I have a friend who is a Jehovah’s Witness. They have totally different ways to praise God. I just want to know if Jehovah’s Witnesses are pleasing to God.
– B. from Unknown City
Part 1: Christian or Cult?
Part 2: Pleasing?
Christian or Cult? (Part 1)
It’s a difficult question to answer in the way you have posed it – are Jehovah’s Witnesses pleasing to God? The underlying question must first be whether they are part of the Christian church. The answer is that they are not.
Jehovah’s Witnesses was founded in 1879 in Pennsylvania by a man named Charles Taze Russell. Russell was never educated beyond grade school and his interpretations of scripture and subsequent doctrinal positions came only from self-study. This method unfortunately led him far astray of sound Christian doctrine.
The core question for every religion is: who is Jesus? If the church is Christian the answer is that he is fully God and fully man. To the Jehovah’s Witness Jesus is not God but was the first thing that God created.
From there we have many other discrepancies. There is no Trinity but one person God named “Jehovah.” Before he lived on the earth Jesus was Michael the archangel. When he died on a “stake” he was not resurrected bodily but only as a spirit. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus returned to the earth invisibly in 1914 and will not be coming back again. Soon however, he and the angels will destroy all non-Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Within society Jehovah’s Witnesses have some rules that seem peculiar to the mainstream. They do not observe holidays or birthdays and are forbidden to vote or salute the flag. They may not work in the military or accept blood transfusions. (This information is mainly derived from “Christianity, Cults & Religions” by Rose Publishing.)
The traditional Christian Church sees Jehovah’s Witnesses as a cult and its members deceived by false doctrine. Multitudes of sincere people are trapped. They read from a Bible that was erroneously translated by a man who had no understanding of Greek or Hebrew. A comparison of key passages in God’s Word about who Jesus is (particularly John, chapter 1) will reveal the difficulty with which a Jehovah’s Witness can come to the truth.
Pleasing? (Part 2)
Now, let’s get beyond the theology of it and talk about your friend. The information above gives you a framework in which to understand your friend’s religion so it is necessary. But what do you do with it?
When Jesus left the earth he gave a command that we generally refer to as The Great Commission. He said: “’Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:19-20)
Just like any person or group who does not yet know Jesus, we are commanded to present him in a way that will reveal truth. Jehovah Witnesses fall into this group. It is not so much a matter of whether their praise style is pleasing to God but the fact that they do not actually know God for who he really is in Jesus Christ.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are a vast mission field. Since one of their number is in your life you need to learn all you can in order to be an effective witness. Start with prayer. Ask God to give you a strategy for redeeming the soul of your friend. Love your friend and reach out but with the clear understanding that you do not believe the same things.
Give your friend a Bible if an occasion appropriate for a gift comes along. The Bible says: “So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17) Don’t argue – that is pointless, but do be prepared to always patiently explain your Christian position when opportunities come along. Study to know the differences.
I don’t know about your friend but I do know that if you help to bridge the gap for them to Jesus, YOU will be pleasing to God.