Sunday, February 26, 2006

Jehovah's Witnesses


Publication from the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society.

I thought about making a surprise visit to the Brentwood Ward at the LDS Church down the street; a cameo appearance of sorts, but I was feeling sort of under the weather and two of my children were also not feeling well. Three of us stayed home and watched movies instead of going to church.

God must have sensed our absence because he sent a messenger with words from the Bible. About half way through our movie, we heard a knock at the door. Dakota answered the door and then said a man wanted to talk with me. I didn't want to respond; I was still wearing pajamas at 1:00 in the afternoon, my hair was still unkempt from the night before, but I felt obligated.

As soon as I looked out onto my front porch, I recognized my visitor as a representative from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, also known as the Jehovah's Witnesses. He wore a suit and carried a small, black briefcase. He held a Bible and several pamphlets in the other hand.

Right away I informed him we were feeling sick in our home, but I would welcome any literature he cared to share with us. He offered me the pamphlet you see above about life in a peaceful new world.

You can always identify literature from the Jehovah's Witnesses by its idyllic scenes from a paradisiacal world; lions lying down with lambs, children of various ethnic backgrounds are playing with bears, someone carrying a basket of fruit, snow-capped mountains in the distance. They promise peace and deliverance from the chaotic, violent world we see around us today. Truly, I find their message faintly appealing, if it weren't for the socially rigid and dogmatic system I know follows if a person joins their movement.

My grandmother is Jehovah's Witness, and several of my closest friends from high school. In fact, most Jehovah's Witnesses I know make ardently loyal friends if you take the time to get to know them individually; and fierce opponents if you dare compete with them for souls (as I did as an LDS missionary in Guatemala). I almost became Jehovah's Witness at one point, but something deep inside me convinced me otherwise. It's quite ironic that I once felt drawn to deeply conservative religions, like Mormonism or the Jehovah's Witnesses, and now I find myself at the complete opposite extreme of the conservative-liberal scale.

Despite differences in opinion regarding doctrine and biblical interpretation, I still find a soft spot in my heart for those who preach the word of God door to door. If I hadn't been feeling sick, I probably would have invited the man to stay a while, if nothing more than to give him a brief moment's rest and a little friendly encouragement.

5 comments:

Danny Haszard said...

Up close and personal Jehovah's Witnesses can be wolves in sheep's clothing.

Think about this-When the devil comes knocking on your door he may not have the 'dark goth look'.They could be smartly dressed and wielding the Christian Bible.

I have Jehovah's Witnesses family in the usa who practice the Watchtower JW enforced ritual shunning that i have not seen or heard from in 15 years.

The central CORE dogma of the Watchtower is Jesus second coming (invisibly) in 1914 and is a lie.Jehovah's Witnesses are a spin-off of the man made Millerite movement of 1840.

A destructive cult of false teachings, that frequently result in spiritual and psychological abuse, as well as needless deaths (bogus blood transfusion ban).

Yes,you can 'check out anytime you want but you can never leave',because they can and will hold your family hostage.

The world has the Internet now,and there are tens of thousands of pages up from disgruntled ex-Jehovah's Witnesses like myself who have been abused by the Watchtower cult.

Jehovah's Witnesses are often a mouth that prays a hand that kills.The Watchtower is a truly Orwellian world.
----
Danny Haszard former Jehovah's Witness X 33 years and 3rd generation www.dannyhaszard.com

barrymoses said...

Hello Danny,

Thank you for posting a comment on my blog. You gave me a lot to think about. As I mentioned in my original post, my grandmother is Jehovah's Witness, as well as several friends from high school. On a personal level, I believe these specific individuals were some of the most devoted, honest, and loyal friends I ever had. Having said that, I have to acknowledge that I also met a few Witnesses who seemed fake; perhaps they were the so-called "love bombers" I've heard about. I don't know.

Whatever the case, I think your point about the Watchtower is well taken. I've always been an ardent supporter of religious freedom; even freedom to believe in controlling or unpopular religions, like the Jehovah's Witnesses, but you make a good point about the needless abuse and death of children due to organizational secrecy and unchecked power. In the case of children, I believe the state has an obligation to do everything possible to save life.

In my view, adults have the right to stand on matters of religious conviction, even unto death, BUT (and this is a big BUT) religious organizations should be required to offer the ecclesiastical equivalent of 'informed consent.' If a person seeks medical treatment or psychological services, the provider is required by law to inform the client of any and all known risks, as well as alternative treatments. Unfortunately, most proselytizing religions never inform their recruits regarding risks to life, health, or safety until they become so deeply entrenched in the movement that change is only possible after deep personal sacrifice. A brief perusal of your website convinces me you know more about this than I do.

As I also mentioned, I almost became Jehovah's Witness at one point, but I stopped because I took it upon myself to provide my own 'informed consent.' I didn't like what I found.

At any rate, I would welcome any further comment on this issue you may care to offer. Once again, thank you.

~Barry (Paqspya).

Liesel said...

Dear Barry, I have just joined the world of "blogging" and was looking for other witness sites as I am one of Jehovah's witnesses in Port Elizabeth South Africa. I take it that you are an American Indian - i have been fascinated by your culture since i was 4. Just a comment - if the the witnesses are wrong and everyone does go to heaven, then we are still "safe" as we TRY to live by bible standards which would thus qualify us for a heavenly life. If we are right, then we will live forever on a paradise earth... either way i get to live, as long as i try to the best of my ability to live by bible principles... I would love to see you and your "kinsmen" in the new order and discuss the American Indian culture...a really beautiful one at that. Regards Liesel - Port Elizabeth South Africa

barrymoses said...

Thank you Liesel for offering a different perspective. Best of luck to you in your search for a heavenly life. ~Barry (Paqspya).

Anonymous said...

Barry, I am also one of Jehovah Witnesses and although I can understand your concern regarding health and blood, I just wanted to let you know that we are very much informed about the risks of taking and NOT taking a blood transfusion. I would encourage you to look further into this at http://www.watchtower.org/medical_care_and_blood.htm

We have an entire video about this with interviews from various hospitals and doctors around the world. When we fill in our medical directive every year (the No Blood card) we are encourages to do research and pray over it. We do not do things blindly and are not encouraged to do so. I too have been looking for other witnesses in the blog world and have found this person Danny to be cutting and pasting that comment wherever someone questions the Witnesses and yet does not leave his comments at a Witnesses blog. I find that curious and just thought I would let you know. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but hopefully it will be an educated one.