News

Jehovah’s Witnesses fear Russian government may ban them

Judges of Russia's Supreme Court attend a hearing in Moscow on Jan. 23, 2014. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Maxim Shemetov

Judges of Russia’s Supreme Court attend a hearing in Moscow on Jan. 23, 2014. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Maxim Shemetov *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-WITNESSES-RUSSIA, originally transmitted on March 28, 2017.

(RNS) Russia’s Supreme Court will soon decide whether to label Jehovah’s Witnesses as an extremist group, a designation members of the faith fear would lead to the shuttering of their more than 2,300 congregations in that country.

The possibility has galvanized many of the world’s 8 million Jehovah’s Witnesses, a minority denomination in every country in which they live, and one that is frequently harassed.

But their experience in Russia, where there are approximately 175,000 Witnesses, has been particularly hostile.

“An imminent ban is in the making,” said Jehovah’s Witness spokesman David A. Semonian. “There are other areas where we have faced challenges, but this is unique.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Christian denomination founded in the U.S. in the late 19th century, is known for its door-to-door proselytizing, but also its rejection of violence and military service.

A group of Jehovah’s Witnesses writes letters to members of the Russian government in support of their churches in Russia on March 25, 2017. Photo courtesy of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Jehovah’s Witnesses began a worldwide letter-writing campaign on March 21, days after the Justice Ministry asked the court to rule on the denomination.

The court is scheduled to take up the case on April 5.

“We’re very hopeful that it will have an impact with the Russian officials,” Semonian said of the letter-writing campaign, “and they will see that Jehovah’s Witnesses are not threats when it comes to the government — that we’re a peaceful people and that we contribute to the Russian people.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses have already been banned in some areas of the country, where local officials consider their literature and criticism of the Russian Orthodox Church a form of incitement.

While the group has been cast as particularly threatening by Russian government officials who have raided their churches, other religious groups have also been curtailed.

An anti-evangelizing law that went into effect last summer limits church activity to church buildings and requires permits for missionaries, among other restrictions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has billed himself as a champion of Russia’s majority denomination, the Russian Orthodox Church.

About the author

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe has been a national reporter for RNS since 2011. Previously she covered government and politics as a daily reporter at the Charlotte Observer and The State (Columbia, S.C.)

390 Comments

Click here to post a comment

  • cult

    noun

    a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.

    JWs have no leader, they have a governing body of elders. Before you slam a group at least Google them.

    I think we already had this conversation before.

    Like fundamentalists they have a perverse joy in being persecuted and hated as, per Jesus, it means they are doing right.

  • As I understand it – cult is used in two meanings

    A religious cult is one that takes its initial beliefs from a mainstream religion and then adds additional authorities/writings with equal or greater impact than those of the original religion. In this sense JW, LDS, Christian Science etc. are generally regarded as cults of Christianity,

    A social cult is an organisation which operates a punishing form of control over its membership. Typically breaking up families, expelling apostates and enforcing no contact with members, demanding total and unquestioning obedience to it leadership. Commonly held to be examples (perhaps of differing severity) are JW, LDS, Plymouth Brethren and Scientology. Well-known past examples would probably include Branch Davidians (Waco), People’s Temple (Jonestown) and Heaven’s Gate.

  • JWs have my respect for this reason at least. They don’t vote, and are totally a-political.

  • Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church are supportive of Russian Muslims (according to Adam Garrie, “Russia’s Orthodox Christian tradition has made it a natural defender of mainstream Islam”, The Duran, March 19, 2017). Why, then, can’t they treat my Russian Jehovah’s Witnesses friends the same way?

    Anyway, I’m using Mission Eurasia’s statement below to reinforce the point you’re making, Lauren Markoe, that “While the group has been cast as particularly threatening by Russian government officials who have raided their churches, other religious groups have also been curtailed.”

    “Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia appear to be foreign and almost alien … (but) many of the claims made about the Jehovah’s Witnesses practices could also be made of other religious communities practices as well. … A ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses is just the beginning in a series of repressions. Society needs an internal enemy to which the government can point in full cooperation with the Russian Orthodox Church … The silence of Protestants with regard to repressions against Jehovah’s Witnesses will merely unleash a new wave of restrictions and repressions.” (Michael Cherenkov, executive field director for Mission Eurasia, quoted in Kate Shellnutt, “Russia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot: Group gives Protestants competition for souls, but also an ally on religious freedom”, Christianity Today, March 20, 2017)

  • By the same definition, so many Christian fundamentalists, evangelicals and Pentecostals have become their own brand of a cult. Prove you & your groups aren’t one, Sandi Luckins. And how can I tell mine isn’t? And for you to pick on “JWs” while Russians are persecuting them, are you condoning what they’re doing? Didn’t you read the article, which suggests your church’s missionaries in Russia may be next in their list of targets? Have a heart, sister.

  • To non religious people, cult also equally applies to Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Anglicans, etc etc who add additional writings and authorities such as creeds created by men who existed hundreds of years after the death of Jesus and the apostles.

    All of these churches have controlled certain groups of people for centuries.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses and the few others you mentioned are by no means the only ones that could fit into your “cult” definition. To agnostics and atheists all your religions are cults under your definition.

  • The JW do have some dangerous beliefs, such as no transfusions when a child needs it. They are virulently anti every one who is not a JW.

  • While I have profound theological differences with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, any view of them as a potential threat to a nation’s culture or political stability is patently absurd. Typically they make up a very small part of any nation’s religious subset. When they appear at my door, I witness to them as they endeavor to witness to me, this has lead to less appearances by them on my door step. Clearly Putin, regardless of legal tribunals, makes all the important decisions in Russia these days, favors no evangelical efforts save those of the Russian Orthodox Church, and only those likely, as long as said church toes the line.

  • Hi Sergio

    My lists were not intended to be exhaustive, merely indicative; and yes, Christianity can be defined as a cult of Judaism.

    I’m also aware that other major religions have sub-divisions that could be termed cults. Even minor, and rapidly diminishing membership, cults such as Scientology have tiny splinter groups (Independent Scientology).

    In practice not all varieties (cults?) of Christianity are equally controlling, for example being Anglican is often pretty laissez-faire and really doesn’t make any demands on its nominal members (perhaps because it would expose how tiny its true believer core is if it sought to crack the shoelace).

    BTW – I’m a Humanist (which starts with agnostic atheism) so yes, the precise religious element leaves me unmoved, it’s the effect on people (the believer and those they interact with) that concerns me, not their particular version of irrationality.

  • Anglican may be that way today but it was not when it originated. The point is, all systems of belief can be viewed as a cult from the above definition because they all have a measure of control over people’s lives. Whether or not some view certain faiths as having more control than others is not the point—all systems control what people believe—is there a God, is homosexuality OK, is lying bad, is immorality wrong, is racism wrong, etc etc. All these systems make it a point to define what is bad verses what is good and then convince people of their version of what is bad and what is good.

  • I was thinking about doctrines.Their beliefs are limited to the Bible unlike Scientology and LDS but they would fit the definition of a social cult. I almost forgot the brainwashing, social pressure to conform, putting god over family.

  • That’s why they are persecuted – they can’t be controlled and compromise is absolutely foreign to them.

  • We need to allow room for Russia to do what Russia thinks is best for their nation and stop trying to impose Americanism on them. There is much more involved in the logic of the legislation involved. It is known that our government is constantly trying to infiltrate and destabilize foreign governments to bring them under our control, perhaps piggybacking on religious organizations as a way in. Russia is well aware of this. It was no accident that this “religious” law was passed as part of an anti-terrorism legislation package.

  • Except that JW’s are completely politically nuetral. They are neutral in the US, Russia, Canada, Korea – everywhere. They do note vote. They do not take part in armed conflict. They view themselves as ‘no part of the world’, no matter where they live (though they are subject to the laws of the government in whatever area they happen to be).

    So to suggest that any government would / could be using them as a destabilizing force doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  • This is certainly not the first time JW’s have taken heat for their politically neutral stand, or for their blunt assessment of other religious organizations.

    They were the object of discrimination, imprisonment, and mob violence in the US, and won many US supreme court victories to ensure religious freedoms for all US citizens.

    They were banned and imprisoned in Canada, and their fight for freedom there helped form the basis for parts of the Canadian Bill of Rights.

    Hundreds of JWs are currently imprisoned in S. Korea for taking a stand for conscientious objection to military service.

    They were imprisoned and sent to work / death camps in Europe under the Nazis. Unlike most other prisoners, many had the option to leave if they would renounce their faith (most did not).

    When the Russian armies liberated those camps, it included the JWs there…..JWs who were later imprisoned by the Russians for taking the same stand they had taken under the Nazis.

    Under the USSR, they were also banned. Many were imprisoned, and whole families exiled to Siberia and subjected to work camps, etc.

    You may not agree with their beliefs, but you have to have respect for their convictions.

  • The pacifist philosophy of JWs may be viewed as dangerous to the commonwealth, much as Quakerism was in early America. Also, Russia is trending back toward their historical Christian roots. Notice their flag is the historical Christian flag and their military flies the flag of St. George. JW is not a Christian denomination in that they don’t recognize the Supremacy and diety of Christ. Realize it has been infidelity and folly for the US to allow any and every false religion to be planted and propagated in our nation. It will eventually destroy us. A house divided cannot stand.

  • I have to disagree with you Edward. JWs deny that Jesus is the Christ. They are only here to divert people away from the truth and lead them into bondage. Unfortunately, if Russia is successful with them, Christians may be next, but this is a chance we have to take.

  • “We” have to take? You’re not taking any chances whatsoever, except again to attack Christians for not being the same sort of Christian you are. Meanwhile, the Orthodox Church is cooperating fully with their former oppressors, hoping to regain a piece of the political and wealth pies they used to enjoy so fully.

    The morals of a congressman..

  • They are also attacking gay people. The more enemies the State has, the More power the state has,

  • The Russian Orthodox Church is Christian and posits the Gospel, just not in “American” form:

    “The Orthodox Churches share with the other Christian Churches the belief that God revealed himself in Jesus Christ, and a belief in the incarnation of Christ, his crucifixion and resurrection.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/subdivisions/easternorthodox_1.shtml

    Is it really helpful for American churches to infiltrate Russia and plant the seeds of American denominationalism?

  • Ah – so your support for Russia’s oppression of religious freedoms is actually based on your disagreement with JW’s theological beliefs / interpretation of scripture. Got it.

    Let us hope that you never find yourself on the receiving end of such logic.

  • “Yes I do condone what the Russians are doing.”

    Psssst. Your complete lack of morals and compassion is showing.

    Funny how we atheists condemn what you so called Christians condone. Yet you insist that we are the ones without morals and goodness.

  • Sandi – Why do you imagine this oppression of religious freedoms is only going to apply to JWs, or groups you disagree with?

  • The God-ordained function of government is to restrain evil doing (as opposed to evil thinking). Would you consider a murderer or thief “oppressed” because he’s placed behind bars? There is but one God and he has revealed himself in Christ. God expects all to act in accordance with this reality. Therefore it is absolutely right and proper for government to restrain those who would seek to harm others — and damn their souls —by propagating ideas in opposition to this reality. To support universal religious liberty for any and every false belief is to support a relativistic view of the world, where supposedly nothing is really absolute. This is social suicide.

  • Social suicide would be living in the delusion that oppression of fundamental human rights or expression will remain limited to groups of people that you happen to disagree with. Because when we allow that, it is only a matter of time before someone disagrees with you.

  • Let’s put a less theoretical spin on it – A good friend of mine is from Sudan. His family are Christian (not JWs). When the government in Sudan implemented Islamic / Sharia law, they began executing any Christians they could find.

    Are you suggesting that the basic rights of freedom of religion and expression should NOT be defended in that case, because hey, Romans 13?

  • Is it a fundamental human right to harm others through intellectual deception or misleading? If it was nighttime and a bridge was out creating a deadly trap for unsuspecting oncoming traffic, would it be my fundamental human right to take down the WARNING!!! sign and in its place put up a sign with a smiley face on it? Would you not label anyone who did this a criminal? Why do you view misleading in regards to the Truth with less concern?

  • The Sudanese government walks in darkness. As a result it targets a mistaken enemy. The remedy is Gospel illumination. This would remove the log from their eye, and they would then see clearly how to remove the speck. They could govern righteously. They could then identify real enemies in need of restraint. Wrongly labeled an enemy of the State, Daniel was first thrown to the lions by a misled King Darius. Daniel was miraculously preserved. Upon spiritual awakening Darius then threw the real enemies to the now starving lions.

  • Not necessarily disagreeing, would you describe fascism, communism, socialism and capitalism as cults?

    I think there is an implication that cults are not mainstream, mass membership operations – your take?

  • And a devout Muslim would argue that it is Christians who “walk in darkness”, and that the only remedy is to accept that there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.

    That is exactly my point – no matter what you believe, someone else is going to believe something different.

    As long as the door is left open to label a group as ‘extremist’ and oppress/ban it just based on that, then ALL people are vulnerable: Christians in Sudan, Jews in Nazi Germany, JWs in Russia, etc. etc….and your freedoms will be at the whim of whoever happens to be in charge. Basic freedoms of religion and expression have to be upheld to prevent this.

    Extremist / violent ACTIONS, or encouraging those actions, are another story.

    And don’t imagine that this has anything to do with the JW beliefs about the nature of Christ. Evangelicals, Baptists, and others are being labeled as extremist in Russia as well. The only difference here is that JWs are (yet again) at the forefront of defending those religious freedoms that all benefit from.

    Your example of Daniel is also interesting, as it was political and religious rivals who resented him for exposing them and used legal manipulation to get him branded a criminal simply for expressing his faith (just praying to God). Sounds eerily similar to what is going on with JWs in Russia. Will be interesting to see how it plays out.

  • Again, Sandi? JWs do not believe in the trinity but acknowledge that Jesus is the son of god who came to earth as a perfect man and give his life to redeem humans from Adamic sin. He was resurrected to the right hand of god and will return at Armageddon per Revelation. You have to accept him as your savior, get baptized. Their goal is to preach the word before Armageddon.

    You often speak from ignorance and with hate in your heart toward those who differ.

  • You are expressing relativism:

    “Relativism is the idea that views are relative to differences in perception and consideration, and intrinsically, have no absolute truth or validity.” —Wikipedia

    Those that live in the Light should not pander to those still in darkness. God is absolute and knowable. We should act and govern accordingly.

  • I’m just pointing out that, right or wrong, there are any number of differing beliefs out there who have adherents who feel just as strongly about their understanding of truth as you do about yours….and that if one of them happens to be in charge of the government, and you have not set the boundaries of basic human rights as being inviolable, then your beliefs (call it ‘true’ beliefs, if it makes you feel good) could very well be the one labeled as extremist and banned — Just as Daniel was, and just as Jesus and his followers were in the 1st century.

    The reality of human history is that societies that oppress religious freedom and expression are generally bad places to live – Taliban controlled Afghanistan, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Communist Russia, Spain during the inquisition, etc. etc.

    But nobody sets out saying “Hey, let’s create an intolerant and brutal police state where people live in fear and basic liberties are trampled on!” — they start out with a vision of ‘security’ or religious devotion, and by cheering on the repression of smaller sections of society whose beliefs they happen to disagree with, one by one….until it is too late.

  • No, what you did was declare publicly that you don’t care if people are persecuted for their religious belief, indicating that you despise religious freedom, have the Compassion of a rock, and the morals of a trumpanzee.

  • I think that is the fear here – already baptists, evangelicals, and others are being labeled as extremist int he same way as JWs in Russia. The JWs are just pushing back harder (as they did in the US, Canada, and other places).

    Additionally, if the Russian government can use this law in this way, then they can label as extremist anyone that expresses dissenting viewpoints – in fact, they are already doing this with the opposition party leading up to the 2018 elections.

  • Have they not been labelling as extremist anyone that expresses dissenting viewpoints all along?

  • So they should be, what? Burned at the stake? No freedom of belief, worldview, or religion, in your world?

  • Frankly, Sandi, from your intolerance…my knee-jerk reaction is to say, neither are you.
    But, since I’m polite, I won’t say that.

  • Sure: Egypt in the book of Exodus – Egypt refused the request of the Israelites to go into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to God. Most people think only about them being released from slavery – but Moses was actually just asking for them to be allowed to worship freely, and said they would come back after offering their sacrifices. It was Pharaoh’s refusal to allow their freedom of worship that brought the plagues, release from slavery, and the destruction of the Egyptian army at the Red Sea.

  • In fact, it is not uncommon to here historical scholars refer to Christianity as the “Christ cult”; since it uses what may have been some stories about a local healer and rabble rouser (i.e, the ‘historical Jesus’), and then over time added the Christ myths layered over those.

  • I realize you weren’t asking me; but I understand the question. For me, it doesn’t matter whether a cult- real worship of one person, with no limits – has 5 adherents or 500 million. What would be the logical reason for differentiating between them?

  • Sandi, your definition of “Christians” is those that believe exactly as you do; right? Anyone who doesn’t, you call a cult; while in fact, for a thousand years (actually, more) in Europe, during the Dark Ages when western civilization fell and Christianity ruled, and afterward, they were called heretics- and burned.

  • There actually is an exact parallel in China; where the Communist Party, after adherents of Falun Gong conducted a momentary, and totally silent, demonstration in Beijing, declared all Falun Gong practitioners as legally being member of an (illegal, dangerous) cult; and they’ve been persecuting anyone caught, ever since.

  • Excellent! The judgements were specifically on Egypt’s false gods. Afterwards, notice the religious policy the LORD intended for Israel to observe for as long as they lived “on the earth.” They were to be an example to all the nations, if faithful:

    “These are the statutes and the judgments which you shall carefully observe in the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess as long as you live on the earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. You shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their Asherim with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods and obliterate their name from that place.” Deuteronomy 12:1-3

    We are told in the NT these things were written for our example.

  • Actually, not true, Doug. Russia has officially signed on to the UN Human Rights Convention, which mandates freedom of religion for everyone. Therefore, it is absolutely legitimate to criticize the Russian dictatorship for violating it.

  • Man, that’s pretty evil.
    Here in America, we don’t have a ‘god(s) ordained function of government’. We are one nation, under the Constitution. No one here is allowed to order you, Doug, to obey their one, true religion; of which we have over 2,000, by one count.
    And, you’re not allowed to impose your beliefs on anyone else, either. That seems to frustrate you. Maybe- and I say this in all seriousness- you’d be more comfortable in Russia? Or, Saudi Arabia? In those places, they would well understand your type of thinking.

    In America, we don’t.

  • Not so much for a while – after the fall of the Soviet Union, there was a surge of free speech and religious expression. Then for the last 10 years or so things have been reverting back…as the ROC and current political powers have increased their control. And now especially leading up to next years elections.

  • Actually, no; he’s expressing fact, that of the 7 billion of us currently living, a couple of thousand of religions are currently being practiced; and there is no historical or scientific basis for any of them. (If there were, they’d be called history and science–not religion). Much–most?- of what is in the Christian and Hebrew bibles, in the Koran, in Hindu scriptures, in Norse and ancient greek religions – everything touching on any aspect of nature or how the universe works, is, factually, wrong. No, the sun does not go around the Earth; no, Zeus does not hurl lighting bolts from atop Mt. Olympus; no, the Earth does not rest on a tortoise’s back (a precarious belief, I must say). And on and on. It’s almost like, ALL of those ‘sacred texts’, were not written by the ruler of the universe; but by bronze age men et al living thousands of years ago. Imagine that…..

    Get off your blaming ‘relativism’ for everything; it’s not factual.

  • Can you name a place in the bible where your god condemned slavery? All I can find is that he told slaves to be good slaves and obey their masters. We figured out here in the US over a hundred years ago that that is a bad, immoral, and stupid thing. Right?

  • I know about the transfusions; but ‘virulently’? I’ve known many; none of them were as virulent as, honestly, you seem to be in your own beliefs.

  • Doug and Sandi have shown their contempt for religious freedom by their condoning Russia. They and their ilk are doing their best to undermine it here in the US. As an American I support freedom of religion (or lack of thereof).

  • OK – let’s try reasoning on it using only the theological box….

    The nation of Israel were commanded to do that only in the context of taking control over the ‘promised land’ under the Mosaic law. This protected them as God’s chosen people from the influences of the religions of the nations that lived there before.

    In the NT, we learn that their rejection of Jesus as the Messiah leads to the nation of Israel losing their status as God’s special people (Matt 21:43). They weren’t condemned – just not ‘special’ any longer.

    The NT also makes clear that the law of Moses was done away with, replaced with the law of the Christ (the fulfillment of the law) (Gal 2:16, 2 Cor 3:7-14).

    And while he commanded his followers to proclaim the Kingdom, Jesus DEFINITELY didn’t advocate forced conversion or violence (Matt 26:52).

    A forced conversion would be disingenuous, and not acceptable to God. The only worship that is acceptable to him is whole-souled (willing) (Mr 12:28-34)

    Therefore – the only way for a Christian to make a dedication to God that is meaningful is to do it willingly….it has to be a choice. Which means that there must also be the option to choose NOT to serve him (or serve him or not in a specific way). If there is no free choice, there is no acceptable worship.

  • My family are JWs. I was for about 6 years as a teen. The claims of them not being Christians is ridiculous. Rigid they are but not hateful. I actually picked up a few good things from them before I reasoned myself into atheism.

  • Thats funny…….,,Obviously you dont know about the Alternatives to Blood Transfusions. Keep up with us.?

  • The Bible rules. They do not believe in the divinity of Christ, hence the Bible condemns them.

  • John 14:6English Standard Version (ESV)

    6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

  • Never said anything about forced conversion or worship. Government is for restraining actions. In this case we are talking about restraining the ability to publicly worship false gods. An example would be preventing the building of a mosque.

  • Slavery in itself is not immoral. Treatment can be. The LORD repeatedly placed his people in bondage as a form of discipline.

    “Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.”
    ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭4:1‬ ‭NASB‬‬

  • Sticking with the theological reasoning…

    Jesus was very clear that his kingdom was NOT from this world (John 18:36) and refused to become involved with the politics of his day – and later stated that his followers would also be no part of the world in a similar sense. So while Romans 13 indicates that Christians are subject to earthly government, and that governments serve a purpose, Christs “kingdom” would be something different….so we wouldn’t look to a human government to define what ‘true’ worship is…

    Could you even get 1000 people to agree on what ‘true’ worship is anyway? This is why Jeremiah 10:23 tells us that man isn’t designed to direct his own way.

    True, Jesus commanded his disciples to preach, but at Matthew 10:11-15, he is very clear that their reaction when people do not accept the message is not to use government (which they were no part of) or some other method to deny those people the right to believe or practice what they do – rather, they just move on, trusting that it is God that judges people, and not ourselves.

  • Who defines “false gods” in your scenario? Roman Catholics? Orthodox? American or Russian Orthodox? A group of Priests? What about churches that ordain women? Allow Homosexuals? Churches that believe Jesus is God, but not in the trinity? No Arian beliefs, then?

    We would have a system of punishments for people who don’t believe or worship the same way?

    And don’t get me started on how most of the world isn’t even Christian to begin with….

    And what if that authoritarian regime suddenly decides wearing beards is a sin? Or wearing yellow shirts? Or dancing?

    Because what you are describing now sounds very much like the Christian version of a Caliphate / Sharia law to me.

  • Actually, no, that book doesn’t ‘rule’. By definition in my country at least, no ‘sacred texts’ of any of the more than 2,000 human religions ‘rule’; we are one country, under a very deliberately-written Constitution, which set up a secular government.

  • So, if your black neighbors in Virginia really did kidnap you and enslave you to work in fields away from prying eyes….that’s alright, huh?

  • Doug, the Christian bible, Hebrew bible, Hindu and Koran and other ‘sacred texts’- not a single one of them is factual history.

    No amount of belief makes something a fact.

    If there was proof that a god exists, you wouldn’t believe in it, you’d have knowledge of it.
    You wouldn’t need faith, you’d have facts.
    What you have is a story that you want to believe in. That’s it.

    “Skepticism is the highest duty and blind faith the one unpardonable sin.” – Thomas Henry Huxley

    The human mind is greater than any book. The mind sits in judgment on every book. If there be truth in the book, we take it; if error, we discard it. Why refer this to the Bible? In this country, the Bible has been used to support slavery and capital punishment; while in the old countries, it has been quoted to sustain all manner of tyranny and persecution. All reforms are anti-Bible.”
    —William Lloyd Garrison, remarks at the 5th national woman’s rights conference in Philadelphia on Oct. 18, 1854. History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. 1, pp. 382-383)

    “Religions are all alike, founded on fables and mythologies.” – Thomas Jefferson
    “We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true, rather than what makes us feel good.” – Carl Sagan

    “When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” – Luke Muehlhauser.

  • Is it really that important, whether a believer or atheist or agnostic or secularist or none? Here’s a list of parallel verses of the first words of 1 Peter 2:17 —

    1. Honor and respect all men…..
    2. Respect everyone…
    3. Honor everyone…
    4. Treat everyone with high regard…
    5. Honor all people…
    6. Honour all men…
    7. Honor every person…
    8. Shew honour to all…
    9. to all give ye honour…

    Then there’s Romans 12:10…….. Be devoted to each other with mutual affection. Excel at showing respect for each other.

    And on and on…

  • I think you misunderstand Christ’s words to Pilate which was to emphasize the unique heavenly origin, nature, and supremacy of his Rule as opposed to Pilate’s mere earthly rule. Pilate appeared to get the message when Christ told him he would have no authority over him unless it was given to him from above. In response Pilate sought to release him.

    Christ’s political interest is broadcast is Scripture. He is called King of kings. Lord of lords. It is said about him in Isaiah, “the government will be upon his shoulders.” It is said in Romans 13 that all governments are established by him; government authorities are called his ministers. Government rulers are specifically called out in Psalm 2.

    As for preachers, they have a distinct ministry and are not to be confused with Government. Again, Government’s role is restraining evil-doing, not punishing wrong belief. It should prevent the building of a mosque, not attempt to engender faith.

  • Apply your rationale to all of government, not just religion. How is any legislation devised? Again, I sense you are being relativistic and acting like there is nothing plain in Scripture. No doubt some things are hard to understand as the Apostle Peter said. Fundamental things are clear. As stated in the opening chapter of Romans, God is plain to all such that all are wihout excuse. God expects us to act in accordance with this reality, not lend credence to man’s sinful and willful rebellion and ignorance.

  • The bible defines faith as the assured expectation of what is hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities that are not seen. so in other words, believing in fact because it has been proven, in this sense you have faith in gravity, and the sun rising the next morning.

  • statistically speaking, bloodless surgery is considerably safer now than getting blood. Blood transfusions are actually more dangerous, and the top doctors either do everything they can to avoid it, or wont at all. numerous studies and documentaries are appearing on the subject matter.

  • its common knowledge they believe Jesus to be the leader of their organisation, how can you say they dont believe in him? I mean they’re inviting the whole planet to his memorial April 11th… its literally the only ‘holiday’ the recognize. Like i said common knowledge. anyone can find this out, if you refuse to believe that, then how accurate is the rest of your information?

  • God’s Law made this provision for slaves which in effect made slavery voluntary:

    “You shall not hand over to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you.”
    ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭23:15‬ ‭NASB‬‬

    One of the great evils of American slavery was enforced perpetual bondage.

  • On your first point, it is the same reasoning that Nazis used to justify the persecution of Jews. even if someones belief isnt ‘right’, it by no means can alone justify action against such a group

    On your second, how do these scriptures prove that Jesus is god? if anything your point contradicts itself. why would he refer to himself as his own father and son? the only scripture that comes close to SUGGESTING such would be the last, Hebrews 5:5, and based on the context it wasnt Jesus who called himself a father.

  • uhm, no. They regularly refer to him as Jesus Christ. Their entire belief is build around him, his sacrifice, and his kingdom rule. They believe in Jesus. They are Christians. Period

  • Good! Lol……. then you must agree that Jesus plays a VERY important role in our preching work. Please do your research, then conment.

  • There are other reasons than surgery a person needs blood. My father needed several over the years from kidney disease. My uncle needed it with ALS. I see cancer patients all the time getting blood. There is a reason why blood donation centers exist. I’m doubting many “top doctors” would agree with you.

  • Never trust a third party to accurately explain what someone else believes. if your doing any research, on any religion, take information directly from the source. Whether it be Muslim, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholic, Mormon, Buddhist, whatever…
    the best source on what someone believes is usually their own literature. next time you try to quote them, pull from their site jw.org, not some ‘yahoo answers’ for religion. and remember to provide context. anyone can pull a random quote out of context and twist it.

    Context is important, especially so with the bible. ‘who’s saying it to who and way based on what’ can drastically chance the meaning of a verse.

  • Totally unbelievable.

    But I do believe it. Nothing like fundamentalist Christians to seize the opportunity for power and dominion, but also to whine like little whiny babies about how persecuted they are if anyone prevents them from having power and dominion over the lives of others.

    When your god steps down from on high, visible to everyone, and presents you with a letter of patent indicating his complete faith in your ability to interpret his word, then please, by all means, let the killing and the slaughter and the oppression begin. But until that happens, you’re just another wannabe fascist using god as your excuse to behave badly.

    We already did that in the west. We called it The Dark Ages.

  • Well, then, we’re not really talking about relativism, are we? Because certainly, your view have no absolute truth or validity, unless you have a gun to back it up.

    We’re talking about Religious fascism. The idea that your ideas about god are the only valid ones is simply a matter of opinion, thus indicating that they are relativist to the very core.

  • even for non-JW’s it can be worth writing letters.
    This is less about one small group of Christians and more an issue of religious freedom as a whole in Russia. Historically issues of freedom always start out small like this and escalate to a world wide issue very rapidly. In Nazi germany it started small, at one point all Jews had to do was wear a star as a form of identification, but we all know how quickly that turned into WW2.
    I’m by no means saying this will start a war, and really hope it doesn’t, but Russia has been having a lot of other global issues in recent years and restricting religion as a whole certainly isnt going to help

  • [expelling apostates and enforcing no contact with members]
    which has bible grounds if a person is unrepentant—although expelled ones still may attend public meetings and, if they correct wrongdoings, are always welcomed back lovingly….. but go on….

    [demanding total and unquestioning obedience to it leadership.]

    you mean Jehovah and his son Jesus? Well…umm, yeah, it’s kinda important to be obedient to that leadership.

    Good people have ‘questioned’ Jehovah, for the record…

    Habakkuk: “Why is it that you look on those dealing treacherously, that you keep silent when someone wicked swallows up someone more righteous than he is?”—Habakkuk 1:13.

    Jesus Christ: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”—Matthew 27:46.

    aaaaaaaand they still made out just fine… maybe needed to rethink things a bit, but were shown loving patience.

    So…..yeah.

  • Justifying slavery AND Fascism.

    What fun!!!!!

    Thank you for demonstrating as clearly as possible the delusion that religion has anything to do with morals. But do you know what’s really funny? I’ve been having discussions the last few days with several super Duper christians who claim that all of the people who don’t think the way they do are immoral, making it all up, and divorced from proper theology, that there is no way that god condoned slavery, Jew hatred, or anything else.

    And here you are, claiming with proper biblical authority, that god indeed condones oppression, slavery, and fascism. So who am I to believe? Shawnie, can you help me out here? what about you, Texas Guy? Can you help? Can you cite some passages to show us how wrong this guy is?

    It is almost as if all of you theocrats make up this scheiss, bend and twist and pervert scripture to your own purposes, then attribute whatever happens to god’s will in the matter.

    amazing!!!!!!

    PS Shawnie, I know you won’t be in here, defending this. I doubt you’ll be here condemning it, either.

  • Slay all the unbelievers in your village. Also Deuteronomy,.

    And yet we have had the Good Christians on these very pages DEFENDING this little bit of barbarism, by claiming that it doesn’t say what it clearly says. After all, whenever the Bible says something inconvenient, just magic it, errr, ummm, hermeneutics it into saying something else entirely.

    Right, Shawnie?

  • She will not. She has already stated that she condones what the Russian government is doing to the JW’s.

    She has the morals of a congressman.

  • If you’re going to go around demanding that sandimonious actual employ facts, logic, and experience, let alone compassion, well, let me tell you, you’re dealing with no ordinary housewife.

  • Sure it can. You can use god to justify what ever monstrosities and animosities you like. Christians have been doing it for centuries, only followed by other Christians who repudiate the evil of the previous ones, only to go on and find some more of their own which they can justify as “sincere religious belief” and “god’s holy word.”

  • in general slavery is disgusting.
    but there are differences in the way slavery was ‘tolerated’ in bible times and the way it was done in early american times and most other instances.

    Americans just went and captured black people to force them to work for life, along with their children, forever, and slaves were legally treated as property.

    when slavery was done ‘correctly’ (and even that has some SERIOUS issues) it was mostly meant as a provision to pay off debt. If you owed someone a lot of money, you could be their slave until it was payed off, then you were released. ‘Slaves’ in this case also had a good amount of rights, and could posses their own currency, homes, and even other ‘slaves’. It was also looked down upon greatly to harm slaves or treat them poorly in any manner

    This certainly doesn’t make it right, but there is a considerably difference, and they should not be confused

  • Except, as you acknowledge, many many people do not agree with your interpretation of scripture. Do you imagine they think they are incorrect, and choose to believe that anyway? What is the guarantee that the government will be correct in their interpretations? What is to guarantee that they won’t disagree with your interpretation? Then you would find yourself in the same position as the JWs in Russia. In fact, the ROC has been in this position, with Stalin executing many in the past!

  • Negative; it’s not faith– it’s evidence, and analysis, and understanding reached based on those . Religious superstitions are the opposite; they not only are not justified by evidence and data and facts and understanding; but as I mentioned, they are almost always contradicted by them.

  • I understand that JW’s deny the Godhood of Jesus, my thought is that they are among the deceived, which is a tragic circumstance to me. Rather than view them as the enemy, I see them as the victims of the One Enemy. Which is why when they appear at my door I endeavor to share with them why, from the correct message of the biblical text, they are in error. But I was addressing the civil concerns of the question from the Russian point of view, which is why I argued that they are no threat to the civil order of Russia. Banning them on that pretext will not change their error, nor will it change the error of other sects and individuals who deny that Jesus is the Christ, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, The Creator, Amen. So, if they are banned from Russia, they will merely crop up elsewhere, and those JW’s remaining quietly in Russia still need the corrective testimony that may lead them to Grace. Unbelief and incorrect theology is all around us, and while some may call us haters for declaring it so, I still hope to deal graciously with people from every point of view, whether the accept the Gospel as I understand it or not. Peace and goodwill to you as always.

  • Your comment has made me think that I recall reading somewhere that the Romans referred to early Christianity as the cult of Christ, presumably to distinguish it from the cult of Mithras etc.. Before it became a mass movement of course.

  • Absolutely, it’s why i write. Sandimonious has shown repeatedly that she will hold on to what she said, all the while insisting that she never said it.

  • Actually, At John 1:1 where the JW’s New World Translation says “the word was a god”, there is a footnote which says *”or was divine”.

    The original Greek word used in the text (theos) is a general word referring to anything of heavenly origin (in Greek, any of the pantheon of gods, etc for example).

    “was divine” is probably the most accurate way to translate the original Greek text there.

    Where JW’s differ is in believing that Jesus is THE God, or THE divine one.

  • I would argue that “having the gospel” and being “Christian” have more to do with how you live, and your application of Jesus’ teachings than it does with your belief about the nature of Jesus.

    In other words – Come judgement day, who do you think God will be more merciful towards: Those who had a “correct” understanding of his nature, but who regularly violated the principles and morals of his word? Or those who misunderstood His nature, but who closely adhered to his teachings and moral guidance?

  • Does it? Which scripture is it that says you must believe Jesus is almighty God in order to be saved?

    Let’s just say for the sake of argument that you are correct, and JW’s are wrong about the nature of Christ. How does the behavior and record of “Christian” religions stack up against the things Jesus taught?

    Come judgement day, who do you think God will be more merciful towards: Those who had a “correct” understanding of His nature, but who regularly violated or disregarded the principles and morals of His word? Or those who misunderstood His nature, but who closely adhered to his teachings and moral guidance?

  • JWs deny that Jesus is the Christ? Where in the world did you get your information on this? It could not have been from one o Jehovah’s Witnesses, but from some other source. Please check your sources of info.

  • Jesus is our mediator between the Father and us…that’s why we end our prayers with “in Jesus’ name, amen”.

  • 1 John 2:22 – English Standard Version

    22Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.

  • John 3:3English Standard Version (ESV)

    3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again[a] he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

  • God never intended His children to become intimate with evil in order to communicate the gospel to those in it’s grasp. Robert Mounce

  • You don’t recognize the divinity of Christ. You are attending a cult. Jesus was and is and will always be God. He is our creator. He is the second person of the trinity. God bless you.

  • I’m sorry that you feel that way, Ben. My daughter married into a family of agnostics/atheists, and they are good, decent people. I would rather be around them than with alot of folks who call themselves Christian. It’s no wonder that they reject the “forms” of Christianity they see out there.

  • Please check the bible you follow and then check the approved translations:

    John 1English Standard Version (ESV)

    The Word Became Flesh

    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

  • I think you misunderstood what I was saying. Im very much on your side, and very much condemn what some so called Christians do.

  • Sorry – what part of that says a person must believe Jesus is almighty God to be saved, again? I must be missing it. On the other hand, 1 John 5:3 is clear that love of God means keeping his commandments. I’m afraid that disqualifies most “Christian” organizations…

  • It’s true that Americans bought the slaves, but the black slaves were captured by other blacks, marched to the sea, put on ships, and sent to other places. Sad story.

  • So what you’re trying to say is that since Jesus is the father, he sent himself to earth to die as his son (though he is the father and now he is suddenly he is his son) and then he went back to his father (himself). So what you’re saying is that he is centered everything is about him. Also when God created the world he made himself another part and he and himself created the animals. That makes sense.

  • This is not correct. JWs say that Jesus is the Christ, but their doctrine differs from mainstream Christianity because in their theology Christ is not God. Their idea is that Jesus is the Messiah sent by God, not God himself. Like the Christadelphians and the Socinians they are “Biblical Unitarians”, holding that only the Father is God.

    I would add that it is deeply wrong to use theological differences as a ground for persecution by the state. The state should stay away from binding itself to a particular creed or religious position.

  • Do you believe in Christ? From what i’m reading, you are an evil, and extremely selfish. And frankly you enjoy condoning people who you don’t even know. Nice.

  • Who decides who is a true Christian, Sandi? After all, Christian ‘doctrine’ was first set by councils of men (always men) starting in the 4th century; who threw out any scripture–and there was a lot– that they, that small group of men, didn’t like. It’s not like what was left was written by the creator of the universe; it was done by a committee of men, each of whom at the time had his own agenda; and they were wheeling and dealing.

  • But Christ is God. John 1: “He was with God and He was God.” They changed that wording in their translation.

  • It’s always been interesting to me that the many Christian faiths always maintain they believe in only one god, yet they believe there are many deities…..

  • And who translated John 1? Which, after all, was written in Greek- not Aramaic or Hebrew? The first time I had my eyes really opened on stuff like this was one of Bart Herman’s first books, “Misquoting Jesus: The Story About Who Changed the Bible, and When”. A good, short book; an easy read.

  • There are other alternatives to transfusion that are safer. If transfusions were without harmful side effects, we wouldn’t have to sign our consent.

  • Are you friends with Sandi? you should really talk, maybe you two can go be evil together and start your own cult.

  • 1 John 2:22 – English Standard Version
    22Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.

    The Word Became Flesh
    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

    John 5:18 – English Standard Version
    This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

    1 John 5:7 – King James Bible
    For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

    Titus 2: 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

    1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

    To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:
    May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
    (edited)

  • When Christ went into the temple, He didn’t say, “Let’s chat”. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers.

  • Did you even read what I wrote? Quoting a particular English-language book’s phrases as inherent proof of the book’s phrases is called circular reasoning, in any language.

  • Where are you getting your information from? Your pastor? Your family and/or friends? Apparently the US govt. is not considering them a cult, but if that’s your mindset, even our US govt. won’t convince you either.

  • Ben, I do feel sorry that folks who call themselves Christian feel it’s OK to make judgments about those that don’t believe like they do, especially atheists and agnostics in relation to morals, etc.

  • Christians of that sort feel exactly the same way about Christians who don’t share their particular, peculiar beliefs as well. Stick around on RNS. It’s quite an eye opener.

  • I believe that was answered in Matthew 21:31. My point was simply there is no need for American Protestant denominations to be infiltrating Russia when the ROC and other native Christian entities are equipped to do the job of evangelization. What the ROC and others need is our prayerful support.

  • If you want to know the correct information on what Jehovah Witness truly belief then go to JW.Org. The site thoroughly explains JW doctrine with the bible. Also all scriptures cited can be looked using any version of the bible.

  • If that what you believe then let the bible condemn me and not you. You probably condemn everyone that you consider different from you.

  • We are instructed to pray for and submit to our Government, not guarantee its infallibility. All Governments of men make mistakes; the people even more. It was the people that were manipulated to cry out for Jesus’s crucifixion. The Roman Authority wanted him released. We should distrust the mob more than Government. Tough medicine for our democratically biased age.

    That said, realize the world is not as God-ignorant as you seem to think. Much supposed confusion and all idolatry is willful rebellion; as written in Romans it is intentional suppression of the Truth: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.”
    ‭‭Romans‬ ‭1:18-19‬ ‭NASB‬‬

    All men recognize the Truth of God, just as theives and robbers know what they are doing is wrong. It is not without reason the LORD commands all men and women to repent.

  • Like I said elsewhere, God does not require me to learn about that which is wrong to help those to find Christ.

  • You’re confusing yourself. If Jesus is the second person of the trinity then his Father must be the first? Jesus was obedient to his Father as stated in John 6:38. Also, in Matt 26:39 Jesus prayer to his Father to let his Father’s will be done not his (Jesus) then in Matt 26:46 Jesus ask his Father to save him but to let HIs will be done. Jesus was miraculous and it’s because of Jesus we gain salvation but Jesus never made himself equal to his Father.

  • Only thing I can say is this. No other religion in the WORLD. Spreads the Gospel like the Jehovah’s Witnesses do. Nobody is in peace with there brothers all over the world like the Jehovah’s Witnesses. This only proves one thing, that what we do is not because of manpower, it is only acomplished with the help of Jehovah Gods Holly Spirit. And his son Jesus Christ.
    And no man will ever stop us. Not even Russia!!

  • Yes He did.

    John 10:30English Standard Version (ESV)
    30 I and the Father are one.”

    John 5:18 – This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

    John 8:58 – English Standard Version
    Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

    Titus 2: 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

  • Interesting, look up the Kingdom Interlinear translation of John 1:1 and you will note the first use of the “God” is a different greek word then the second use of “god” in this scripture. Interesting that when it refers to the Word being “god” it doesn’t use the upper case G indicative of God Almighty.

  • In what setting is the Father a co-equal to his son? None that I am aware of. In my household, my son is not my co-equal. He is my son. I am head of my household. Not my son.
    The same would be true if there was a King of a Kingdom. He may have a son, who is the Prince, who has relative power and authority, but not to override the King.

  • Not in your what? Did you check the Kingdom Interlinear translation? It shows both the greek words as well as their English translation.

  • Instead of taking one scripture why don’t you read the surrounding scriptures or the entire chapter to get the gist.

    But it doesn’t matter to you, you call yourself a christian but you support the labeling of JW as extremest and their persecution by the Russian authorities. You support it because of different doctrinal beliefs and that makes you a hypocrite. No different then the sadducees and pharisees who persecuted.

    Matt 7:21 and make sure you read the surrounding scriptures so you get the gist.

  • I just checked an Interlinear. If yours is JW, of course it is going to state the things they taught you. Now you can learn the truth. Jesus loves you. He is God. He was with God in the beginning. Everything was created through Him and nothing was created that wasn’t through Him. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the Word of God and equal with God.
    Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever Heb 13:8

  • This scripture does not support Jesus being God. It clearly denotes that Jesus, the Christ whom offered a perfect sacrifice is the means by which people can come before the Father.

  • The Kingdom Interlinear is not a JW translation. And I do agree that Jesus being God’s only begotten Son was the creator of everything by means of God’s holy spirit. This does not however mean that he is God. Being the Word of God also, does not exclusively qualify him as God. If you speak to me with words. Are those words YOU, or something that you created?

  • John 5:8 in the KJ is “Jesus saith unto him, Rise, Take up thy bed, and walk.” Why is your quotation from?

  • Jesus is my savior and without his sacrifice I wouldn’t be able to attain life and on April 11th millions will commemorate Jesus death, he also the son of God Almighty Jehovah. Try researching the name Jehovah and why it was removed from the bible and just recently replaced back in it original locations in the King James bible.

  • Why is it that people who believe in a Holy Trinity can never use rational reasonable means to support their belief? Its not all a big mystery. The teaching of the trinity STEALS glory from God.

  • No it doesn’t necessarily prove that. You guys are well organized and individuals are humble enough to be cogs in a well-oiled machine. Back in the late 1970s, I shared in the volunteer building of 48 hour kingdom halls. And I know from experience that no man will stop you.

  • Only God can forgive sins, and Jesus forgives sins. Only God can heal. Jesus healed.
    The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity – God and co-equal with God.

  • What about when the Apostles healed the sick and spoke in tongues and expelled demons by means of Holy Spirit. Were they God too?

  • It was the Holy Spirit – the third Person of the Trinity – who did the work – not the apostles.

  • Not at all. The Trinity is God.

    Mark 1:9-11English Standard Version (ESV)

    The Baptism of Jesus

    9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
    There is the Trinity.

  • That still doesn’t lend much credence. One minute according to you JW are a cult however that definition does not fit JW, then you claim JW don’t know Jesus but afterwards it JW don’t know that Jesus the way you do. You cherry pick your answers again read Matt 7:21.

  • I agree. Because the Holy Spirit is God’s active force. The power by which he causes his will to become.

  • So God decided to take a minute out, to tear the sky open and talk to himself? He essentially was telling everyone, “This is me. I am really pleased with myself?”
    Its not logical. The Holy Spirit descending onto Jesus was the means by which God returned all of the knowledge of his pre-Earthly existence, and they way God empowered Jesus with the ability to heal the sick, raise the dead and perform many miracles.

  • Then, how do you explain our brotherhood? The preaching work? The unity we have in every single way? …… Dosen’t it stand out?…….. Admit it Jim, its as clear as water.?

  • No. God is three Persons. All co-equal.
    Maybe this will help you and I pray that it doesn’t confuse you further.
    Think of water. We have rain, we have snow, and we have mist, or steam – three different forms, yet, still water.
    I pray that helps you Anon. Blessings.

  • I’m not an expert on JW teachings. But notice that the text says that the “Word” was God/divine. From some Socinian stuff which I have read I know that they distinguish between the “Word” and Jesus Christ, who is the “Word made flesh”. They say that the Word is divine because it is nothing else but the eternal ideas and plans in the mind of God. Jesus Christ, they say, is the embodiment or realization of these plans and ideas in the domain of human existence (the flesh). So Christ for them is is not God but the perfect human instrument of God. He is the human Son of God, but not “God the Son”. “God the Son” is an expression not found in the NT.

    However, whether something is mainstream or not, orthodox or not, is irrelevant for the issue of political persecution.

  • I’d say no – but it may have a small group who rigorously apply their interpretation of a leader’s thoughts. The important element I think is either
    a) the superceding of established doctrine by additional or explanatory writings/later revelations granted to those who claim authority or
    b) the suppression of critical thought and the expulsion of those who don’t submit to the leadership’s authority.

    As I understand it the JWs have a self-perpetuating leadership group; that is, the current group members decide who to add to their number.

  • You can’t help when you don’t know their doctrine. The fact you’d offer prayer for someone with a different view instead of prayer for those that are being persecuted reflects an attitude contrary to Jesus teaching. But you keep on missquoting the Bible because you’re probably not living by it….. I’m done with you

  • That’s good. Sonya, you don’t need to know what all counterfeit bills look like to spot one, you only need to know what a real one looks like. God bless you.

  • Hi Sandi im not here to argue or fight. I see you seem to be a God fearing women which should be commended alot. If I may ask you this one question and only one quetion? I would love to hear your answer. Why was Jesus being persecuted by the Jews? You can fine your answer at any bible you desire to read. At John 5:16-18. Please read it and meditate on what your saying and what the bible say. Thanks

  • This is a common illustration used by many other beliefs, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, because believe it or not, everyone religious believes they are right.

    It is the nature of religion. If you don’t think you have the truth, than what are you doing following a false teaching?

    Because of this just calling someone else wrong and refusing to reason will get you nowhere. if your not willing to listen to their point then you have nothing reasonable to base your response with, and this argument (on all sides) only becomes nonsense.
    The best thing for different forms of Christianity to do when comparing beliefs, is to go back to their common roots, the Bible, and reason up from there.

  • and following the illustration, say you study the true nature of legitimate currency, and can, without fail, tell a fake from a real bill. What good does it do you if you refuse to look at any currency in the first place?
    You have the ability to know a real bill from fake, but refuse to use it, because you have removed yourself from all exchange of currency entirely.

  • what translation are you using? American Standard, King James, Kingdom Interlinear, and Byington all are worded “the word was” not “he was”. so it wasnt a change jws made

  • you want the definition of christianity? here’s oxfords…
    http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/christianity

    “the religion that is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the belief that HE WAS THE SON OF GOD”

    and also websters…
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Christianity

    “the religion derived from Jesus Christ, based on the Bible as sacred scripture, and professed by Eastern, Roman Catholic, and Protestant bodies”

    Christianity isn’t limited to believers of the trinity, or any other variant of Christianity. its a very broad group of more specific religions. No one person should be able to say 8 Million People aren’t Christians, its ridiculous, stop saying they aren’t. By refusing even such a simple fact, your discrediting the rest of your points.

  • This ban is not about individual Jehovah’s Witnesses as peaceful people. Russia is banning the extreme practices that Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania Inc (Jehovah’s Witnesses’ legal entity) requires Jehovah’s Witnesses to participate in to remain as members of its organization.
    Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Inc’s extreme practices include these facts:

    1. Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses directs an ostracizing/extreme shunning of Jehovah’s Witnesses who voice disagreement with Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Inc policies and teachings, not even speaking with ostracized members, viewing them as “slain by Jehovah”.

    2. Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not encourage Jehovah’s Witnesses to report crimes which fellow Jehovah’s Witnesses commit against them or against their children to proper authorities when there aren’t two witnesses to the crime. Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses cite its organization’s two witness policy. Not following Headquarter’s two witness policy can result in extreme shunning of the victim.

    3. Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses direct that Jehovah’s Witnesses will be “disfellowshipped” for accepting a whole blood transfusion. This will lead to extreme shunning. Regardless to there being possibly better alternatives to whole blood transfusions, medical treatment should be a private matter and not controlled by Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is extreme control.

    4. Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses direct that anyone who is not associated with its organization will be destroyed at a battle called Armageddon. This is extremism and a scare tactic appearing to be an attempt to gain members into this so-called “elite” organization.

    5. Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses direct that friendship with anyone other than fellow Jehovah’s Witnesses (the world/worldly people) is dangerous and bad association. This is extreme separation from rest of the community.

    6. Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses discourage Jehovah’s Witnesses from attending four-year colleges and universities. This is extreme control over Jehovah’s Witnesses’ right to higher education.

    7. Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses changes its teachings many times and will direct Jehovah’s Witnesses to shun any fellow Jehovah’s Witnesses who voice disagreement with the changes. Then, Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses may change a teaching to agree with the view of the member who voiced disagreement, yet, that member may be still shunned. Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses calls itself “The Truth” both before and after it changes its teachings. The organization cannot be “The Truth” both before and after changing teachings. To make such a claim is an extreme lie.

    8. Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses has given poor advice for battered women to remain in abusive marriages and changed this advice after many extreme problems.

    9. Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses direct Jehovah’s Witnesses to give it blind obedience. In its November 2013 Watchtower magazine study edition under the topic “Seven Shepherds, Eight Dukes – What They Mean for Us Today, paragraph 17, Jehovah’s Witnesses are given this direction: “(1) The most practical step that we can take to prepare for the coming attack of “the Assyrian” is that of strengthening our faith in God and helping our brothers to do the same. (2) When “the Assyrian” attacks, the elders must be absolutely convinced that Jehovah will deliver us. (3) At that time, the life-saving direction that we receive from Jehovah’s organization may not appear practical from a human standpoint. All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not. (4) Now is the time for any who may be putting their trust in secular education, material things, or human institutions to adjust their thinking. The elders must stand ready to help any who may now be wavering in their faith.” This direction is extreme mind control and could make a thinking person question what will be these instructions which will require this blind obedience.

  • in Principle, this ban is wrong regardless of religious belief. in Stalins time religious prosecution was carried through with lethal force.
    This ban could mean imprisonment, and at some point potential death of over 170,000 people (just including witnesses), only for believing in what they want.
    other religious groups will most likely come later.

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses beleive in Jesus Christ and that he is the son of God. Please look up the topic on JW.org.

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses deliver Bible message all over the world. It is so bad to attack sach peaceful religion. It is sad they are persecuted just because “Reading the Bible, singing, and praying with fellow worshippers is clearly not criminal,” I quot Mr. Semonian.

  • Number 9:
    Please – no dissent or disagreement is allowed. You guys are as uniform in your beliefs as any group I know. There is one narrow truth and all must follow it or be labelled as an apostate.

  • Americanism? You don’t know a thing about JWs but you apparently have no problem with authoritarians. I’m nit sure what your denomination is but expect them to have some problems down the road – unless they are willing to kiss Putin and ROC booty. I’m confident Putin is using the ROC and probably getting their input. The lessons if history seem to be lost in your glee over the JWs fate.

  • Jesus was persecuted by the Jews because they didn’t want to lose their power and authority.
    As far as your scripture, absolutely!

  • From their official website jw (dot) org: “Before Jesus Christ ascended to heaven in 33 C.E., he promised to return….” So your blatant lies discredit everything else you have to say about the Christians known as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  • Wrong, Jehovah’s Witnesses most asuredly believe in Christ Jesus as our Savior. I am a Jehovah’s Witness for over 30 years. Our God Jehovah sent his only begotten son as a ransom for our lives to serve our heavenly father and follow in Jesus footsteps to do Jehovah’s will on earth. Please do research and don’t just believe every falsehood spoken without accurate knowledge. Thank you

  • The Bible speaks of Christ Jesus as God’s only begotten son. So if you believe that Christ is God the many prayers Jesus spoke to His Father in heaven while he was on earth
    You’d be saying he was praying to himself? Jesus is God’s first creation. He is not God, but the scripture you speak of says he is a God and it clearly explains the difference throughout the scriptures. The trinity did not come about until much later than bibical times way after the Bible was written. So as to join pagens with the church
    That’s how all the pagan traditions unfiltered the church

  • Chris, you’ve been misinformed. As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses I can assure you that Jesus Christ is God’s first creation and all of Jehovah’s Witnesses follow in his footsteps in our worship that’s why we go door to door to preach Gods word and his will to the people as Christ also did. Always do research from our own beliefs not others.

  • Jesus is God honey. He was praying to His Father. There is one God with three different persons comprising Him – Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
    As stated somewhere else on this thread the Trinity is shown at Jesus’ baptism in Mark.

    Mark 1:9-11English Standard Version (ESV)

    The Baptism of Jesus

    9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;[a] with you I am well pleased.”

    You see all three persons of the Godhead there honey.

  • If I know they don’t teach the truth, the last place I would look for anything about them, is their website.

  • I notice how everyone here is commenting on JW beliefs and whether or not they believe in Jesus. What exactly does that have to do with them being labeled terrorists? So the definition of terrorist is someone who doesn’t follow the teachings of mainstream Christianity or the dominant church of a country? Apparently that’s exactly why they’re being banned. The mainstream Orthodox church of Russia hates Witnesses and always has tried to block them, mainly because Orthodox church members are leaving the church and becoming JWs. So they worked with Putin to create these “extremist” laws so that they could use them against any group that doesn’t follow their teachings.

    Russia claimed that books by JWs were extremist just because they said JW’s had the true religion. So if you don’t feel you have the true religion, then why do you believe it? The Orthodox Church is saying the exact same thing with this ban. Witnesses merely printed it in their books. Russia is doing something far more extremist by banning everyone in their country from reading the bible or talking about their beliefs if they aren’t Russian Orthodox. And Russian authorities also broke into Kingdom Halls and planted the banned books, then an inspector would come right behind them and “find” the banned books. So Russia has been concocting this “extremist” garbage for years. Who then really are the extremist in this case?

  • Do you think it’s extreme to cut off all contact, including email, w/a loved one who voices disagreement a w/Watch Tower Society policy?

  • Do you think it’s extreme to cut off all contact, including email, w/a loved one who voices disagreement a w/Watch Tower Society policy?

  • Are you aware that Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society’s shunning policy makes it extremely difficult for its own members to practice freedom of religion? If a Watch Tower Society member (Jehovah’s Witness) started attending services of a different religion as well as attending meetings at the Watch Tower Society’s Kingdom Hall, then current members, including loved ones, are instructed to cut off contact (even email) with the “offending” member.

  • Do you think it’s extreme to cut off all contact, including email, w/a loved one who voices disagreement a w/Watch Tower Society policy?

  • Do you think it’s extreme to cut off all contact, including email, w/a loved one who voices disagreement a w/Watch Tower Society policy?

  • Do you think Jehovah’s Witnesses’ personal medical decisions should be governed by Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania Inc through its no whole blood policy?

  • After Jesus’ resurrection, what did God tell Jesus when he arrived in heaven? Acts 2:33-35 “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet”, How can God instruct himself to sit? again when Jesus was being baptized, who spoke to him, Matthew 3:17 Look! Also, a voice from the heavens said: “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.” How can Jesus approves himself? On another angle, Act times many who believe in the trinity use John1:1 as their reference but if they look at verse 18 on that same chapter they will see something totally different, John 1:18 says No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is at the Father’s side is the one who has explained Him. We know that Jesus died for the sins of mankind. Why? was he really dead, did he really die/ If you answer .”yes’, Who resurrected him? Why he couldn’t resurrected himself? And, if he really didn’t die at all, could we honestly say he died for our sins? But , yes, he died for our sins by means of a ransom sacrifice of his body since it was Adam who cause sin to all mankind. To balance the scale of justice, since Adam was perfect, therefore it has to be a perfect person to redeem mankind.

  • And in verse 18 in that same chapter reads “No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is at the Father’s side is the one who has explained Him.”

  • Because he is not. Jesus did say him and his Father are one, did that means they are the same? Well,Jesus gave his disciples an illustration in John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the cultivator.  He takes away every branch in me not bearing fruit, and he cleans every one bearing fruit, so that it may bear more fruit.’ Notice he describes himself as the vine and who is cultivator. To put this in today’s reasoning, A farmer grows apples, peaches, cherries which comes from his fruit trees, he would not sat, I’m the branch from that tree, obviously not, he is the cultivator of the tree not the branch itself.
    You can’t say you are YOUR father or YOUR mother just because you may talk like your parents, look like your parents.Would you believe the father is greater than the son? Would you believe that no man has ever seen God?

  • The Trinity did not become official church teaching until the fourth century C.E. In fact, it was due in part to the Roman emperor Constantine’s prestige and influence that the false doctrine began to be formulated at the Council of Nicaea in 325 C.E.In 325 C.E., a council of bishops in Nicea in Asia Minor formulated a creed that declared the Son of God to be “true God” just as the Father was “true God.” Part of that creed stated:
    “But as for those who say, There was [a time] when [the Son] was not, and, Before being born He was not, and that He came into e

    xistence out of nothing, or who assert that the Son of God is of a different hypostasis or substance, or is created, or is subject to alteration or change—these the Catholic Church anathematizes.”3
    Thus, anyone who believed that the Son of God was not coeternal with the Father or that the Son was created was consigned to everlasting damnation. One can imagine the pressure to conform that this put on the mass of ordinary believers.
    In the year 381 C.E., another council met in Constantinople and declared that the holy spirit should be worshiped and glorified just as the Father and Son were. One year later, in 382 C.E., another synod met in Constantinople and affirmed the full divinity of the holy spirit.4 That same year, before a council in Rome, Pope Damasus presented a collection of teachings to be condemned by the church. The document, called the Tome of Damasus, included the following statements:
    “If anyone denies that the Father is eternal, that the Son is eternal, and that the Holy Spirit is eternal: he is a heretic.”
    “If anyone denies that the Son of God is true God, just as the Father is true God, having all power, knowing all things, and equal to the Father: he is a heretic.”
    “If anyone denies that the Holy Spirit . . . is true God . . . has all power and knows all things, . . . he is a heretic.”
    “If anyone denies that the three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are true persons, equal, eternal, containing all things visible and invisible, that they are omnipotent, . . . he is a heretic.”
    “If anyone says that [the Son who was] made flesh was not in heaven with the Father while he was on earth: he is a heretic.”
    “If anyone, while saying that the Father is God and the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God, . . . does not say that they are one God, . . . he is a heretic.”5
    The Jesuit scholars who translated the foregoing from Latin added the comment: “Pope St. Celestine I (422-32) apparently considered these canons law; they may be considered definitions of faith.” And scholar Edmund J. Fortman asserts that the tome represents “sound and solid trinitarian doctrine.”7
    If you are a member of a church that accepts the Trinity teaching, do these statements define your faith? And did you realize that to believe in the Trinity doctrine as taught by the churches requires you to believe that Jesus was in heaven while he was on earth? This teaching is similar to what fourth-century churchman Athanasius stated in his book On the Incarnation:
    “The Word [Jesus] was not hedged in by His body, nor did His presence in the body prevent His being present elsewhere as well. When He moved His body He did not cease also to direct the universe by His Mind and might. . . . He is still Source of life to all the universe, present in every part of it, yet outside the whole.”8

  • Sandi, if someone wants to experience the Chinese culture, where would be the BEST place to research them, Brazil? Canada? Kenya? Romania? Obviously, a person would experience the Chinese culture from China or a Chinese person can really tell them about their own experience.Same thing with Jehovah’s Witnesses, you would not hear the truth about them from a Zen Buddhist, Hopi Native American or a Southern Baptist. he would either study with the Witnesses or be around some of them and ask questions about their experience.

  • John 14:28. You heard that I said to you, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I am. Sandi, are you saying Jesus is his own God? If that is the case,

    John 20: 16,17 says Jesus said to her: “Mary!” On turning around, she said to him in Hebrew: “Rab·boʹni!” (which means “Teacher!”) 17 Jesus said to her: “Stop clinging to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.’” Notice Jesus HIMSELF said he is GOING to whom? His God.

  • Where in the Bible that the word trinity appears? Jesus NEVER said he is the same as his father, in fact he said at John14:28, the Father is GREATER than the son.

  • Co-equal? Are you saying John and Jesus made a mistake when Jesus said the Father is Greater than the me (See John14:28)

  • To the contrary, Jesus changed more than any person on this planet. (1) First born of all creation(2) Born as a baby and grew up in a hosehold with imperfect humans (3)Age 33, Since the title “Christ” means “Anointed One.” Jesus became the Messiah, or Christ, when he was anointed with God’s spirit at the time he was baptized in 29 C.E (3) God told the resurrected Jesus at Acts 2:33-35 to sit at his right hand until a designated time : “Sit at my right hand 35 until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet(4) Isaiah 9:6 For a child has been born to us,
    A son has been given to us; And the RULERSHIP will rest on his shoulder.Began ruling as King

  • Holy spirit is NOT a person.Catholic Dictionary: “The true divinity of the third Person was asserted at a Council of Alexandria in 362, . . . and finally by the Council of Constantinople of 381.” So man himself installed the holy spirit as part of a trinitarian godhead. Many of the pagan religions have trinities, Hindi (3)Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva ,Egyptians had there was the trinity of Osiris, Isis, and Horus, the trinity of Amen, Mut, and Khonsu, the trinity of Khnum, Satis, and Anukis, a Christendom, “The ancient Babylonians recognized the doctrine of a trinity, or three persons in one god— as appears from a composite god with three heads forming part of their mythology, and the use of the equilateral triangle, also, as an emblem of such trinity in unity” (Thomas Dennis Rock, The Mystical Woman and the Cities of the Nations, 1867, pp. 22-23). Sumeria“The universe was divided into three regions each of which became the domain of a god. Anu’s share was the sky. The earth was given to Enlil. Ea became the ruler of the waters. Together they constituted the triad of the Great Gods” ( The Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, 1994, pp. 54-55), In Greece they were Zeus, Poseidon and Adonis. The Phoenicians worshiped Ulomus, Ulosuros and Eliun. Rome worshipped Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto. In Germanic nations they were called Wodan, Thor and Fricco.

  • Jesus told many formerly deformed people to walk, see, hear and to speak, why is this any different than the other scenes?

  • Sandi, many people on this posting proved from the Bible that Jesus is NOT God but his son, yet you still insist that Jehovah’s Witnesses are wrong.If you are so convinced that you are right about the trinity, why aren’t you sharing that to people house to house and from door to door? Matthew 28;19: 20 says 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, 20 teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things’ and Acts 20:20 says while I did not hold back from telling you any of the things that were profitable nor from teaching you publicly and from house to house. QUESTION: Who are doing this teaching from house to house?

  • Pacifism will not endear you to your Government or fellow citizens in times of strong nationalism, as in Russia today. Especially when that country feels the real threat of war. Ask the pacifist Quakers in early America at the time of our Independence from Britain. In these days, when Russia is feeling more and more threatened by NATO’s push to put missiles directly on their borders, they need a people willing to fight for freedom if necessary. It would not be suprising if pacifism is the reason for the rift between JWs and the Russian government. That’s my guess.

  • ” QUESTION: Who are doing this teaching from house to house?” Legalists who think works will get them into the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Ephesians 2:8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
    Christ taught that He and the Father are One. (Trinity) Christ declared things that showed He is God. Only God can forgive sins and heal. Christ did.

  • Christ is, was, and will always be God.
    He didn’t have to “become” anything. He always was.
    Hebrews 13:8 – English Standard Version
    Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” He created the world. He created us. And one day, He will take us to Heaven with Him.

  • Jesus made the following statement.

    You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I (John 14:28).
    This statement has been thought to mean that Jesus is something less than God the Father. However this is not what Jesus said. He was not comparing his nature with that of God the Father. Rather he was comparing their positions.

    He Was Lesser In Position When He Came To Earth

    When Jesus came to earth he came in the form of a servant. This is also known as His humiliation. The Apostle Paul wrote.

    Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a human, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-8).
    Jesus Has Now Been Exalted

    Jesus has now been exalted. Continuing his thought in Philippians, Paul wrote.

    For this reason also, God highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11).
    Summary

    The fact that Jesus said, “My Father is greater than I” has led some to conclude that he was lesser in nature than God the Father. However this statement refers to Jesus’ state of humiliation that he took when he became a human being. It does not to have reference to his basic nature.
    (www.blueletterbible.org)

  • English Standard Version

    John 5:18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

  • Since you said he was lesser than God while on earth, what did Jehovah God told his son in heaven after Jesus resurrection? Acts 5:34, 35 says,  ”For David did not ascend to the heavens, but he himself says, ‘Jehovah said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.” It doesn’t makes sense for God to command his own self where to sit. This is in heaven.

  • It’s not the WT Society that makes the rules…..God’s word does, and it explicitly says to ABSTAIN from blood. (Acts 5:29) Taking it straight into our veins isn’t abstaining, right?

  • JW policy is to follow what God’s Word says, and not go by our own understanding as to what is right or wrong or what is extreme. Sometimes it’s very painful to do what’s right, but if God’s Word requires that we do it, then we have to be strong and do it, and that can be very difficult to say the least.

  • No..he never called himself our creator and .he is not the third person of a trinity. He is a separate person…a god in the sense that he has supernatural powers. In the scriptures he is called God’s “only begotten son” and together he and his Father created everything. He said he was beside his father as a masterworker.

  • Jesus is the “firstborn of all creation” says the inspired scriptures at Colossians 1: 15,16 who was “exalted” by his God and Father/ Philippians 2:9. Surely if Jesus was God Almighty, he would not have to be exalted. Furthermore, for any of you who would like to play the “flesh” card, you can’t. Why? Because if Jesus was the Almighty God, authority would not have to be GIVEN to him in HEAVEN where he would already have this. Matthew 28:18 “Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: “All authority has been GIVEN me in HEAVEN and on the earth.”

  • John 1:3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

  • Yes, Jesus and his Father are one in the sense that they are united in all that they do. They are in union with each other. Saying that Jesus and his Father are one only proves a duality, not a trinity, correct?

  • You are apparently believing heresy. When I heard that the Catholic church was no longer teaching the hell fire doctrine, I called the archdiocese to clarify. What I was told is that “hell is basically separation from God”. That answered my question and I didn’t need to go any further as to what they teach on that subject. Was I afraid of exposing myself to evil? No. You can do the same.

  • I’m sorry, but the ROC is behind this persecution of JWs in Russia just like the Jewish religious leaders influenced the rulers back in Christ’s day. Usually the polititians don’t much care about people’s religious beliefs.

  • One of the most prominent features of the true religion is that its members have love and unity among themselves, and having disagreements isn’t unifying. Christians are supposed to be united….as one, but that isn’t what I see out there in most churches.

  • God never intended His children to become intimate with evil in order to communicate the gospel to those in it’s grasp. Robert Mounce

  • Christ taught that He and the Father are One. (Trinity) Christ declared things that showed He is God. Only God can forgive sins and heal. Christ did.

  • Sorry, but I have to disagree with that statement. Just because we disagree with some of the teachings of other denominations does not mean we are virulently anti everyone who isn’t one of us. If that were the case, we couldn’t function in society very well. As for transfusions, there are safer alternatives.

  • How can Watch Tower Society’s interpretation of God’s Word be synonymous with God’s Word when God’s Word doesn’t change but WTS’ interpretation does change? Does that mean God doesn’t know the correct interpretation of His Word either, since WTS claims to be God’s mouthpiece?

  • I agree the ban is wrong. I think Russia should instead work to get Watch Tower Society to discontinue some of its extreme teachings which require Jehovah’s Witnesses to practice its extreme activity in my list above.

  • God’s word on abstaining from blood hasn’t changed but WTS’s policy on the matter has changed. WTS went from no blood to now allowing JWs to take blood fractions. Many JWs have died after not taking any blood component in the past and they’re still dead even after WTS changed its policy on blood. So, again, why would JWs be required to listen to WTS’s ever-changing and dangerous medical teachings and be cut off from loved ones for voicing disagreement with these extreme teaching failures?

    Also, there was a time when WTS taught organ transplants were cannibalism so JWs didn’t receive them and died. Later, WTS changed this medical teaching and the JWs who died are still dead. Would it not be better if WTS would allow JWs to choose their own personal decisions and let WTS remain quiet until the time comes when they are fit to teach?

  • Watch Tower Society keeps changing its teachings and tells Jehovah’s Witnesses its organization is “The Truth” both before and after the changes. That causes disunity especially when WTS claims to be “God’s mouthpiece”.

  • You may be right. Nevertheless, Christ has his disciples and ministers there. Russia does not need to be infiltrated by American denominationalism.

  • @ jw.org. Me being affiliated with jw’s I personally would know that we definetly, undoubtly, belive that jesus is christ or the ransom and son of God. But don’t take my word for it, please feel free to visit our website. I would ask, if I may, that you don’t make assumptions about things you do not know of. Thank you. Have a great day.

  • I’m glad that the WTS changes their view on certain topics as new understanding comes around instead of sticking to old outdated ideas that they know are wrong. As for blood fractions, it sounds like you need to do some more research so you can understand that issue. As for being free to make my own decisions, I’ve never felt forced to do or believe anything…..it’s always been a personal choice.

  • I would agree with you that they belong somewhere else if they voiced disagreement with many or most of Watch Tower Society policies and teachings, but not for voicing disagreement with only one policy or teaching but would otherwise love to stay. But to be cut off by family and friends for voicing disagreement with even any amount of policies or teachings sounds very extreme to outsiders.

    Your statement shows that you don’t view yourself as practicing extremism. Your statement shows that while Watch Tower Society fought for rights of many JWs as well as outsiders, WTS has denied JWs the right to voice disagreement without repercussions such as being cut off by you. That sounds like what a dictator would do. Something Russia would do.

  • Why would “God’s spokesman”, Watch Tower Society even need to change its view if its views really come from God through His channel of communication with humans, its faithful and discreet slave?

    The point is, why is WTS even in the business of trying to teach when it gets so much wrong and JWs suffer for it, including death?

    How many times will you continue to trust someone’s directions when driving after that person continues to give you wrong directions before you stop trusting them?

  • WTS and God’s Word aren’t synonymous. Actually, it appears Jehovah’s Witnesses follows Watch Tower Society’s word and are expected to give WTS blind obedience judging by its Watchtower magazine study edition, November of 2013 under the topic “Seven Shepherds, Eight Dukes – What They Mean for Us Today” paragraph 17: “(1) The most practical step that we can take to prepare for the coming attack of “the Assyrian” is that of strengthening our faith in God and helping our brothers to do the same. (2) When “the Assyrian” attacks, the elders must be absolutely convinced that Jehovah will deliver us. (3) At that time, the life-saving direction that we receive from Jehovah’s organization may not appear practical from a human standpoint. All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not. (4) Now is the time for any who may be putting their trust in secular education, material things, or human institutions to adjust their thinking. The elders must stand ready to help any who may now be wavering in their faith.”

    To JWs, this apparently doesn’t sound extreme, but to outsiders, like Russia, this sounds very extreme. Look at point (3), ready to obey any instructions – Russia, no doubt, is wondering just what are these instructions. The won’t come from God because the Bible is already written. JWs will be following WTS’s word then just as they are now.

  • Judgment is on the basis of how humanely one dealt with his fellow humans, not on the basis of theology (Mathew 7:21-23; 25:31-36)

  • Think the point being discussed isn’t the differences between one christian religion and another. Truth is that in our European history there was a time of oppression were government favored one religion and persecuted all other, does that mean that we should all abide by the one religion that our government favor or is the topic on hand Freedom of religion? Think we should all take a strong stand in defending the rights of every individual to practice their own religion and at end may God be the only one to judge.

  • If you are trying to find a “Trinity” in these Scriptures you’ll have to look elsewhere because all of these books of the Bible you quote from were written by non-trinitarian Jews as was the rest of the Bible. So quoting Scripture only supports the Jehovah’s Witnesses beliefs that there is no Trinity. Perhaps you could quote from Egyptians and Babylonians and other enemies of the true God since they have much proof of your belief in a Trinity.

  • Vladimir Putin believes in the Trinity as did Adolf Hitler and millions of other people that have killed each other during wartime also worship that same trinity God. Personally I would rather worship the God of the Bible who is a God of LOVE and not a three-headed war-mongering people-burner. I believe that the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not go to war – they are peaceful. Yet Trinitarians who I know as my relatives are more than happy to kill others when their Pastor or Government official tells them to. So you have trinitarians on one side of the battle field and trinitarians on the other side killing each other! May I ask a simple question? Which side is God on? Oh I guess if God is a Trinity then one part of God is on one side and another part on the other side.

  • Not true, they all knew the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Why are you so afraid of the truth?

  • Very true Jeremiah. The Lord will probably be saying that to a lot of JWs. They need to be born again and acknowledge that He is God, and always has been.

  • But gods son is Jesus and when on earth Jesus always directed the glory to his father. Not him or the Holy Spirit.

  • We have never claimed to be inspired as the bible writers were and we admitt to getting things wrong sometimes. That’s what it meant when it talks about a refinement taking place and the light slowly getting brighter like the Dorn

  • Who produce literature in 886 languages because this good news must be preached to all the Entire inhabited earth. Something Jesus said would be an identifying mark of true christians. I don’t see anybody else trying that

  • And the second person of the trinity is Jesus. Jesus “gave up” his prerogative to use His divinity while here and showed us how we are to live – following God, via the Holy Spirit.
    Philippians 2: 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

  • Why do you use the word “we” unless you are one of Watch Tower Society’s decision makers on teachings and policy. I doubt you’d want to take credit for WTS’s teachings that have been wrong more than just “sometimes”, then changed, regardless whether a light got brighter in understanding. These wrong and ever-changing teachings have misled Jehovah’s Witnesses for decades. Then WTS requires JWs to cut off loved ones who disagree with some of these changes.

    At what point will WTS stop trying to teach what it obviously doesn’t know? Why doesn’t WTS just remain quiet until the light is at its brightest?

    Also, WTS has claimed to be “God’s mouthpiece”. How can WTS be “God’s mouthpiece” yet misinterpret the Bible so often? Does this mean God doesn’t know the Bible either? How long would you continue to trust directions from someone who kept sending you on wrong paths while driving? How can WTS be “the truth” BOTH before AND after being wrong? It can’t.

    Just look at all these times the excuse “light got brighter” had to be used to cover WTS’s ineptness at teaching: These many, many, many “getting things wrong” are found on the JWorg website – Publications – Online Library – Search Box Beliefs Clarified or here’s the link http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200277174

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses most likely won’t think your statement, “If they disagree then they belong somewhere else.”, is extreme. I think most outsiders would think that statement is extreme to be cut off from loved ones for simply disagreeing with Watch Tower Society which has been wrong so many times. Cut off for disagreeing? Sounds worse than Russia.

  • SORRY BUT YOU CAN LOOK IT UP ANYWHERE, GOOGLE IT OR LOOK IN THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA OR ASK ANY JEW SUCH AS MYSELF. THEY DO NOT BELIEVE IN A TRINITY. THEY WROTE THE BIBLE. Jesus was a Jew as were all of his Apostles who wrote the New Testament. And of course the Old Testament was also written by Jews incl. Moses, David and so forth…

  • Still awaiting your response to prove the Trinity from your counterparts – the Egyptians and Babylonians.

  • Sorry but once again you cannot use the Bible to prove a Trinity since it was written by Jews who do not believe in Trinities. Try elsewhere.

  • You asked. I provided. You may also want to look at Jesus’ baptism in Mark. It is made very clear there also. Blessings.

  • IF God was your friend why do you not believe his WORD and instead follow the Egyptians and Babylonian God of the Trinity?

  • Sorry but the Baptism at Mark was written by a Jew and Jews do not believe in a Trinity so you must look elsewhere for a doctrine that is obviously not in the Bible. Try the Egyptians or Babylonians in the search for your trinity. Oh and also Jesus was a Jew and Jews do not believe in a trinity!!!

  • which scripture Mr Sandi? can you tell your friends that your going to your father’s house while you are a father in that house? what a misled and misrepresentation of information. Jesus went to his father God not Jesus went to himself.

  • And you said “he was praying to his father” meaning he was praying to himself? it doesn’t make sense at all and it is misleading. that is like telling people that your boss is not your boss but yourself is a boss.

  • Are you equal to your father yourself? and if you are, is your son equal to your grandfather?

    father is a father, son is a son, mother is a mother you you are you both of you make a family.

    God is God, Christ is Christ, Holy spirit is holy spirit both of them we need to worship them.

  • Ha ha ha ha !!!!!!!!! that is not a person, it is a power or( Angels) which God uses to accomplish his wills.

  • Matthew 28:19 – 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

  • Sorry but Mark was a Jew and Jews do not believe in your false God of the Trinity. Only the enemies of God believed in trinities such as the Egyptians and Babylonians.

  • Sorry but once again you cannot use the Bible to prove a Trinity since it was written by Jews who do not believe in Trinities. Try elsewhere.

  • Sorry but once again you cannot use the Bible book of Mark to prove a Trinity since it was written by Jews who do not believe in Trinities. Try elsewhere.

  • Tell the author of Matthew that – 28:19 – English Standard Version

    Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

  • I grew up in this religion. while it is annoying to be bothered at the door by one they are no threat to any country. they do not vote, they pay taxes, and they do not complain about the government. they follow the local laws as best they can unless said laws say they can’t meet together to worship. then they will still meet, but in ways that they hope won’t attract attention.

  • false. JWs deny the trinity, but they fully acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ the son of god.

  • yes Jesus is part of the god family but he is not the father. just like i am human but i am not my mother.

  • they do. they have the odd belief that the only thing the father created was Jesus, but that Jesus created everything else. therefore Jesus is the creator of us

  • yes Jesus is equal to god but the holy spirit is not god, is not a person it is just what it says HOLY SPIRIT. I know you don’t understand that as you are a trinitarian christian, but my beliefs are based on the bible.

  • you should know what they do teach though. as even a broken clock is right twice a day.
    you don’t want to look stupid by saying they have something wrong when it might just be something they have right.
    JWs are Christians just as the 7th day Adventists are Christians just as Mormons are Christians, as are the assemblies of god are Christians.
    I don’t really know what most of these denominations teach, but I would make sure that what i heard about them was correct before I say they they are wrong about it.

  • actually how can it be getting brighter when you have one view, see the light and change then later on turn around again. think subjection to secular authorities.

  • The don’t know that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever,and always was. He was with God in the beginning. They don’t have a basic understanding of scripture – John 1

  • A point well taken, I’m not defending the JW’s theologically, merely making the point that the Russian government is trying to crush a gnat with a sledge hammer.

  • Sorry I’m slow replying I have other things to do. I say we because I’m a Jehovah’s Witness. And we all do our best to follow the bible on a personal level between us and god. We meet together as an organisation to worship and encourage one another just as the bible says we should. We are in the refinery process Jesus talked about. And we doing it a lot better then the church that’s now saying to forget about the bible it’s ok to have gay marriage

  • So where is that saying they are one? I can’t agree more it’s impossible to serve god without excepting Jesus Ransom sacrifice. But nowhere there does it say he is part of a trinity with god. If that is such a fundamental teaching then why is it not there in black and white

  • Mark 1 9-11 will show you the Trinity. Jesus is being baptised, the Father speaks, and the Holy Spirit comes to rest on the Lord. There is the Trinity. God bless you.

  • Ron. I won’t have access to my computer for 3 more days, so please bear with me,
    This may help you. Think of the Trinity as water. There is rain, snow, and ice. All three are water, yet all three are different – none being superior to the other. I pray that helps you.

  • With that statement, if water, ice or snow can talk, can any of them say to each other , “I’m greater than ice, or snow? Yet Jesus pointedly said , The Father is greater than the son” (John14:28)

  • “The Father is greater than the Son”, the Son was in the flesh at that time. Now they are together and are equal. You must know the scripture in John where he makes clear that he is equal with God. The Holy Spirit is also equal.
    Seems the Father thinks of things, Jesus creates them, the Holy Spirt holds it all together.

  • Then when resurrected Jesus Christ went to heaven, his father told him(his son), to sit at my right sight until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet Acts 2:34 . At this point Jesus is NOT on the earth he is in heaven. Do you think God was talking to himself where to sit?

  • J.w.false teaching.cult,.Satan is a father of lie,examine if you are realy on the side of truth.ask Jesus to guide you.that is very simple way to know…frnds Jesus loves you and He wants you to save from His wrath,pls! ask Him and.in Jesus name!.
    ….Ruben Zion…

  • Do you feel it “extreme” to pledge your allegiance to a nation that may or may not be morally correct in their decisions? Do you accept full responsibility for the decisions it makes with such allegiances?

  • If you believe JWs deny that Jesus is the Christ, you have been sadly and thoroughly misinformed.

  • Sounds dreadfully evil and dangerous – lol It is BECAUSE they refuse to take part in supporting the government that they are being banned as “extremist” where as the other ‘religions’ prefer the political limelight….

  • Already accomplish what every nation on the planet tries to, but miserably fails at…..

  • Jehovah’s witnesses do not prevent Someone from talking to nonbelievers, as long as your family and friends respect your beliefs and know where you stand on issues, there is no reason to cut ties, if someone cuts ties with a witness its their own doing. Not that of the religions. I know witnesses who go to family holiday celebrations and although they dont participate in gifts they still spend time with their loved ones. Stopping contact with a nonbeliever is a personal choice and not one everyone agrees to.

  • Watch Tower Society’s policy to cut off contact with loved ones deals with Jehovah’s Witnesses who have been disfellowshipped, not unbelievers. The disfellowshipped person may be a loved one who didn’t commit a “gross sin” but simply voiced disagreement with a new policy. One new policy which one of Jehovah’s Witnesses voiced disagreement on and was disfellowshipped was the new identity of the “Faithful and Discreet Slave”.

    Now, all Jehovah’s Witnesses, including loved ones, are instructed by Watch Tower Tract Society of Pennsylvania Inc to cut off contact with this disfellowshipped person, including by email.

  • If you get disfellowshiped you are not allowed to talk to other witnesses until you are reinstated, the Catholics do the same thing its called excommunicated, alot of other religions do it as well.

  • Can you provide the written policy for Catholics and other religions that state members must cut off excommunicated ones, even not to email them, like Watch Tower Society requires Jehovah’s Witnesses to do to its disfellowshipped members?

  • If you want to know do your research. I’ve studied several religions. I’m also not here to change anyones mind. The world is full of too many people thinking their opinion is right. You dont have to agree with the Witnesses or even be apart of their religion, however they believe, they deserve support. They don’t hurt people, they don’t have corruption like alot of other religions, they arnt perfect. But if I was stranded in the middle of nowhere and a stranger approached me. I would feel 100% safe if I found out they were a Jehovah’s witnesses, they may not always be right. But they are united and genuinely good people.

  • The truth. If Watch Tower Tract Society of Pennsylvania Inc really thinks it must teach Jehovah’s Witnesses, then, it would be better it knows before trying to teach rather than having to change teachings when “light slowly getting brighter”. So many JWs have been mislead. Wasn’t it Jesus who was recorded to have said it’s better that a millstone was hung around a misleader’s neck and pitched into the sea than for him to mislead these little ones?

    Watch Tower Tract Society of Pennsylvania Inc claim to be “God’s mouthpiece” and “the truth”. How can it be the truth both before and after its many teaching changes?

  • what is “extreme” is when you’re given countless opportunities to correct behavior that is detrimental to the congregation’s reputation of spiritual cleanliness as to not be considered “just like all the other hypocritical religions of the world”…… and those opportunities are taken for granted, ignored, and detrimental behavior continues.

    that’s “extreme.”

    and there’s bible backing to it, too.

    it’s not about ME… what I like. it’s about obeying bible principle and knowing that it always works for the best even in difficult times.

    you can disagree with stuff. i’ve got a few disagreements with meeting arrangements that have been made the past 2 years. sure.

    does that mean instant expulsion? of course not, don’t exaggerate.

    ephesians 4:26 “be angry, but do not sin.”

    sure i can have uncertainty about a certain procedure….
    but is it worth disrupting the peace of the congregation?

    it shouldn’t be. peace and unity is the #1 objective.
    the #1 objective isn’t “hey everybody, aren’t I so right all the time?”

2019 NewsMatch Campaign: This Story Can't Wait! Donate.

ADVERTISEMENTs