questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses
Jehovah’s Witnesses are hunting recruits all over my town. They’re stationed every 300 metres with pamphlets claiming to explain what the Bible really means, in several languages to maximise their potential audience. They come to our door in twos with friendly smiles and more pamphlets. And they stop us in the street like lost souls looking for directions, before launching into their sales pitch and thrusting yet more pamphlets at us.
They inspire me to start a “Reject This Silly God Nonsense” campaign, assaulting people in their homes and about town with my views on the non-existence of any creator deities. However, so far I’ve just ignored them or cast stern glares in their direction. But I think it’s time I start looking up some facts about their friendly little religion and engage them in some sort of meaningful dialogue.
1. What new lifestyle rules might I have to follow if I join your cult?
It seems there are some rather harsh changes that would need to be made in my life. Examples of wrongdoing, such as drinking and smoking, can be found on the official site:
For instance, suppose a brother who in the past had a drinking problem drank too much once or twice when home alone. Or perhaps one who long ago abandoned the use of tobacco smoked privately a time or two in a moment of weakness.
Other examples of wrongdoing could be having a blood transfusion to save your life or your child’s life. Or having a moustache that is not neatly trimmed, or a hairstyle that is unkempt, or not the recommended style for your sex. Or having a Christmas tree.
2. Why are you so afraid of apostates?
Jehovah’s Witnesses have a peculiar attitude towards people who leave their fold, hiding from them like terrified bunny rabbits. As with any cult, the leadership knows that people who have spotted the holes from the inside and escaped their clutches could easily bring the whole sham tumbling down. Basically, don’t even say hello to apostates and by no means should you find out what their opinions are, as we learn from this an interesting article on apostasy (that relies on the cultish Bible quotes that many mainstream Christian denominations have cherry picked out of their practices):
Would faithful Christians welcome apostates into their presence, either personally or by reading their literature?
2 John 9, 10: “Everyone that pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God. . . . If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, never receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him.”
Would any serious harm come from satisfying one’s curiosity about the thinking of apostates?
Prov. 11:9: “By his mouth the one who is an apostate brings his fellowman to ruin.”
3. Why are there so many support groups for people who used to be Jehovah’s Witnesses?
A quick google of “Jehovah’s Witness Support Groups” comes back with hundreds of sites packed with thousands of stories from people who left the JWs and are dealing with the subsequent trauma. They are alienated, or shunned, from their family and friends, and feel they’ve lost years of their lives to lies. Does that sound like a good cult to join? I think it’s a sensible rule of thumb to avoid any organisation that spawns thousands of support groups for traumatised former members. If you know anyone considering going to a Jehovah’s Witness group meeting, encourage them to check out these forums before dipping their toes in the murky waters of cultish entrapment.
Hopefully next time my path crosses with an eager Jehovah’s Witness pampleteer, I’ll feel ready to greet their enthusiastic evangelising with some sincere enquiries, and maybe a little evangelising of my own.