Jehovah's Witnesses, A Few Key Points
Watchtower Bible & Tract Society
The Jehovah's Witnesses began as an organized religious group in 1879 in Pennsylvania. It is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. Its founder is Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916), and later Joseph F. Rutherford.
Its writings include all current Watchtower publications, including the Bible (New World Translation only), Reasoning from the Scriptures, You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, Wathchtower and Awake! magazines.
They believe in a One-person God, called Jehovah, and no Trinity. Jesus is the first thing Jehovah created.
They believe Jesus is not God. Before he lived on earth, he was Michael, the archangel. Jehovah made the universe through him. On earth he was a man who lived a perfect life. After dying on a stake (not a cross), he was resurrected as a spirit; his body was destroyed. Jesus is not coming again; he "returned" invisible in 1914 in spirit. Very soon, he and the angels will destroy all non-Jehovah's Witnesses.
The believe in an impersonal holy spirit which is not God, but rather an invisible, active force from Jehovah.
Salvation is by being baptized as Jehovah's Witnesses. Most followers must earn everlasting life on earth by door-to-door witnessing. Salvation in heaven is limited to 144,000 anointed ones. This number has already been reached.
After death the 144,000 live as spirits in heaven. The rest of the righteous, "the great crowd" live on earth and must obey God perfectly for 1000 years or be annihilated.
They are also known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, and they meet on Sundays in "Kingdom Halls." Other practices include active members encouraged to distribute literature door-to-door. Once a year Lord's Evening Meal; only "anointed" ones may partake. They do not observe holidays or birthdays. They do not vote, salute the flag, work in the military, or accept blood transfusions. The believe Armageddon will occur sooon.
Abortion is wrong. Homosexuality is a serious sin. Gender roles are defined: Men are the head of the household and women are loving caretakers who assist the husband in teaching the children. Divorce is permitted under certain circumstances, but Jehovah hates remarriage unless the divorce occurred as a result of adultery. Service in the armed forces or any form of allegiance to government is prohibited; one must show allegiance only to the Kingdom of Christ. Blood transfusions, along with ingesting blood, are considered wrong, as God said the soul is in the blood. Bone marrow transplants are left to the individual conscience. All other forms of medical treatment are acceptable.
Further note on blood transfusion:
This policy extends to disallowing blood transfusions, even those which involve a person's own blood. Over the years the organisation has softened its attitude somewhat and no longer condemns organ transplants or the infusion of blood products. Despite still banning transfusions of a person's own blood which has been earlier removed and stored, they do allow blood which is lost during an operation to be collected, cleaned and returned to the body in a process called blood salvaging. This practice of refusing blood transfusions has been very controversial and sometimes brought the Jehovah's Witnesses into conflict with medical and legal authorities.
Further note on allegiances:
Jehovah's Witnesses do not swear allegiance to any organization or nation. Because of this they are not allowed to join any armed forces, nor can they participate by voting in any election, run for any political office, sing a national anthem or participate in any activity associated with proclaiming allegiance to any earthly government.
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