Expert Answer Forum
Jehovah's Witnesses QUESTION from Alexandra Kennedy July 9, 1999 I happened to be reading your pages and noticed several questions and responses be Jehovah's Witnesses. I myself am a Jehovah's Witness. I'm not sending this to ask a question. I just want to make a statement. I'm also not going to criticize you or tell you that you are wrong. I want to say that I have not been brainwashed by the Jehovah's Witnesses. I am one because I want to be, not because they have brainwashed me. One other comment I would like to make is that my religion is not the only one that criticizes the Catholics yet you don't condemn them as you do us. Don't be so quick to judge others. It is not your place to judge others and condemn them, leave that to God. Thanks for taking time to read this letter.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on July 13, 1999 Dear Mrs. Kennedy:
Thank you for your comments and especially for making the comments in a more courteous manner. I have received other comments not so courteous.
However, there are some real problems with what you say. I will deal first with a matter that is relatively unimportant, compared to the other issues – brainwashing.
Brainwashing does not imply being forced. The definition of brainwashing is a method to systematically change a person’s attitudes or beliefs. The methods of brainwashing can be the more well-known techniques of torture and drugs used by totalitarian governments, or the sensory overload and sleep depravation of the famous cults. But brainwashing can also use much more subtle techniques. The President of the United States uses some of these more subtle techniques on us the public, our school systems in programs like values clarification uses some of these subtle techniques, and so do most of the groups who hold various unusual, heterodox, or even heretical beliefs – Jehovah Witness is one of those groups.
But they are hardly the only ones. Within the Catholic Church there are two groups who use brainwashing techniques. Those groups are what sometimes are called the liberals and the other group is generally called the ultra-traditionalist. Both of these groups are generally no longer in the fellowship and communion of the Catholic Church, both assert their personal opinions above the official teaching and authority of the Church, and both live their lives in rebellion to the Church they claim to belong to. Neither group is truly Catholic – in the sense that they are not in full communion with the Catholic Church.
Those who are victims of this brainwashing are NEVER aware of it. They believe with all their heart that they came to the convictions they hold through personal choice. They are never aware of the manipulation of the truth and of the information that influenced them to make the choices they made. As mentioned earlier, brainwashing is not necessarily a forcing, it is also a form of convincing but a convincing by cheating on the truth. Thus, it would be expected of a person in one of these groups to claim that no brainwashing occurred and that all was purely personal choice. It wouldn't be very good brainwashing if such a person claimed anything else but, no I wasn't brainwashed.
Be that as it may, regardless of whether brainwashing was involved in leading a person to join a group like Jehovah’s Witness or not, it matters not as to the fact that Jehovah’s Witness is NOT Christian.
This is not my opinion, it is a bald-face fact.
Unless a person is Baptized by water under the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit then they are NOT Christian. The Baptism must be by water (immersion or pouring) and the Trinitarian invocation must be said. Those groups that don’t believe in the Trinity, therefore, do not use the Trinitarian invocation in their baptism. That makes their baptism invalid and thus they are not Christian in fact.
In terms of overall belief, in order for a person or group to claim to be Christian they must at least affirm the basic tenets of Christianity listed in the Apostle’s Creed. If the Apostle’s Creed cannot be affirmed then that person/group is not Christian.
Jehovah Witnesses do not believe in the Apostle’s Creed, do not believe in the Trinity, and do not baptize in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Thus Jehovah Witnesses are NOT Christian. That is not a judgement, it is a merely technical FACT.
Other groups that fall into the same category as Jehovah Witness as not believing in the Trinity, among other things, and thus not being Christian, are the Mormons, Christian Science, Unitarian/Universalists, and others.
Now as to the judgment: First of all if you believe we are not to judge, then why have you judged me? You have judged me as judging others and you have judged me as condemning others.
Not only have you made judgment (which you claim not to believe in) but you have judged me in error. I have not condemned anyone.
When I say that groups that don’t believe in God's true essence in the Trinity are not Christians, I am stating a fact,a fact affirmed by Christ and His Apostles. But in doing this I am making no comment as to their salvation. I do not condemn anyone. People condemn themselves to begin with, but none of us can say that another is condemned in any fashion. That kind of judgment (of condemnation) we cannot do. And I did not make such a judgment.
I will say that when a person who does not believe in the Trinity and was not baptized by the Trinitarian invocation dies and stands before the judgment seat of God, they WILL NOT be recognized by God as a Christian. This DOES NOT MEAN that the person goes to hell. It just means that they are standing before God not as a Christian, but as a person of another faith. They will be judged by God and His mercy accordingly.
Now as to judgments in general. The Bible commands us to make judgments. If we don’t make judgments then if you steal my car I cannot say you are a car thief? If you steal my car you are a car thief by virtue that you stole my car. To call you a car thief is a statement of fact, not some condemning judgment.
The Bible commands us to judge our brothers. We are to correct, rebuke, and instruct our brothers in the faith. When we see a brother sin, we are to admonish him so that he may repent. How can we admonish him if we have not made an assessment (judgment) that he sinned.
We are not to judge hearts, we are not to condemn people to hell. But we are to judge actions, attitudes, beliefs, and philosophies. And in fact, each of us judges people daily on this score. Anyone who denies this is a lair. If a 50 year old man you don’t know comes to the door asking to see your 12 year old daughter and he has a copy of a child pornography magazine in his hands, will you not JUDGE this man as a possible pedophile, slam the door in his face, and call the police?
If a person TRULY believes in not judging, then he will have to invite the pedophile in and can never criticize him for whatever he does – criticism requires making a judgment.
See my Three Secret Strategies essay about this demonic notion that we are never to judge.
In any event, I have not and did not condemn anyone and I do not improperly judge anyone. I make a simple statement of fact – Jehovah’s Witness is not a Christian group. No amount of rhetoric or judging my motives or words will change that fact.
We will pray that all those caught in the delusion of darkness, whether it be in Jehovah Witness, Christian Science, Unitarian/Universalist, or any other group or people who deny the True God, that they will be enlightened by the Triune God and come to a knowledge of the Truth.
NOTE: This subject has been as thoroughly covered as it can be in this forum. We will not entertain any further questions or comments from those who wish to take issue with the answers given. I have said everything that needs to be said. We must remember that this is not a debate forum.
We do have a section in our Library for further study and will be posting more material in the future about Jehovah's Witness and other similar groups. Please check out those resources. Thanks.
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