Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Live Up To Your Dedication

On May 16, 2010, Jehovah’s Witnesses studied and was taught from the March 15, 2010, Watchtower magazine. The article utilized is entitled, ‘Walk By Spirit And Live Up To Your Dedication’. It is found on pages 14-18 of the aforementioned publication.

This leads us to the discussion to what do Jehovah’s Witnesses dedicate themselves? Prior to 1985, before a person’s baptism into becoming a member, two questions were asked which needed to be answered in the affirmative. These questions can be found in the Watchtower, May 1, 1973, page 280, paragraph 25, under ‘Baptizing Follows Discipling’, which states the following:

“If you feel the same about serving Jehovah God and taking Christ’s yoke upon you, we suggest that you consider the following two questions, which are asked of candidates for baptism:

(1) Have you repented of your sins and turned around, recognizing yourself before Jehovah God as a condemned sinner who needs salvation, and have you acknowledged to him that this salvation proceeds from him, the Father, through his Son Jesus Christ?

(2) On the basis of this faith in God and in his provision for salvation, have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to God to do his will henceforth as he reveals it to you through Jesus Christ and through the Bible under the enlightening power of the holy spirit?”

The questions appear fair and straightforward enough in understanding one’s dedication would be to the Father [Jehovah], the Son [Jesus Christ] and the Holy Spirit. To the Watchtower Society’s credit, this could also be seen to harmonize with the scripture found in Mathew 28:19. As translated in the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, it states:

“Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit”.

However, after the fallout of the Watchtower Society falsely leading and indoctrinating members to believe Armageddon was to occur in 1975, there was a huge lost in membership. In the early 1980’s refinements were made to place a stronger hold on the members and for there to be greater ownership and accountability of the members to the Watchtower Society.

A consequence of this was revised questions in which a person must still answer in the affirmative in order to be baptized. The questions can be found in the Watchtower from June 1, 1985. On page 30 under ‘Subjecting Ourselves To Jehovah By Dedication’ the following is stated:

“At the close of the convention baptism talk, the baptism candidates will be in position to answer with depth of understanding and heartfelt appreciation two simple questions that serve to confirm that they recognize the implications of following Christ’s example.

The first question is:
On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?

The second is:
Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God's spirit-directed organization?”

Notice the second question. The Watchtower Society has completely removed the Holy Spirit and in turn leaves a person bound as a member of the Watchtower organization. Slyly, since the year 1985, people who become a dedicated member of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been baptized, not in the name of the Holy Spirit (As stipulated in the Bible), but in the name of a so-called ‘spirit-directed organization’. Interestingly, there is no mention in these updated questions of this baptism identifying them as Christian, but strictly a Jehovah’s Witness; a member of the organization controlled by the Watchtower Society.

Therefore, are Jehovah’s Witnesses dedicated to God in the same manner as first century Christians? Is a Jehovah’s Witnesses baptism biblical, and by whose authority does such a baptism leave one under? Is one when baptized as a Jehovah’s Witness baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Clearly, by the organization’s publication and practice, one is dedicating themselves in the name of Jehovah, Jesus and the Watchtower Society. Is that a dedication anyone should desire to live up to?

According to the Watchtower Society, dedication to their organization is required by God and they are the only true Christian religion as shown in the Watchtower, January 15, 1997, page 22, paragraphs 21-22, under ‘What Does God Require Of Us?’:

“This brings us to the fourth requirement. We must serve Jehovah with his spirit-directed organization. How, though, can God’s organized people be identified? According to the standards set out in the Scriptures, they have real love among themselves, they have deep respect for the Bible, they honor God’s name, they preach about his Kingdom, and they are no part of this wicked world. (Matthew 6:9; 24:14; John 13:34, 35; 17:16, 17) There is only one religious organization on this earth that has all these marks of true ChristianityJehovah’s Witnesses!”

It is required to be members of the Watchtower organization. If one was to research the origin and background of Jehovah's Witnesses, they would find it to be one whose fondation started in the late 1800’s with a history of doctrinal flip-flops and false prophesy. Nevertheless, this is what God requires and what Jehovah’s Witnesses are indoctrinated to live up to in dedication, according to the Watchtower Society…Despite what the Bible states.