Saturday, March 29, 2008

Jehovah's Witnesses and Their Two Versions of the Watchtower

When Jehovah's Witnesses come to your door and offer you the Watchtower magazine, you should be aware that this is the public version of their Watchtower. It is not the same magazine that they use in their Watchtower studies (usually as part of a Sunday meeting). This is an important distinction if you are trying to learn about their religion by reading their magazines. This is a recent and troubling development.

The public edition Watchtower can now serve as a better advertisement for their religion, without having to discuss troubling details that would cause most people to avoid further contact with them. The private study edition can now use stronger language and include more terms that only Jehovah's Witnesses understand or that have a special meaning among Jehovah's Witnesses.

Consider the Jehovah's Witness teaching that God will soon destroy everyone except Jehovah's Witnesses at Armageddon. They can now present this teaching in two different ways. In the private study edition, they can warn their followers that they have be active Witnesses and follow the directions of their Governing Body to have any hope of surviving Armageddon. (Jehovah's Witnesses always have some uncertainty about whether their works will be sufficient to ensure their survival.) The public edition can gloss over this and say that God will only destroy the wicked at Armageddon. They don't say that they believe that anybody who refuses to take a stand with Jehovah's Witnesses is wicked.

This is just another reason to be wary of Jehovah's Witnesses. They are skillful in avoiding their more controversial beliefs until they have you hooked on their sales pitch. Many people become members without fully understanding the kind of discipline they might receive if they don't follow all the rules or even disagree with a particular teaching. Jehovah's Witnesses are also good at misleading themselves. They are forbidden from reading information that is critical of their religion, so they can't present their beliefs in an unbiased way.

Asking to be put on their do not call list is a good option for many people. If someone wants to have discussions or debates with them, I suggest evaluating their claims by researching a variety of sources.

I am pleased that there is now an excellent video series that discusses the articles in these private study editions of the Watchtower. The videos reveal what they are saying and provide critical commentary. Click on this label link to see the videos that are now available.

Note: I have nothing to do with the production of those Watchtower Comments videos. This hasn't stopped me from receiving legal threats about their content. Click here for an explanation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here is a great tip. Money talks for JWs and is what makes them run their business.

Accept all litterature you can and tell your friends to do it too.
Just make sure to not leave any contribution.

Trow the litterature for paper recycling.

This is a way to take money from them one bit at a time.