Talk:Jehovah's Witnesses

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Cult[edit]

they keep getting called a cult, but I'm not sure how accurate this is, or whether it's just a snarl word. Totnesmartin 08:42, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

The wider usage of "cult" (ie religion) is perfectly appropriate. The contemporary usage (a religion which takes advantage of its followers and ruins their lives etc) also generally matches, though the close technical usage (Jim Jones or Heaven's Gate) isn't quite there yet, though only because they figure God doesn't need the help. WazzaHello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me... 09:05, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
A cult is not, strictly, a religion, but the body of practices associated with worship, usually of a particular God. Compare: Sun cult, Moon cult, and cult of saints. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:40, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I actually got some close relatives who converted into JWs. Granted, I still disagree with their practices. It is because of them we could not sing Oh Canada in the morning when I was at high school. Infringing on their religion. Bunch of BS.--Nate River (talk) 17:49, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

I see this is from 2009, this could be of some relevance http://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/are-jehovahs-witnesses-a-cult/ Thoughts? RoryWatt (talk) 18:47, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Invite them for coffee[edit]

I usually invite them for coffee and try to convert them into whatever I feel like at the moment, be it the fallibility of the bible, myself as a good being despite being a dirty atheist or Thor (the god, not the marvel hero). By doing that I achieve two things. First, I abide to the golden rule and treat these JW's as they'd like to treat others (converting), and by wasting as much time as possible, they are not able to waste time on others in the progress. Keep a few shreds of evil bible quotes handy, rape always works, and don't allow them to use the Bible in their logic. Don't leave condoms in visible places, that's just rude.62.159.14.62 (talk) 08:41, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Heaven[edit]

I'm not sure what would be an appropriate fix for this, but the reference to the 144,000 places in heaven is an incorrect reflection of Jehovah's Witnesses' beliefs -- they don't believe in heaven.

Hi, according to (someone on) the official website, 144,000 special people get to go to heaven. The rest of those saved in the eyes of Jehovah spend a blissful eternity on earth. So, yes, Jehovah's witnesses do believe in heaven, they just believe you are not special enough to be a part of it. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 17:35, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

What is the point of being a doorbell-botherer if you can't go to heaven for doing it? — Unsigned, by: 82.198.250.67 / talk / contribs 14:11, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Website[edit]

Why is it that the actual JW websites are not listed in the external links?

watchtower.org jw.org

the sites that are listed seem a bit biased against them— Unsigned, by: 68.217.210.187 / talk / contribs

We can list their sites too. - π 00:15, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

they wear snappy white shirts and ties (with the now common sports backpack ruining up the smarts)[edit]

...to me, that's the Mormon look (...just add a nameplate that tells me this 19-year-old, pimple-faced pair of totally colseted geeks are actually named "Elder Smith and "Elder Jones"), not the JW look. Am i mixing up my cults? P-Foster (talk) 18:03, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Bronze it[edit]

And put it on my mantle. ТyTalk. 15:36, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Mormons Vs JWs[edit]

Yeah, the white shirts, two males, with bicycles, and often backpacks, are the Mormons. I think they may wear an ID tag of some sort while preaching too.

No alcohol = Mormons.

Lots of other differences but those might be the most commonly confused.141.0.11.100 (talk) 23:59, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

Questions[edit]

I'm a former Jehovah's Witness, and I have a few problems with the Questions section. They appear to be based on misunderstanding of their theology:

  • "Why is it necessary to preach if everyone is going to be resurrected anyway?"

Jehovah's Witnesses don't believe that EVERYONE is going to be resurrected/saved. Those who reject their message are going to be destroyed at Armageddon. They believe that everyone alive at the time of Armageddon who isn't a part of their organization will perish. The preaching work is done to "save" those people and bring them into the fold before it's too late.

I'm also a former Witness (I wrote most of this section) and I remember that differently. I guess I need to check this in some source material. Despite being raised in the faith, I never had a precise understanding of this portion of the teachings. Feel free to improve. --Tweenk (talk) 19:41, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "If only people who consciously rejected your faith will die during Armageddon, why are you guilty of their death if you do not preach? Won't they live through Armageddon if they don't learn about your religion?"

The answer to the last question is no. It is repeated often in Watchtower publications that only those involved in their organization will be saved. They do not believe there will be people left alive who haven't had the opportunity before the end comes.

See above. --Tweenk (talk) 19:41, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "Did God design the claws and teeth of tigers, or did they evolve after the expulsion of humans from the Garden of Eden? If they were designed by God, what were they used for in the Garden of Eden?"

The explanation I was often given is that the sharp teeth and claws were designed for digging and eating tough roots and plants.

The only explanation I could find in the CD version of the JW library which explicitly addressed this question said that the food of carnivorous animals which lived before the fall is unknown, and perhaps it did not fossilize. --Tweenk (talk) 19:41, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "What did the carnivorous dinosaurs eat?"

As above, a Jehovah's Witness will say they ate plants, seeds, coconuts, etc.

  • "Why did God create dinosaurs only to kill them long before he created humans?"

JW's believe that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time.

I heard the opposite. I'm sure there were no drawings of dinosaurs in any of the JW publications. I don't remember the matter being explicitly discussed anywhere. Perhaps this belief has some regional variation. --Tweenk (talk) 19:41, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
I've always thought that a popular belief was that the dinosaurs died as a result of the flood, as they could not fit in the ark. Though it's not really relevant to the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses. RoryWatt (talk) 18:42, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
  • "How could Noah have known which animals are clean and which are unclean hundreds of years before the Mosaic law was revealed?"

The JW answer is that the law was always known, just not formally written down until Moses came along.

I asked an elder about this and his reply was something along the lines of "Bible is not a textbook, so it doesn't say everything in detail". If the law was known before, what was the point of revealing it to Moses? --Tweenk (talk) 19:41, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "Why God won't offer me the same choice as was offered to Adam and Eve?"

The JW's believe he is. You have the choice to join them or not. — Unsigned, by: 70.141.226.66 / talk / contribs

This is not the same choice. Adam and Eve had a choice between obeying God and avoiding any suffering, or disobeying him and experiencing suffering. You have a choice between joining JWs or not, but you will experience suffering regardless. --Tweenk (talk) 19:41, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Link to use?[edit]

Putting it here: The Jehovah's Witnesses, by former ones. Rursus (talk) 12:13, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

More on Blood Tranfusions[edit]

While adults die because of their belief about blood transfusions children aren't immune to this. Back in 2007 the first set of sextuplets in Canada were born. Two of the children died in the first two weeks the other children were in the NICU. Doctors said that three of the four remaining children would require blood transfusions (common is pre-mature infants) the parents said no. Doctors tried to stimulate natural hemoglobin production and did as little blood sampling as possible however the children still needed blood transfusions. Thankfully this is where the government stepped in Children's services took custody of the kids so that the transfusions could be performed (a score for rationality imo). I'm curious how these children will be treated growing up in the faith now that they have been "tainted".--Sammygirl (talk) 04:26, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

AFAIK the children wouldn't be considered 'tainted'. The blood transfusion ban is not about purity or ritual cleanliness. You don't become 'tainted' with foreign blood, you are breaking a commandment from God. That's why whether you accept self-transfusions or blood-derived drugs is left up to your own conscience. If you or your child received a transfusion despite your earnest efforts to refuse, it's not your fault, so you'd be forgiven. --Tweenk (talk) 01:37, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Recent additions to questions[edit]

There were a few additions recently to "questions to ask Jehovah's Witnesses". Several of them deal with inconsistencies in the original teachings of Charles Taze Russell. I think these kinds of questions would be considered nitpicking and beside the point. Modern Jehovah's Witnesses certainly have respect for Charles Taze Russell, but he is not revered as a founding father or a prophet of God in a manner similar to how Mormons revere Joseph Smith. They think of him as simply the first man that found the "truth" that was there in the Bible all the time.

Doctrinal changes are also not a big problem in themselves for JWs, because there's a doctrine based on Proverbs 4:18 about "the light getting brighter", e.g. the doctrine being ever closer to perfection through better understanding of the Bible. This is only a problem for changes which are later reverted, so the organ transplant ban is a good question. --Tweenk (talk) 00:43, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Inaccuracies and stuff[edit]

Hiya, I just want to add that there is some info in this article that is inaccurate and/or a bit behind the times of modern JW beliefs. There's also a lot of incorrect and/or out of date stuff in this Talk page. I'll talk about a few of the more major things in the article, I won't at the moment go into much of the Talk page stuff.

-Drugs that work on the brain are fine, if not illegal / well known to be harmful in folk culture / being abused. No smoking; alcohol in moderation or in balance is fine.

The text was intended to refer to illegal drugs, maybe that was unclear. I do know that hypnosis is still off the table, so that paragraph should have been modified instead of removed. --Tweenk (talk) 03:48, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Hypnosis hasn't been talked about for quite some time, probably 20 to 30 years (guessing / remembering). In that time psychology has developed a helluva lot and hypnosis has somewhat moved under the umbrella of psychology more than other things. With these developments I would say it might not be 100% clear to all modern witnesses exactly where to stand on hypnosis, although many do revert to older tradition. A newer 'official' view may never come about, or at least not yet - modern thought in some areas has moved more in a direction of making a personal decision based on principles and investigation.141.0.9.148 (talk) 08:23, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

-The heaven people are not 'better' or 'gained it' somehow through more merit. They just have a different, like, 'yearning'. If you don't yearn for that, you know you're not one of em. The thought that they are 'better' is nearly 100 years out of date.

-I distinctly remember the meeting/announcement seriously saying clearly we do not want to cover up or hide something like abuse, and you can report to authorities and the elders should know too. We don't tolerate bad stuff, we are told we have a responsibility to keep the congregation clean if we know of serious wrongdoing in any member, and people who've had a problem in that way, if current would face big consequences, and if time has passed still would be ineligible for nearly any situation of trust or authority. Our info for kids teaches selfprotection, boundaries, to tell adults if something isnt right, etc.

Every Christian group will say this, but the reality can be very different, especially when the accusation is directed at a high-ranking member. --Tweenk (talk) 03:48, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
Sure. I want to be clear though that the things that were previously written were absolutely unrepresentative of our views, and my own personal experience and lifetime has shown me that bad stuff has not been tolerated or hidden - no matter who the person was. That's the experience I've had and the legacy of JWs where I live.141.0.9.148 (talk) 08:23, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

-Many things about evolution and chronology in biology and stuff, we now kinda have more of a view that we are just not entirely sure of certain things and how things fit together and exactly when or what happened. We just do believe that stuff exists because a creator decided it to, and we believe that a lot of stuff that has come under the banner of "evolution" or "noncreation" or "how life began spontaneously" has had a changing, developing, or uncertain nature and we expect that to continue.

-There has been a definite change in viewpoints re: the bit where it talks about expectations of the levels of time spent in study and activity and stuff- where if not at that level, you would be considered spiritually weak. Actually, In my whole lifetime it has always been understood that different people have different circumstances - although certain things are encouraged. But anyway, there has been actual printed stuff more recently on this- that officially, people are officially going to have different amounts of time and energy to spend; do the best you can; have balance in your life.

There mighta been a few other things but I'm tired. :P Most of the actual article apart from these things, seems reasonably accurate-ish... But the 'Questions to ask a JW' are pretty irrelevant... I've never heard of a lot of it... Maybe sometimes people speculate or think of possibilities, or maybe that happened more frequently a long time ago.

We believe we don't exactly know some stuff and probably won't perfectly understand everything anytime soon.

I think there will always be moments/info where something will be encouraged, but there will always be other moments/other info acknowledging other sides of a matter. At the same time some people keep reading various stuff, stay up to date, pass on current stuff... while others are busy or whatever and their thought process might not update as much, might not keep as up to date with developing thought as fast, might keep thinking or saying some old-school stuff for a while...?

I think also there's definitely an element where an individual's thinking or expressing might not be in absolute isolation from the cultural background or personal limitations they've got at a given time. Hearing what a JW from the bible belt or a republican state of the USA might first think of to say on a topic, could possibly feel a bit more fundamentalist or conservative sometimes? (I don't know, i'm not from the USA). Some JWs could have times of not learning or thinking or expressing well. Japanese JWs have had a tendency to be kinda hardcore, superconscientious, stricter in interpretations, shame-fearing; Aussie JWs do often have a laid-back bent. Family and friend groups and individuality are factors too.

Things do change and develop a lot, quite fast really sometimes - also we are imperfect individuals, and theres certainly a chance that somebody could be a bit weird in explaining something (or a bit weird generally). A conversation you had with a JW 5-10 years ago (or something printed - but probably less so), might be out of date on a topic.

(Edit - after making this talk section I changed / deleted the main glaring inaccuracies in the article. I think I left in any references they were supposedly based on though. I added a lame joke to try to balance out the loss, hopefully somebody can think of a better one) 141.0.11.100 (talk) 22:52, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

The Article says they rely on English Translations of the bible, but they do have a book that has both hebrew and english translations. It is a somewhat rare-ish book, but I have seen a copy(I'm pretty sure it is a watchtower published book).LogicMaster777 (talk) 17:04, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Glossing over[edit]

The article seems to gloss over the fact that the organization has a "secret" book for "elders" that defines actual rules, as opposed to the doctrines that are just there for PR. For example, cooperation with with law enforcement in cases that could "harm" the organisation is highly discouraged. Child abuse(regular beatings) itself is actually a staple of their faith, and sexually assaulted children are told to stay quiet unless they want to "deny salvation to hundreds of people by shaming the only true Organisation of God". Internal "persecution" is theoretically in order, but it requires two JW witnesses to be present at the moment of the crime. - Unsigned by 89.70.133.3

This is true, and it needs to be inserted into the article - with good sources, of course. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 00:13, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

"this is literally how the church depicts God"[edit]

It just an art piece? It's also cropped in such a way that makes it look more silly than it really is... I see nothing special here... Carpetsmoker (talk) 15:58, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

Actually, it's taken from one of their recruitment/conversion pamphlets (that they hand out when accosting people at home in order to convince them that this is some legit theology) as well as hand out at their respective Kingdom Halls called "Good News From God!", more specifically under the section "Who Is Jesus Christ?" in which we're told that, quote: "After Jesus died, God restored him to life as a spirit person. (1 Peter 3:18)". This is the motif that the picture shows. At which point Jehovah literally sim salabims Jesus, as shown here. I'm currently studying at the Faculty of Theology at Uppsala University and am writing a study on JW. I actually hold in my hand the paper-printed, sacred brochure in which this hilarious display is found. So I added it. It's silly as all hell, Carpet. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:20, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
My point is, I don't how it's different from Michelangelo's painting of the Sistine Chapel and many other works of religious inspired art which break the second commandant and depict God. Carpetsmoker (talk) 06:13, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Weren't they persecuted by the Nazis?[edit]

I'm sure they are still trying to capitalize on that in some sort. another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 14:48, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Well, I guess they sorta are, but they were persecuted (obviously quite unfairly) by the nazis, and were sent to concentration camps. They may be cooky but they suffered through the worst at the hands of the nazis. So as far as actual credit goes to Jehova's, that's a solid point. It's not much considering how nuts the sect is, but it's certainly true. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:28, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
IIRC, their persecution was due to them being staunch conscientious objectors as their religion commands. Typhoon (talk) 13:42, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
That is correct, as I recall. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:02, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Same.--JorisEnter (talk) 14:11, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Shouldn't we mention that in the article? another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 15:17, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Seems relevant enough. A good source would come in handy, though.--JorisEnter (talk) 15:20, 13 July 2016 (UTC)