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Subject – The Christian Church – Are Jehovah Witnesses Christians? Should We Open Channels of Engagement With Them?
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Sunday, 27th of January 2019
Blog link: https://www.otakada.org/category/blog/
Deuteronomy 6:4 The Message (MSG)
4 Attention, Israel!
God, our God! God the one and only!
Exodus 3:14 The Message (MSG)
14 God said to Moses, “I-AM-WHO-I-AM. Tell the People of Israel, ‘I-AM sent me to you.’”
John 8:58 The Message (MSG)
58 “Believe me,” said Jesus, “I am who I am long before Abraham was anything.”
John 14:1-21 Living Bible (TLB)
“Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in me. 2-3 There are many homes up there where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming. When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with me where I am. If this weren’t so, I would tell you plainly. 4 And you know where I am going and how to get there.”
5 “No, we don’t,” Thomas said. “We haven’t any idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus told him, “I am the Way—yes, and the Truth and the Life. No one can get to the Father except by means of me. 7 If you had known who I am, then you would have known who my Father is. From now on you know him—and have seen him!”
8 Philip said, “Sir, show us the Father and we will be satisfied.”
9 Jesus replied, “Don’t you even yet know who I am, Philip, even after all this time I have been with you? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking to see him? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I say are not my own but are from my Father who lives in me. And he does his work through me. 11 Just believe it—that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or else believe it because of the mighty miracles you have seen me do.
12-13 “In solemn truth I tell you, anyone believing in me shall do the same miracles I have done, and even greater ones, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask him for anything, using my name, and I will do it, for this will bring praise to the Father because of what I, the Son, will do for you. 14 Yes, ask anything, using my name, and I will do it!
15-16 “If you love me, obey me; and I will ask the Father and he will give you another Comforter, and he will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, for it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you do, for he lives with you now and some day shall be in you. 18 No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm—I will come to you. 19 In just a little while I will be gone from the world, but I will still be present with you. For I will live again—and you will too. 20 When I come back to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 The one who obeys me is the one who loves me; and because he loves me, my Father will love him; and I will too, and I will reveal myself to him.”
Matthew 16:15-20 Living Bible (TLB)
15 Then he asked them, “Who do you think I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “The Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 “God has blessed you, Simon, son of Jonah,” Jesus said, “for my Father in heaven has personally revealed this to you—this is not from any human source. 18 You are Peter, a stone; and upon this rock I will build my church; and all the powers of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; whatever doors you lock on earth shall be locked in heaven; and whatever doors you open on earth shall be open in heaven!”
20 Then he warned the disciples against telling others that he was the Messiah.
Acts 5:3-4 The Message (MSG)
3-4 Peter said, “Ananias, how did Satan get you to lie to the Holy Spirit and secretly keep back part of the price of the field? Before you sold it, it was all yours, and after you sold it, the money was yours to do with as you wished. So what got into you to pull a trick like this? You didn’t lie to men but to God.”
James 2:19-20 Living Bible (TLB)
19 Are there still some among you who hold that “only believing” is enough? Believing in one God? Well, remember that the demons believe this too—so strongly that they tremble in terror! 20 Fool! When will you ever learn that “believing” is useless without doing what God wants you to? Faith that does not result in good deeds is not real faith.
Matthew 28:19 Living Bible (TLB)
19 Therefore go and make disciples in all the nations,[a] baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Dear brethren, welcome to the forth part of our series on The Christian Church. Today, we are looking at the Jehovah Witnesses. What are their believes? Are they Christ Followers or not? Are their areas of mutual believe? Do we need to open windows or channels of engagement with the JWs? Let see…
These input are from Jehovah Witness website http://www.jw.org
As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we strive to adhere to the form of Christianity that Jesus taught and that his apostles practiced. This article summarizes our basic beliefs.
- We worship the one true and Almighty God, the Creator, whose name is Jehovah. (Psalm 83:18; Revelation 4: 11) He is the God of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. —Exodus 3:6; 32:11; John 20:17.
- We recognize the Bible as God’s inspired message to humans. (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3: 16) We base our beliefs on all 66 of its books, which include both the “Old Testament” and the “New Testament.” Professor Jason D. BeDuhn aptly described it when he wrote that Jehovah’s Witnesses built “their system of belief and practice from the raw material of the Bible without predetermining what was to be found there.” * While we accept the entire Bible, we are not fundamentalists. We recognize that parts of the Bible are written in figurative or symbolic language and are not to be understood literally. —Revelation 1:1.
- We follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ and honor him as our Savior and as the Son of God. (Matthew 20:28; Acts 5: 31) Thus, we are Christians. (Acts 11:26) However, we have learned from the Bible that Jesus is not Almighty God and that there is no Scriptural basis for the Trinity doctrine. —John 14:28.
- The Kingdom of God. This is a real government in heaven, not a condition in the hearts of Christians. It will replace human governments and accomplish God’s purpose for the earth. (Daniel 2: 44; Matthew 6: 9, 10) It will take these actions soon, for Bible prophecy indicates that we are living in “the last days.” —2 Timothy 3: 1-5; Matthew 24: 3- 14. Jesus is the King of God’s Kingdom in heaven. He began ruling in 1914. —Revelation 11:15.
- Deliverance from sin and death is possible through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus. (Matthew 20:28; Acts 4: 12) To benefit from that sacrifice, people must not only exercise faith in Jesus but also change their course of life and get baptized. (Matthew 28:19, 20; John 3: 16; Acts 3: 19, 20) A person’s works prove that his faith is alive. (James 2: 24, 26) However, salvation cannot be earned —it comes through “the undeserved kindness of God.” —Galatians 2: 16, 21.
- Jehovah God, Jesus Christ, and the faithful angels reside in the spirit realm. * (Psalm 103:19- 21; Acts 7: 55) A relatively small number of people —144,000 —will be resurrected to life in heaven to rule with Jesus in the Kingdom. —Daniel 7: 27; 2 Timothy 2: 12; Revelation 5: 9, 10; 14: 1,3. Earth. God created the earth to be mankind’s eternal home. (Psalm 104:5; 115:16; Ecclesiastes 1:4) God will bless obedient people with perfect health and everlasting life in an earthly paradise. —Psalm 37:11, 34.
- Evil and suffering. These began when one of God’s angels rebelled. (John 8: 44) This angel, who after his rebellion was called “Satan” and “Devil,” persuaded the first human couple to join him, and the consequences have been disastrous for their descendants. (Genesis 3: 1-6; Romans 5: 12) In order to settle the moral issues raised by Satan, God has allowed evil and suffering, but He will not permit them to continue forever.
- People who die pass out of existence. (Psalm 146:4; Ecclesiastes 9: 5, 10) They do not suffer in a fiery hell of torment. God will bring billions back from death by means of a resurrection. (Acts 24:15) However, those who refuse to learn God’s ways after being raised to life will be destroyed forever with no hope of a resurrection. —Revelation 20:14, 15. Family. We adhere to God’s original standard of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, with sexual immorality being the only valid basis for divorce. (Matthew 19: 4-9) We are convinced that the wisdom found in the Bible helps families to succeed. —Ephesians 5:22– 6:1.
- Our worship. We do not venerate the cross or any other images. (Deuteronomy 4: 15- 19; 1 John 5: 21) Key aspects of our worship include the following:
- Praying to God. —Philippians 4:6.
- Reading and studying the Bible. —Psalm 1: 1-3.
- Meditating on what we learn from the Bible. —Psalm 77:12.
- Meeting together to pray, study the Bible, sing, express our faith, and encourage fellow Witnesses and others. —Colossians 3: 16; Hebrews 10:23- 25.
- Preaching the “good news of the Kingdom.” —Matthew 24:14.
- Helping those in need. —James 2: 14- 17.
- Constructing and maintaining Kingdom Halls and other facilities used to further our worldwide Bible educational work. —Psalm 127:1.
- Sharing in disaster relief. —Acts 11:27- 30.
- Our organization. We are organized into congregations, each of which is overseen by a body of elders. However, the elders do not form a clergy class, and they are unsalaried. (Matthew 10:8; 23:8) We do not practice tithing, and no collections are ever taken at our meetings. (2 Corinthians 9:7) All our activities are supported by anonymous donations. The Governing Body, a small group of mature Christians who serve at our world headquarters, provides direction for Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide. —Matthew 24:45.
- Our unity. We are globally united in our beliefs. (1 Corinthians 1: 10) We also work hard to have no social, ethnic, racial, or class divisions. (Acts 10:34, 35; James 2:4) Our unity allows for personal choice, though. Each Witness makes decisions in harmony with his or her own Bible-trained conscience. —Romans 14: 1-4; Hebrews 5: 14.
- Our conduct. We strive to show unselfish love in all our actions. (John 13:34, 35) We avoid practices that displease God, including the misuse of blood by taking blood transfusions. (Acts 15:28, 29; Galatians 5: 19- 21) We are peaceful and do not participate in warfare. (Matthew 5:9; Isaiah 2:4) We respect the government where we live and obey its laws as long as these do not call on us to disobey God’s laws. —Matthew 22:21; Acts 5: 29.
- Our relationships with others. Jesus commanded: “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” He also said that Christians “are no part of the world.” (Matthew 22:39; John 17:16) So we try to “work what is good toward all,” yet we remain strictly neutral in political affairs and avoid affiliation with other religions. (Galatians 6: 10; 2 Corinthians 6: 14) However, we respect the choices that others make in such matters. —Romans 14:12.
If you have further questions about the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses, you can read more about us on our website, contact one of our offices, attend a meeting at a Kingdom Hall near you, or speak to one of the Witnesses in your area.
What I can conclude from reading the JW doctrine are that they believe in God, They believe in Jesus as the Son of God and Jesus Christ is their savior hence they are Christians. Every other deviation is a matter of maturity, revelation and understanding. They do not believe in the trinity. Will that make a them a non-Christian? I don’t think so. We all know the Holy Spirit is alive and well and working in our time and age. Even Jesus Disciples had difficulty understanding the concept of trinity as we read in John 14. Will I extend a hand of fellowship to the JW? Why not?
Will Jesus reject them because they do not believe in the trinity or if their understanding of the kingdom is screwed? Not the Jesus that I know.
Dear Lord God, we present Your body of believers around the world before You today, Lord, help us to let go of petty differences but to focus on the high calling of God for our lives. Help us to accommodate those who have differing revelation from ours but rather seek points of agreement that does not compromise Jesus stand. Help us to be reconciled to You and to one another despite our diversity in Jesus name I have prayed (Amen)
Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe – E-discipleship @