‘The Watchtower’ rivals Scripture in Jehovah’s Witness pitch

We see them in suits walking from door to door. We even hide when we see them walking up to our porch because we want to avoid the 30-minute talks they want to have with us. They’re called Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Amy Ortega, Writer

We see them in suits walking from door to door. We even hide when we see them walking up to our porch because we want to avoid the 30-minute talks they want to have with us. Who are they? They’re called Jehovah’s Witnesses. How much do we really know about them? We go to a university that prepares and trains us for what is to come in our future — but what good is it if we aren’t familiar with the twisted doctrine of these people who claim to have these beliefs?

I visited the Jehovah’s Witnesses church on Imperial Boulevard for their Spanish readings of “The Watchtower,” their monthly religious magazine which spreads their doctrine. It was a bit foolish for me to be so afraid but I didn’t know what to expect —- after reading and researching so much about them, I thought I was going to find them locked in a room chanting.

Thanks to Charles Taze Russell, who began The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been misled with false doctrine since 1884. The Watchtower — for them — is God’s visible theocratic organization on Earth; God’s only channel of truth. Its headquarters printing plant in Brooklyn, N.Y. prints literature in over 100 languages and distributes in 140 countries and every foreign missions field throughout the world.

A Witness is trained to not trust himself or others to interpret the Bible. They believe the Watchtower leaders are the greatest religious authorities since the apostles and if you question them, you could run the risk of being excommunicated.

“The Watchtower” teaches the Bible interpreted in a completely different way; the publication is their ultimate prophet and they devoutly believe they must listen to God’s prophets. One of the society’s books, “Let God be True,” says that “the obvious conclusion, therefore, is that Satan is the originator of the Trinity Doctrine.” The statement is continued with: “He was a mighty one although not almighty as Jehovah God is — he was a god—but not the almighty God who is Jehovah.”

They don’t believe in the Holy Spirit as completely divine, they believe the Holy Spirit is Jehovah’s “active force.” Witnesses believe it is “something made up by the Christians.” Another interesting doctrinal twist: they believe that Jesus’ sacrifice was only meant to cleanse us of our inherited sin from Adam and not of our own sins that we commit. This is why we see them walking from door to door, because they have to work their way to heaven.

When I arrived at the church, I stood outside the door until someone invited me in. I saw them all sitting in a cozy room with comfortable chairs that probably sat 100 people. Each person held in their hands “The Watchtower” pamphlet and two people walked around with microphones to hand from person to person. Their “Watchtower” studies are extremely interactive. The minister stood up and instructed the study and chose the voluntary speakers when they raise their hands.

It surprised me again and again to hear how much they knew the Bible. Every time someone would answer a question, they would quote at least two scriptures. But as Dr. Gomes, Talbot professor of Religions and Cults, said, “They are drilled to study their own party line and know their own pitch. They know what they have been trained in.”

What stood out to me the most was when the minister equated Satan and Jesus to “a god.”

Afterward, a friendly young man came up to talk to me to ask if I had any questions. After talking to him for a bit, I realized how much he always regarded the “Watchtower.” He made it clear that he can’t understand the Bible on his own, so he relies on the “Watchtower.”

But the publication is meant to “ask them questions and lead them to the conclusion,” Gomes said. “You should try to make them think for themselves a little bit.”

All their pamphlets, books and Bibles were stocked neatly behind a glass case. This was a new experience to me because it was the first time I’ve allowed a Witness to actually talk to me. Now that I have experienced a Jehovah’s Witness service, I can understand them more and I know how to pray for them.

I encourage everyone to step outside the bubble and reach out to others who don’t believe the same things we do. If you are interested in learning more about the Jehovah’s Witnesses, look up “Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah’s Witnesses” by Ron Rhodes that gives an easy to read dialogue between a Christian and Witness. I encourage everyone to learn to understand them and love them and learn about the other religions and doctrines that are right down our street — literally.

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