Time and time again a different couple of kind people approach my door wanting to ask me about my belief in God. It normally starts with:
JW: Do you believe in God?
JW: Do you go to Church?
JW: Do you believe in the Trinity
And then an in depth discussion. Interpretation of Scripture, mistranslations, history, what have you. Unlike some I actually thoroughly enjoy these discussions, and I get excited when they come to my door. I have my little Greek papers ready to bring to them and ask them tough questions as they do I.
But, every single time they have been unable to answer some questions of mine and promise to get back to me. They never do. So I’ve decided to post a topic and hope that either an ex-JW or a current one can answer these questions of mine once and for all!
Who created the Heavens and the Earth? Did God do it alone, or did God do it through Jesus? (Compare Isaiah 44:24 to Colossians 1:17)
Who Judges, God or Jesus? (Compare Psalm 96:13, Ecclasiastes 12:14, Psalm 50:4 to John 5:22)
Who is the first and the last? (compare Isaiah 44:6 to Revelation 1:17-18) or (Rev 1:8 21:6 [Alpha and Omega, first and last])
I am an exJW and I will answer your questions from their point of view.
God (Jehovah) created Michael the Archangel billions of years ago. Through Michael the Archangel (Later known as Jesus when he became man for a short period of time) all other creation was made. God willed the creation and used Michael/Jesus as his master worker, who in turn used other angels to help in creation. The angel that later became Satan/Devil probably helped create the Earth.
Jesus judges because God has given him that responsibility. He will hand back to God that responsibility after everything has been made new and evil is gone. From that point anyone that sins will be judged by God and annihilated.
God is the real first and the last in the sense of eternal. Jesus is only the first and the last as far as dying and being resurrected.
Silly answers, but that is their teaching. Now as Catholic, I do see the divinity of Christ being shown in all of these questions and scriptures.
I feel bad but I pretend I am not home.
I feel extra shameful because in my city, the JWs are usually my fellow Caribbean people, but then I think about having the same conversation over and over again and then I get over it.:D:D
I used to invite them in so that I could ask them questions about their beliefs. However, every time I did they would see something in my home that clued them in to the fact that I’m a (whisper this) Mormon, and the conversation instantly changed to 'what’s wrong with Mormonism." As a result, I never did get to know much about what the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach; just what they think WE teach. Not very helpful.
So now I just give them a glass of ice water and send them on their way with all my good wishes.
You also have to understand that although they do not believe in the Trinity, they kind of do. Without giving it much thought, they claim that Jesus came to be just like Jehovah through time. They never question how it is that a creature can do that, but they really believe that by being with God for so long, it could be said that Jesus learned everything Jehovah knows. So when Jesus does something for Jehovah it is not really Jesus doing things on his own. It really is Trinitarian in the sense that they think Jesus has the same thoughts as the Father, they just choose to call him a creature.
The way I used to answer these questions when I was a JW some 20 years ago:
*]God created the universe through Jesus.
*]God judges, but he has chosen to do it through Jesus.
*]Jehovah God is the Alpha and Omega, but Jesus is the first and last to be directly resurrected by God since Jesus has been empowered by God to resurrect everyone else.
Of course I see through the farce behind the answers I use to parrot-off then, but as a teen and then a young man in my 20s, I thought I was especially gifted by God to “know” these answers I learned from the Watchtower.
When I was a JW, the answers I gave were what I was taught to give. And I would have given any answers I was told to give from the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses because they supplied me with something I really needed back then–the reassurance that my demand to see the world in “black-and-white” terms was from God…and that this somehow made me more special than all of you out there.
I wanted everything in the universe to have answers that I could understand on my terms. So I delighted to know that my demand that God bend to my limited human reasoning and make sense to me was encouraged by the theology of the Governing Body (for example, the main reason the Trinity is rejected is because it transcends their ability to comprehend it).
I was special, they told me, because I had found the one true religion. After making me feel special it didn’t matter what they said was truth from that point onward. I took it and preached it because the main truth I wanted to hear and believe was that I was right, that I was unique, that I had insight others just didn’t and couldn’t have.
I grew out of that, however. The majority of JWs never do. I believe that discussions and some debate can be very helpful because it can sink in with some–but I know that we shouldn’t expect immediate responses or signs of honesty and admitting they wrong.
And some of them won’t give in because they don’t want to humble themselves enough to admit how wrong they are…and believe me, there are many who know the religion is wrong deep in that religion. I’ve spoken with them, one just a few days ago. It’s just too hard to climb down a pedestal claiming God was the one who put you there when in fact you just climbed up it yourself.
Imagine our own selves and how unlikely we are prone to admitting our mistakes and failings openly to others, especially in cases where we have closed our minds to some truth we later acquiesce to. Now add to that the ego-centric psyche of the Jehovah’s Witness who enjoys the “us-against-them” paradigm, feels good about being one of the select few in “The Truth,” and doesn’t realize they are reveling in looking down on others who don’t share their convictions.
That is what you are up against, not really doctrinal differences. We happily discarded any doctrine without a wink upon command from the Governing Body, so JWs have no loyalty to doctrines.
What keeps them from coming back and from giving direct answers when pushed is that they will avoid anything that might disturb the flow of the high they get from believing they are the center of the universe. We were not “lovers of truth” as we often claimed to be. We were lovers of feeling we were the only ones who were right. That was the high I was riding back then and that very many JWs still do.
Addicts are not likely to freely cut themselves off from the source of their high or turn themselves in to the authorities or admit to family and friends that they are druggies. And Witnesses aren’t going to cut themselves off from the Governing Body as long as they get the ego-boosting high from them either. They will avoid those who make them get too close to the actual truth.
And if they can’t avoid you, they will outright attack you either verbally or in some cases physically (which happened to me, but that is another story for another time and place). They will do anything and everything to keep you from being that reminder that they are not what they want to believe they are.