Are the Jehovah's Witnesses Christian?
By Ed Decker
In the world of ministry to the cults, some things become abstract definitions of things rather than understandings of people. I have to admit my relationship with the Jehovah's Witnesses had long slipped into that category until one night when my old son, Josh, slipped into my study with a worried look.
"Dad," he quietly began, "I have a real problem at school and I need your help." I smiled, wrongly thinking we were going to deal with some errant test score. "I've become good friends with a classmate who is a Jehovah's Witness," he continued. "He has tried to witness to me and I let him know that I'm a committed Christian, but I don't know how to share my own faith with him so that he would see the difference."
I felt like a Bus Driver whose children needed a ride and couldn't get one. I dusted off several of the books on the Witnesses that were there on the library shelf but soon realised that I needed to get down to basics with my son in a format that he could both understand and implement in his own way. I want to share a little of that with you.
It's a rare door that hasn't felt the knock of the Jehovah's Witnesses more than once and it's an even rarer Jehovah's Witness who has heard the gospel message at one of those doors from the resident Christian. The reason is simply that it is a far from simple task to witness to a Witness. It's easier to just close the door and avoid the difficult task of sorting through a maze of confusing doctrines. Let's try to make it a bit simpler.
There are five important facts to remember about the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Watchtower Organisation.
1. They have accepted the Organisation as the Prophet of God.
2. They have accepted the Organisation as God's sole channel for His truth.
3. They believe that to reject the Organisation is to reject God.
4. They believe that only the Organisation can interpret the Bible; as individuals they are unable to do so.
5. They believe the Watchtower Magazine contains God's truth, directed by Him, through the Organisation.
What does the Organisation and Watchtower Magazine teach that is in conflict with Orthodox Christianity?
1. That Jesus is a created being/a creature.
2. That Jesus is actually Michael the Archangel
3. That Jesus was not resurrected bodily, but as a spirit being.
4. That Jesus returned invisibly in 1914 (secretly to the Organisation)That Jesus returned invisibly in 1914 (secretly to the Organisation).
5. That Jesus was only a man when on earth, not the Word Become flesh.
6. That the Holy Spirit is only an active force, not the person of God.
7. That Hell is simply the grave.
8. That Heaven's doors is open to only 144,000.
9. That the majority of Witnesses must remain on earth.
10. That salvation is found only through the Organisation.
11. That it must be maintained by energetic works for the Organisation until the end when one may merit eternal life on a paradise earth.
12. That Satan is the author of the doctrine of the Trinity.
13. That Jesus cannot be given worship, but only honour as Jehovah's first creation.
The Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe or teach some of the very basic tenets of Christian doctrine. They deny:
1. The Trinity.
2. The Omnipresence of God.
3. The Deity of Christ.
4. The dual nature of Christ.
5. The bodily resurrection of Christ.
6. The visible return of Christ.
7. The person of God the Holy Spirit.
8. The Promise of Heaven to all believers.
9. The necessity of the New Birth for all believers.
10. The Lord's Supper for all believers. (only for the 144,0000).
11. The Eternal Security of the believer.
12. The conscious Eternal Punishment of the lost.
The Bible Teaches the Truth...
1. That God exists in a Trinity of three eternal and co-equal persons: Father (Romans 1:7), Son (John 20:28) and Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3,4 and I John 5:7).
2. Jesus is no less than God in human flesh (Colossians 2:9).
3. God, the Holy Spirit, is the third member of the Holy Trinity (Matt. 28:19; Acts 13:2).
4. Jesus Christ rose bodily from the grave (John 2:20,21; Luke 24:39).
5. Jesus is visibly coming again to set up His Kingdom on earth (Matt. 24:30; Acts 1:8; Rev. 1:7).
6. Salvation is in the person of Jesus Christ and comes through faith in Him. (Acts 16:31). It's the work of God for man, not a work of man for God (Titus 3:4-6).
7. Jesus was and should be worshipped (John 20:26-28; Matt. 2:10-12, 14:33)
Witnessing to a Witness.
We need to remember that anyone who denies the divinity of Jesus Christ and carries the heavy burden of a false, religious spirit is going to be going through a lot of highs and lows. True believers, empowered by the companionship of God, the Holy Spirit have a constant presence of the Lord about them that seems to act like a magnet at times. I told my son to just be himself with this friend and to keep him in daily prayer. God would draw his friend to a place where he could be reached and given a loving and gentle witness. It has already brought a profound and positive change to their relationship and we pray daily, as a family for this young man and his family.
If you want more detailed information, I recommend that you write to a former Witness and dear friend of mine, Lorri MacGregor at MacGregor Ministries, Box 591, Point Roberts, WA 98281 and ask for a Free information package. You may also contact me at Saints Alive, P.O. Box 1076, Issaquah, WA 98027, for any of the assorted material, videos, books we keep on the subject.