Are Jehovah’s Witnesses Christian?

This article is from Hank Hanegraaff, The Complete Bible Answer Book—Collector’s Edition (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008)
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Like Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Christianity died with the last of the apostles. They believe Christianity was not resurrected until their founder, Charles Taze Russell, began organizing the Watchtower Society in the 1870s. In their view the cross is a pagan symbol adopted by an apostate church and salvation is impossible apart from the Watchtower. While the Witnesses on your doorstep consider themselves to be the only authentic expression of Christianity, the Society they serve compromises, confuses, or contradicts essential Christian doctrine.

First, the Watchtower Society compromises the nature of God. They teach their devotees that the Trinity is a “freakish-looking, three headed God” invented by Satan and that Jesus is merely a god. In Watchtower theology Jesus was created by God as the archangel Michael, during his earthly sojourn became merely human, and after his crucifixion was re-created an immaterial spirit creature. JWs also deny the physical resurrection of Jesus. According to Russell, the body that hung on a torture stake either “dissolved into gasses” or is “preserved somewhere as the grand memorial of God’s love.”

Furthermore, while Christians believe all believers will spend eternity with Christ in “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1; 22:17) the Watchtower teaches that only 144,000 people will make it to heaven while the rest of the faithful will live apart from Christ on earth. Thus in Watchtower lore there is a “little flock” of 144,000 who get to go to heaven and a “great crowd” of others who are relegated to earth. The heavenly class are born again, receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and partake of communion; the earthly class do not. To substantiate the notion that heaven’s door was closed irrevocably in 1935, JWs point to “flashes of prophetic light” received by Joseph F. Rutherford at a JW convention in Washington D.C. Other false “flashes of prophetic light” include Watchtower predictions of end-time cataclysms that were to occur in 1914 . . . 1918 . . . 1925 . . . 1975.

Finally, under the threat of being “disfellowshipped,” Jehovah’s Witnesses are barred from celebrating Christmas, birthdays, or holidays such as Thanksgiving and Good Friday. Even more troubling are Watchtower regulations regarding vaccinations, organ transplants, and blood transfusions. In 1931, JWs were instructed to refuse vaccinations—by 1952, this regulation was rescinded. In 1967, organ transplants were ruled a forbidden form of cannibalism—by 1980, this edict was erased. In 1909, the Watchtower produced a prohibition against blood transfusions. No doubt, this too will one day become a relic of the past. In the meantime, tens of thousands have not only been ravished spiritually by the Watchtower Society but have paid the ultimate physical price as well.
While Watchtower adherents are often willing to do more for a lie than Christians are willing to do for the truth, these and a host of other doctrinal perversions keep JWs from rightly being considered Christian.

For further study, see Ron Rhodes, Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah’s Witnesses (Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House Publishers, 1993).


“If what a prophet proclaims in the name
of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a
message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has
spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.”

Deuteronomy 18:22

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Will Adam and Eve Receive Brand-New Bodies in Eternity?

Do Naturalists Consider Chance the Singular Cause of Evolution?

Why Did Heliocentrism Triumph over Geocentrism?

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