This is my response to the Associated Content article: Racism in the Jehovah Witness Watchtower, published by Christian Peper, on October 28, 2006.
Unlike other articles I have responded to lately, I find little to criticize in this article and agree with about every point made. I do want to respond, however, for two reasons. First of all, the points made were very important, as this cult misleads countless numbers of people, and anything that will give these points wider exposure has to be good. I also want to respond, however, because there are many other harmful things about this cult that were not touched on, as the article was only about racism. There are numerous teachings the cult uses to mislead countless people and harm many lives.
The article correctly points out that the Civil Rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s did a lot to heal wounds caused by slavery in America’s past. It also points out, however, Jehovah’s Witnesses, who claim to be superior to others in the world and who even refer to people outside the organization as bird food (referring to non-Jehovah’s Witnesses, people whom they believe birds will feast on after the Battle of Armageddon), have actually long discriminated against their minority members.
It points to a quote from Watchtower teaching: “The Negro race is supposed to be descended from Ham, whose special degradation is mentioned in Genesis 9:22, 25” (Zion’s Watchtower August 1, 1898, page 230.) The article also points out that Watchtower teaching that says that Ham’s descendants are Negroes and are to be servants.
The article points out Jehovah’s Witness congregations continued to be segregated in Texas until the 1970’s.
The article also points out the huge number of African Americans and Hispanics who have been hurt by the discriminatory practices of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and who have been forced to spy on other members to remain in good standing.
The article points to a large number of child abuse cases in the organization.
There is certainly little I would criticize about this article, and I do not doubt for a second the truthfulness of the facts presented. Certainly any reasonable person should have contempt for such practices, especially because a cult such as this, which maintains it is the only true Christian church on earth, has done much to damage Biblical Christianity.
I do want to write, however, about other harmful teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, teachings that have misled countless people about what the Bible actually says about God’s forgiveness. The cult has offered no hope to people. Another issue is the cult’s teaching that for a person to take a blood transfusion is wrong, which could actually lead to the death of many people.
There was no such thing as blood transfusion when the Bible was written, and the Scriptures the Jehovah’s Witnesses refer to when creating their doctrine of not allowing blood transfusions clearly mean to any reasonable person that someone obeying the Scriptures should not eat blood. From that, the Scripture has been twisted into something that could lead to the death of many people. That is only one of many reasons I say this cult is dangerous. According to the website, www.jehovahswitnessrevealed.com, even an issue of one of the organization’s own magazines, Awake, showed the pictures of children who had died after not receiving blood transfusions. The website has a picture of the issue and reported that Jehovah’s Witnesses considered the children martyrs.
Then there have been doctrinal flip-flops by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, on issues on which their original position endangered the health of members. Between 1967 and 1980 they called organ transplants for humans “cannibalism.” In an issue of the Watchtower of March 15, 1980, it was then written that whether a Jehovah’s Witness could receive a transplant or not or whether a transplant was cannibalism was a matter of personal conscience. In the Golden Age on February 4, 1931, Jehovah’s Witnesses were told that to receive a vaccination was a direct violation of the everlasting covenant God made with Noah after the flood. (How many people could die if they followed that doctrine?) In the Watchtower on December 15, 1952, the magazine said a vaccination was not a violation of the covenant between Noah and God.
Of all of their false teachings and flip-flops, however, the two most dangerous may be that they don’t really know how to tell a person his sins can be forgiven and their prophecies concerning the end of the world and return of Christ.
They have made so many different prophecies concerning the end of the world, when it will end, and when Christ will return, that I will not even go into specific examples. Suffice it to say, however, that when one of their prophecies has not come true, they have never hesitated to make another one. They also once said that Christ came in secret and was in the desert. My Bible, however, said He will come with the clouds, and every eye shall see him.
The most important issue of all is that they do not know how to tell someone to have his sins forgiven. At least every Jehovah’s Witness who has come to my door that I have talked to has never been able to tell me that he or she knew his sins were forgiven. Even though they may believe Jesus died on the cross for sin, they do not believe that is enough to get them to heaven, and they hope if they knock on enough doors and tell enough people about their organization, their sins will be forgiven. My Bible teaches that we are not saved by good works, however (Ephesians 2:8-9.)
My Bible teaches that we can know our sins our forgiven (1 John 5:13.) My Bible teaches that those who trust the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as God’s Son for the forgiveness of sins and ask him to save them have a home in heaven (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15; Romans 10:9-13.) That doesn’t sound like what the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach or believe.
My purpose in writing this is not to condemn Jehovah’s Witnesses. I feel sympathy for them. I have talked to Jehovah’s Witnesses who came to may door and one I worked with and told them of the peace they can have but trusting Christ. I have prayed for them. My purpose is to warn any non-Jehovah’s Witness to not go near this dangerous organization, and if a Jehovah’s Witness is reading this to let you know there is hope, in the Bible, not an organization.