 5:24, is the following:

"And E´noch kept walking with the [true] God. Then he was no more, for God took him."


All the Bible verse stipulates is that “God took him”. The Watchtower Society conjecturing as to why God performed such action is to take focus away from the real issue that statement poses. The verse does not indicate why or in what manner, but just that God took him. Other Bible translation such as the New International Version renders that verse as God took [Enoch] away. Nevertheless, let’s stick with the “God took him” statement.

Remember, Watchtower Society doctrine has Enoch living forever on the Earth and not in heaven. In Enoch's case, this means dying a physical death and being resurrected. This leaves quite a mess for the doctrine taught to Jehovah’s Witnesses in light of this Bible verse; especially, once you couple it with another Bible verse concerning Enoch. The Bible once again speaks of Enoch if you were to take a look in Hebrews 11: 5. There the Bible reads as follows as per the New World Translation:

"By faith E´noch was transferred so as not to see death, and he was nowhere to be found because God had transferred him; for before his transference he had the witness that he had pleased God well."


The Bible indicates Enoch did not see death, and he was nowhere to be found because God had transferred him. This phenomenon can easily be explained by most Christians as Enoch being swept up to heaven by God. Unfortunate for a Jehovah’s Witness, such an explanation is not possible as it goes against what their religion teaches as the truth.

The truth is the Bible provides a much more reasonable and sound basis for such statements to be made not to lean towards a physical death provided to Enoch by God so he may be resurrected to an everlasting life on Earth; rather, an eternal heavenly reward for his faithful service to God. The Bible plainly states Enoch did not see death. There is no resurrection from death to a so-called Paradise Earth in the future per Watchtower Society teachings; instead, he was transferred to the heavens without ever experiencing death.

Conclusively, this provides further proof and evidence of the Watchtower Society not interested in the real truth of the Bible. They’re only interested in having the members believe and support what they teach as ‘The Truth’.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Misunderstanding

Part of the smoke screens and mirrors act the Watchtower Society likes to play with Jehovah’s Witnesses and those not indoctrinated by their organization is having a play on words or concepts. Take for instance this admonishment in the Watchtower from March 15, 1998 on page 19:

"In order to avoid misunderstandings, Jehovah’s Witnesses try to be careful about how they express themselves. Instead of saying, "the Society teaches," many Witnesses prefer to use such expressions as, "the Bible says" or, "I understand the Bible to teach." In this way they emphasize the personal decision that each Witness has made in accepting Bible teachings and also avoid giving the false impression that Witnesses are somehow bound to the dictates of some religious sect. "


Following such directions leave Jehovah’s Witnesses in a quandary for many areas of teaching and doctrine from the Watchtower Society cannot be found by just using the bible. Such problems include but are not exclusive to:

-You cannot open the Bible and show someone that Jesus came to the Temple in 1919 to inspect it.

-You cannot use the Bible to show which blood fractions are allowed, and which ones are not.

-You cannot show the correct meaning of generation using the Bible. According to the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses it has changed over the years. If you had gone to someone's house prior to 1995 and ‘showed’ them the meaning of the generation, you'd have to go back, read the same scriptures, and tell them now it means something different, then go again when the meaning changed again; each time ‘proving’ the meaning with the same Bible.

Furthermore, the logic of the Watchtower Society is so twisted. The above Watchtower quote is telling Jehovah’s Witnesses to tell other that they (The Watchtower Society) are not telling Jehovah’s Witnesses what to do. The control the religion tries to hide from its members and others is sickening. In effect, the Watchtower Society is saying, “Don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain”!

The truth is Jehovah’s Witnesses are following what the Watchtower Society says and teaches. Their own literature testifies to this fact. This is proven with such articles as the January 1, 1996 Watchtower under the theme “Handling the Word of the Truth Aright”, on page 30 which dictates:

“Today, a “faithful and discreet slave” has been appointed to supply God’s servants with food at the proper time and to help them understand “the greatly diversified wisdom of God.” Jehovah, by his spirit, reveals deep Scriptural truths by means of this loyal slave, which faithfully publishes spiritual “food at the proper time.”


Therefore, why does Jehovah's Witnesses not say, "the faithful and discreet slave" teaches and instructs us? According to the above Watchtower, that is where each individual is supposed to get their understanding from. The Watchtower Society has made it clear in their publications that individuals do not come to correct conclusions or accurate spiritual knowledge from their own study apart from the ‘spiritual food’ provided by the faithful and discreet slave class.

However, saying "the faithful and discreet slave class teaches" would sound even more cultish than saying "the Society teaches". Ultimately, the end result is the Watchtower Society trying to disguise and hide the true teachers of Jehovah’s Witnesses and who the members are really being led to follow.