By Hank Hanegraaff
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, and 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 who, during his earthly sojourn, was merely human and who, after his crucifixion, was recreated 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 that all believers will spend eternity with Christ in “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1), 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, DC. Other false “flashes of prophetic light” include Watchtower pre- dictions 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 In 1931, JWs were instructed to refuse vaccinations; by 1952, this regulation was rescinded.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 of people have not only been ravaged 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 rightly keep JWs from being considered Christian.
When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
Deuteronomy 18:22 NKJV
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