Friday, August 06, 2010

A short encounter with Jehovah's Witnesses

This is yet another reason why I would never be associated with such a religion. Isn't it amazing that they threw the word "apostate" out there like this? They could have said "opposer" or something along those lines if they cared at all for truth or accuracy. However, it is shot-gun mechanism in the mind of the well-trained JW to refer to anyone as an "apostate" who would disagree with their beliefs in such a way. I can't tell you how many times i've been slandered as an "apostate" as well. Was Mark being unfriendly or disrespectful to deserve such treatment?

Some might say that he should have turned the camera off. But if a JW would have come up to me on the street with a camera and asking me questions, I would have been even more happy to answer, given that it would have served as an opportunity to publicly declare my beliefs in front of hundreds of viewers. And because the Watchtower seems to have such control over their members whereby they will not make public proclamations of their beliefs, I will never be associated with such a religion.

13 comments:

Mark Hunter said...

What this video shows is that the JWs will tolerate criticism of their God Jehovah, but not of their god, the Governing Body.

"He's an apostate; let's go." Goodness me.

But as one Jehovah's Witness in the Glasgow Bishopbriggs Congregation said of those who leave the Witnesses because of doctrinal disagreement in a prayer as he was closing the Service Meeting, "Jehovah, they're not worthy." Since that prayer (which was in October 2008), however, he's left his wife and two young children and has moved in with another JW. They are now both disfellowshipped. But at least he's not an apostate...

Anonymous said...

Personally I would object to anyone filming me, regardless of whom it may be, simply for the fact that anyone can edit a clip to suit their agenda. Now Im certainly not a Witness , however I am a former trinitarian . Anyone can cherry pick verses from scripture to support a doctrinal position.

Mark Hunter said...

Doesn that include Witnesses and former trinitarians?

Anonymous said...

Well mate I would assume you are familiar with the deffinition of the word "anyone" ..

Why is it that Trinitarians tend to have an agressive disposition ? I realise this is a generalisation , but my experience is that unitarians for the most part seem far gentler and meeker - also most unitarian movements have a pacifist ideology whereas almost every trinitarian relgion bar the odd exception are not ?

The Apologetic Front said...

@anonymous, who was being more "gentle and meek" in this video? The Trinitarian or the JW's?

Mark Hunter said...

@anonymous - as a Trinitarian (i.e. believing in the God of the Bible) I have no problem with your passive-aggression or even your huge generalisation of billions of people.

I will however, point out the following statement from the video;

"He's an apostate; let's go." Spoken by a unitarian.

Have a great one.

PlanosLie said...

That's a great rebuttal..."he's apostate lets go". I'll use that some day when it comes in handy.

Anonymous said...

I sense some underlying hostility to my postings , Mark remeber when you point a finger there are always 5 pointing back at you ..;-))

@ Mike - Lets be honest here for a moment , the person making the video set out to be confrontational , he purposefully chose his questions - knowing full well what the answers would be , his intention was to lure his victims into a compromising situation by catching them off guard - I think its commonly reffered to as entrapment . Mike I expect you take this persons side given your obvious bias. I believe that Christains should always strive to dignify those they differ with , after all does not the Scripture say "to make a defense before everyone that demands of YOU a reason for the hope in YOU, but doing so together with a mild temper and deep respect. ..." perhaps you would achieve far more with this approach - just a suggestion the next time someone sets off to make a you tube video to show the rest of us bafoons , just how clever they are ..

Mark Hunter said...

@ anonymous; which "Anonymous" are you? Surely it's not fair to accuse me of being "hostile" towards you when I've no idea which anonymous you are. C'mon, think it through; you slap the label of "aggressive" on billions of Christians and then call me hostil for calling you on it.

As for the rest of your comment, again, think it through. "Victims"? "Lured"? "Compromising situation"? For real? The JWs were on the street engaging in their public ministry of calling on private homes to engage people in discussions about their JW beliefs. They guys asked if it was ok to video them. What was the response? And what did he go on to do? Engage the JWs in a public discussion about their beliefs. And when the discussion strayed into the area of the hallowed Governing Body, out came the pejoratives, aka name calling.

Have you had JWs at your door? They come with the sole purpose of pushing their version of the Gospel, fully trained to challenge the "strongly entrenched beliefs" of the householder, ready with "proof texts" that are designed to tear down the individual faith of the householder and point to the teachings of the Governing Body, via the Watch Tower Society, as the sole voice of God on earth.

I personally know of Christians who've met JWs while having a coffee in a coffee shop and when the JW learns of their beliefs, they tell them 1) they're not saved 2) the Trinity is of the devil 3) they're not going to heaven 4) their dead loves ones aren't with Christ in heaven. All of this is backed up by Watch Tower publications.

While they may offer these criticisms of the Christian's faith with a smile on their face, the agenda behind it is confrontational. That's how it works. I was trained since the age of 8 until I was 36 in such tactics in the "Theocratic Ministry School". I gave countless items in the "Service Meeting" on how to engage in JW ministry techniques, how to lead the household to certain conclusions etc.

As for Mike's "obvious bias", are JWs biased? Don't JWs believe that all other faiths are from the devil and that Christians are part of Babylon the Great and are destined to be destroyed by Jehovah at Armageddon? Aren't JWs told that non-JWs are "bad associates" and that association with them - even family members - should be kept to a minimum? Don't JWs come to all relationship from this presupposition, thus making them biased against all non-JWs as being "worldly", with all of the negative connotations of that label?

Could it be said, then, that JWs are by the very nature of their 'theocratic' training biased against everyone else?

Did the JW defend her beliefs with "deep respect"? No. She called the guy an apostate, using language that the Watch Tower Society loads with hatred and ire (ask me for the Watchtower references). You can actually watch this video and conclude that the JW acted with "deep respect" towards the guy with the camera, whom she'd already given permission to tape their discussion?

"...the next time someone sets off to make a you tube video to show the rest of us bafoons , just how clever they are .."

Hmm, not really. The guy making the tape got "owned" by the JW, right? I mean, he got his label slapped right on him by the JW; "apostate". She showed the rest of us what a wicked person he is.

Mark Hunter said...

"Mark remeber when you point a finger there are always 5 pointing back at you ..;-))

How many fingers do you have on each hand??!

Anonymous said...

Mark we could play "tit" for "tat" all day and not achieve a thing ...
the examples you give I conceed may be the extreme reactions of a very small minority of JW's , my own experiences with the majority of members of the movement I have interacted with have for the most part been positive , I have found them always to be courteous , respectful and polite ...As for the woman in the video - sure she could have handled the conversation in a different way, the inference made however is that this is the common response and so lump the whole lot together based on one or two incidents , with 2 women somewhere in America ..I would not call that being objective or fair to anyone movement or group .

God Bless ..

Mark Hunter said...

"Mark we could play "tit" for "tat" all day and not achieve a thing ..."

Actually, I believe a lot can be achieved by thrashing these things out as my contention is that the Watch Tower Society's doctrines, policies and general practices are an aberration from Biblical Christianity and I will always point their inconsistencies out. If that means there's a bit of, what you refer to as, "tit for tat", then that's the way it needs to be.

I believe that the silent readers of this blog and its comments will draw their own conclusion about the claims of Jehovah's Witnesses and their apologists.

A JW's reason d'ĂȘtre is to point out falsehoods they perceive exist in other faith groups and warn them of Jehovah's judgement against them. If your aim is to defend the JWs, then you'll need to be prepared to have the same turned back on you

"extreme reactions of a very small minority of JW's"

Actually, the reaction of the main JW of the video is absolutely typical for Witness when the Governing Body/"faithful slave" is challenged or when they perceive apostates are "at work". In fact, her reaction was decidedly mild, if very rude, based on my own experience as a self-confessed "apostate" (unlike the videographer who has never been a JW).

" I have found them always to be courteous , respectful and polite"

As long as you don't question their "unique beliefs" and humbly go along with their viewpoints as an "honest hearted" person, then you'll be fine.

My own experience of the JWs is that, yes, many are polite, courteous and respectful, but equally many are rude, ignorant, gossipy and disrespectful.

" lump the whole lot together based on one or two incidents , with 2 women somewhere in America ..I would not call that being objective or fair to anyone movement or group ."

With all due respect, anonymous, I'll draw your attention to your earlier statement;

"Why is it that Trinitarians tend to have an agressive disposition ? I realise this is a generalisation , but my experience is that unitarians for the most part seem far gentler and meeker - also most unitarian movements have a pacifist ideology whereas almost every trinitarian relgion bar the odd exception are not ?"

Would you consider this statement to be objective or fair to Christians?

Anonymous said...

Just a correction , you may want to make I reffered to Trinitarians , not Christians with regard to my statement on "agressive dispositions"

Its seems your experiences as a former JW have made you somewhat bitter and clouded your judgement , I understand that as I also happen to have been raised a JW, and would also be labled by some as an apostate due to my views on a number of issues.Its easy to fall into the "victim" trap .I went from associating with and attending Witness meetings to attending an Evangelical and staunchly trinitarian church for 2 years , but have swung back to unitarian Christianity as I could not reconcile what I read in the bible with what was going on in church , particularly when on one occassion a church elder blatantly contradicted church practice by stating during an Alpha Course that we should always prayer to "God the Father" through "God the Son" with the help of "God the Holy Spirit"...however in practice this was never done at church , prayer was always addressed to Jesus and never to the father in the 24 months I attended the services in fact prayers were regularly offered to the Holy Spirit , something never done in scripture and I did not feel comfortable with this , to cut my story short after listening to a debate by Dan Mages also a former trinitarian I too reconciled myself to the view that the trinity is not a biblical doctrine and is out of synch with the original Jewish roots of Chistianity..