Skip to comments.Are Jehovah’s Witnesses a Protestant Religion?
Posted on 12/02/2011 9:56:33 AM PST by Cronos
they differ from Protestant religions in many significant ways. In fact, The Encyclopedia of Religion refers to Jehovahs Witnesses as being distinctive. Consider three ways in which they are different.
First, although Protestant faiths reject certain features of Catholic worship, Reformation leaders retained certain Catholic dogmas, such as belief in the Trinity, hellfire, and the immortality of the human soul. Jehovahs Witnesses, however, believe that those doctrines not only contradict the Bible but also promote a distorted view of God.See Exposed: Six Myths About Christianity.
Second, the religion that Jehovahs Witnesses advocate is, not one of negative protest, but one of positive instruction. They take seriously the Bibles counsel: A servant of the Lord is not to engage in quarrels, but has to be kind to everyone, a good teacher, and patient. He has to be gentle when he corrects people who dispute what he says. (2 Timothy 2:24, 25, The Jerusalem Bible) Jehovahs Witnesses do point out contradictions between what the Bible says and what many religious groups teach. Yet, their goal in doing so is not to reform other religious organizations. Rather, their goal is to help sincere individuals to gain accurate knowledge of God and of his Word, the Bible. (Colossians 1:9, 10) When people of other persuasions insistently disagree with them, Jehovahs Witnesses avoid engaging in fruitless debates.2 Timothy 2:23.
Third, unlike the Protestant movement, which has splintered into hundreds of denominations, Jehovahs Witnesses have maintained a united global brotherhood. When it comes to Bible doctrine, Jehovahs Witnesses in over 230 countries follow the apostle Pauls counsel to speak in agreement. There are no divisions among them. Instead, they are genuinely united in the same mind and in the same line of thought. (1 Corinthians 1:10) They strive within their own ranks to observe the oneness of the spirit in the uniting bond of peace.Ephesians 4:3.
there was a post on this some months ago — very funny. I think it was Mormon meets Jehovah’s Witness or something.
Possibly. I just looked at it from a historical era point of view (of course there is no theological similarity between any of these) -- 1800s to early 1900s. Why do you say it had nothing to do with the restoration movements? Seriously -- I would like to learn more from your point of view
you have a point -- if the Jehovah's Witnesses are anything, they are persistent and persevering. Something for all of us to learn from.
They are preaching their version of the word and their fervour and passion by all members is something we should admire -- their actual teaching, well, i disagree with.
the thing is that being a Christian is to hold to that very point, that Jesus IS God. One can't even hold Him to be just a prophet as He did things and said things only of God -- either He WAS God or he was a possessed madman whose teachings are that of a mad man.
yet cyc has pointed out how passionate they are to spread their religion — something for the rest of us to learn from imho
There is more to Russellism than being “asked” to proselytize. It is strictly a works system and the folks hit the streets to make what they think are merit points with Jehovah God.
I realize the New Testament teaches that “faith without works is dead” but the orthodox emphasis is always on “faith.” The “works” is something the believer should WANT to do to express his love for both God and his fellow man and not just some sort of obligation.
I think the Jehovh’s Witnesses would differ with that characterization
If you are a JW, too bad for you.
If not, you have actually listened to their propaganda and that’s too bad for you.
Stick to the Bible-—a REAL translation, not the JW’s version-—and see what you conclude.
(Never forget that Charles Taze Russell was caught committing perjury before the NY Supreme court early in the last century)
I pointed out that they do not hold to what you said -- and let's wait for our Jehovah's Witness freeper to respond.
Each of us consists of the new man and the old man. The new man (the new creature, born of the spirit) cannot sin. The old man, the man of flesh which we still are, we should crucify it daily and live in the spirit.
John in his first epistle speaks to our plight. In chapter 1 he says that we all commit sin. And anyone who says otherwise is a liar (1 John 1:8). Then in chapter 3 he says whosoever is born of God does not commit sin (1 John 3:9). How can this be? Paul wrestles with this very issue in Romans 7:14-25. In chapter 8 he declares we are free from the law if sin and of death. We should be spiritually minded. (Romans 8:6).
When I think of the “fundamentalist movement” of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, I think of the theological issues of that time: darwinsim v. creationism, infallibility of scriptures, etc. This was about the time that the Presbyterian seminaries/churches and other mainline denoms I’m sure) began to be infected with liberalism. So to my understanding this was the first clash between liberal and conservative/orthodox theologians. A battle that continues today. William Jennings Bryan was a populist politician during that era and was also a prebyterian/fundamentalist who was an opponent of Darwinism. The only famous example of that era I can think of.
I'm not disagreeing with you that these other cults are passionate about recruiting and that the majority of Christian denominations have a long way to go to make up the difference in efforts in this regard, but there's something to be said for presenting the Gospel in such a way that people don't hide from you when you come around.
In other words, there's more to the saying of "Preach the Gospel continuously, use words when necessary." than what there appears at first. Our witness of Christ is not in beating on doors and cajoling people into joining, but allowing the Grace of God to show in our lives to the point that the unbelievers want to know what makes us different. We must decrease so that He may increase.
If I may, I believe I can interject a little first-hand knowledge of the situation here.
As a Fundamentalist, I can say that the restoration movement was not the genesis of modern Fundamentalism but rather it was as Augustinian monk suspected; a reaction to the influences of early neo-orthodox theologians, especially in regards to such topics as the inerrancy of Scripture and the literal nature of it's account, the Virgin Birth, the Bodily resurrection of Christ and the substitutionary atonement of Christ's death on the cross.
Now, that being said, I also agree that the restoration movement had some influence on most Fundamentalists, as we see them as Christian Brothers with a kindred desire to return to the fundamentals of the Faith. While the restoration movement generally generated independent Churches, the fundamentalism movement exists within both established denominations as well as those Churches who are a part of the restoration movement.
For example, while I currently go to a non-denominational Fundamentalist Church, I have in the past gone to a Church of Christ while looking for a new Church home. The reason that I decided against the Church of Christ was based upon my preferred style more than theology, as the CoC's theology was close enough to my own understanding of the Faith that I judged it to not be enough of a stumbling block to me to prohibit me from worshiping with them.
I hope that helps some to give you a better understanding of where we Fundamentalists actually are coming from, so to speak.
thank you both for the explanations!
Funny how people can pick and choose what they believe. In college there was guy who told me he could never believe in the Genesis account of creation or the flood but he was Catholic. So you can believe the wafer and wine literally transform into the body and blood of Christ but have trouble with a big flood? Doesn’t compute.
That's pretty much my stance as well. Either you take God at His word and believe all of it, or you don't have the authority to take any of it. The same one who said "This do in remembrance of me" was the same one who said "Let there be light". I may disagree with others on the interpretation of Scripture or even find it hard to believe the record at times, but if it's written down in Scripture then it carries the authority of God with it and my part as a believer is to accept it as such.
I'm not saying that I don't question at times, but I am saying that those questions always lead back to the authority of Scripture in the believer's life and our place in God's order. I may not understand it, but I must obey it if I am to remain in subjection to God's authority on the matter.
2And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
3And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.
Matthew 14:33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him Jesus, saying, Truly you are the Son of God.
John 9:38 Then the man said, Lord Jesus, I believe, and he worshiped him.
And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.
Jesus freely welcomed other people to call Him God and worship Him as God without correcting or rebuking them for being in error. Therefore, Jesus acceptance of worship also proves that He was God.
20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, Friend, your sins are forgiven.
21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?
22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, Your sins are forgiven, or to say, Get up and walk? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. So he said to the paralyzed man, I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home. 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, We have seen remarkable things today.
I like the idea of sticking to the bible. I will use the ASV. There are others that are in complete agreement with the scriptures I will use.
I would like to limit the discussion to scriptures their meaning and logical conclusions. I will not be inclined to respond to opinions of non-scriptural sources. If you want to reference a scripture, at least identify the source, book, chapter and verse.
The following scriptures with associated comments provide the basis for my statement that I don't see how anyone can claim Jesus is God(Jehovah).
SOURCE: The American Standard Version Online Bible (ASV)
Colossians 1:15 (Jesus)who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared [him].
John 5:37 And the Father that sent me, he hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his form.
John 6:46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he that is from God, he hath seen the Father.
John 20:17 Jesus saith to her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended unto the Father: but go unto my brethren, and say to them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and my God and your God.
John 20:31 but these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name.
Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show unto his servants, [even] the things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified [it] by his angel unto his servant John;
Revelation 1:2 who bare witness of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, [even] of all things that he saw.
Revelation 3:14 And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God:
Isaiah 44:6 Thus saith Jehovah, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, Jehovah of hosts: I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no God.
Jesus says NO MAN HAS SEEN GOD, Jesus say's God is his father.
John says Jesus is the SON OF GOD
JEHOVAH says BESIDES ME THERE IS NO GOD The Bible says Jesus is of creation. HE WAS CREATED!!
But how can one ignore the fact that Jesus does things (like forgiving sins, casting out demons in His own power) that only God can do? How can one ignore that He used the same terms "I am" as God in the OT did? The Jew's crucified Him because they believed He was blasphemous to call Himself God.
to take 1 Colossians 1:15 by itself is to ignore the context as well as the sentences and not note that it says 15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; is wrong
Note also that Colossians refers to Christ as "through Him all things were made", namely that He was before creation and time came into being. He was begotten, the first-born from all eternity, never coming into being.
First-born does not refer to the sense of time, but first in eminence -- hence Isaac, Jacob, Ephraim get blessings of the first-born.
Col 1:16 goes on to say for in him were all things created -- all things were created in Him -- if He was just a creature, then HE was created in Him? No, Jesus Christ was the Creator of all things, He is/was/will forever be God
As john 5:18 says called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
john 1 says John 1:13: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God
The Word WAS God, from the beginning
One cannot pick and choose. If one believes in the Genesis account of creation, one must believe in the True Presence in the Eucharist. That was Martin Luther’s theme point too when combatting with Zwingli
Either He was God or he was a demonic-possessed mad man whose words should be ignored. No place in-between. He was not a "prophet" or "Archangel Michael" if He forgave sins and healed on His own power and if He accepted worship. He was either God or the other guy, no power in-between.
My Grandmother told us the tale of the JW who knocked at her door on a rainy laundry day. She had laundry... clothing sheets, towels... hung on makeshift lines, criss-crossing across the living and dining areas of the house. A veritable maze of cloth! The JW let himself in, set up a phonograph (this was the 1930’s) and proceeded to “preach” to her. She had to battle through the maze of clothing to axe the phonograph music, find him and using her famous “broom” whisk him right out of her house!
16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working. 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
19 Jesus gave them this answer: Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
24 Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
28 Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come outthose who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.
No problem believing in a literal Genesis but I suspect that our definitions of the True Presence in the Eucharist would clash, not because the text is clear but because RC's see the True Presence actually in the Eucharist (physical body and blood) while Protestants see the True Presence in the Eucharist (Christ's presence with us during the Eucharist).
I can't say if the Catholic position is true or false, as I've never received the Eucharist as a Catholic, but I can say that I've seen the evidence of Christ's presence during the footwashing and communion services that I've been involved with, including on at least one occasion a true to Scripture occurrence of speaking in tongues, complete with independent translation by a 3rd party.
I know which one that I believe to be correct, but since I can't be completely positive on the matter I refer to Mark 9.
Mar 9:38-40 KJV -  And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.  But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.  For he that is not against us is on our part.
This is actually a very important matter -- perhaps we who have been born Christian have never thought about "is Christ God", but as we grow in the Faith and ponder on His word and His life to ME it seems clear that He could only be God or a madman, nothing in-between, not a super-angel, not a prophet
On a somewhat related note, I once knew a Unitarian missionary.
He would knock on people’s doors, but he didn’t know why . . .
Very good point Cronos, eze and CYC have presented their case without hostility and we should be at all times ready to give a defense for the hope that is within us. While I agree with Cronos that it seems self-evident that Jesus can only be either God, a liar or a complete lunatic, we still should provide evidence of why that seems self-evident to us and why rejection of Christ's deity is a heresy that all Christians rightly condemn.
Let's begin with the basics. Christ Himself makes the claim to deity, stating in John 8:58 that "Before Abraham was, I am." which, as may or may not be readily known, is a direct claim on His part to be "I AM". For reference, this is the same name that Yahweh told Moses to tell the Children of Israel when they asked who had sent Moses to them. Exodus 3:14 for reference.
Exd 3:14 KJV -  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM : and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
You will note from the rest of the text in John 8 that the Jews immediately recognized this as a claim to deity due to the fact that they attempted to stone him for blasphemy as soon as they heard this.
Continuing on, again in Mark 14:61-62 we see Jesus claim to be deity and the Jews' reaction to that claim. They understood that He was claiming to be Yahweh. Again, the verse for reference.
Mar 14:61-62 KJV -  But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?  And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
There is, of course, more evidence for Christ's deity but this should be enough to at the very least get the conversation started properly.
That’s totally correct unless you’re reading a New World travesty which shamelessly changed verses in order to support JW heresies.
Hundreds? Sounds like we are consolidating!
Ping to the post this ping is a reply to.
I am preparing a response that address the responses I have received.
I'm a little short of time, so it will be a day or so.
Testing for auto link to Greek Septuagint.
I think this is going to work. If it doesn't you can paste the URL from above into your address and it will get you there and I will post accordingly. If it works you can use the drop down and go to to the old testament in Greek.
This will allow you to compare things like the I AM in the old testament in Exodus 3:14 with the I am in John 8:58.
note — the numbers are according to the Jehovah’s Witnesses
Exactly -- and if He was just the Archangel Michael who is one of the dutiful angels who KNEW how his brother angel Lucifer fell, well Mikey would have been aghast to have anyone think he was claiming anything LIKE equality with God.
interesting point, let me read up and get back to you.
“yet cyc has pointed out how passionate they are to spread their religion something for the rest of us to learn from imho”
Spreading heresy should not be admired
“The meaning of this word is related to the imperial seal. That seal is tantamount in authority to the actual presence of the emperor. It is not a lesser thing.”
How you arrive at this definition I'll not try to guess but according to the Biblical usage of the term it means a representation, likeness, not the thing pictured anymore than a painting is the actual person or equal to having the actual person.
It is this sense Paul uses the term “eikon” at 1 Cor. 15:49, that while fleshly, earthy they bore the “eikon”, or resembled Adam but in heaven they would bear the “eikon” or image, resemblance of the Christ.
While resembling the Christ they are lesser.
At Hebrews 1:3 Paul uses a slightly different word, “charakter” or a carved emblem, again a representation, not the thing pictured as a sculpture may show the characteristics of another but is not that person or on the same level. I Tim. 3:16 is in agreement with Paul's usage of image, “eikon”.
You may find a Greek/English lexicon and concordance useful here.
AP: Spreading heresy should not be admired
1. I doubt he would call it heresy as it is his belief system
2. I'm admiring how they are passionate about what they believe in -- something for us all to learn.
Still reading up on “eikons”?