Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What's in a Name?

Just finished editing


If a Christian is someone who worships Christ, why do JWs call themselves Christians?  Or do they? 
If not, what religious category do they consider themselves to be?



To answer this with accuracy, we will need to look at a few alternative viewpoints.
I will first take your words and viewpoints, and relate them to the group of your query.

First you say,
"If a Christian is someone who worships Christ"

When it comes to "Jehovah's Witnesses", they believe (last I heard and was taught while a member) is that a genuine Christian does not worship Christ. They teach that to be a genuine Christian is to discipline one's life in imitation of Christ's example and according to all he taught. Those teachings would be accessed through the scriptures. They also teach that imitation, study, and obedience is the limit, and all actual worship should go only to the heavenly Father of Jesus Christ, whom they call "Jehovah". They see a difference between obedient service, and worship. The Bible does not make this distinction.
My reply to this false doctrine, can be found here:
"Worship Christ?"

So when you ask,
"why do JWs call themselves Christians?"....

it is because their idea of Christian, is to obey the teachings and example of Christ without worshiping him...
and this, they believe they do.

"Jehovah's Witnesses" have changed their name a few times.
First, it was "International Bible Students"
       then, "Jehovah's Witnesses"
       but now they prefer, "Jehovah's Christian Witnesses".
So as you can see by what the most recent name infers...
they do consider themselves Christian (based upon imitation, teachings, and discipleship)
while refraining from actually worshiping Christ.

They do therefore, consider themselves, Christians.
It is their hope that by adding "Christian" to their name,
they can dispel the general impression people have, that they do not believe in Jesus Christ.
They have retained the name "Jehovah" in their description,
  to emphasize who they believe should receive exclusive worship...God the Father.

Unfortunately, all these tenets of "Jehovah's Witnesses" actually obscure many accuracies and realities.
The Bible "Jehovah's Witnesses" use, translates the same Greek word "proskuneo" many different ways.
They translate it as "worship" when it refers to the heavenly Father,
but as "honor", "respect", "serve", etc., when it refers to the son, Jesus Christ.
Witnesses are generally not aware of this double standard when translating the "New Testament".

But more egregious than this inaccurate inconsistency,
is that while they appear and claim to give all glory, honor, and worship to God the Father
(even at the cost of the worship due Jesus Christ --Matt.8:2; 9:18; 15:25; 14:33; John9:35,38; Mark5:6; Luke24:52; Heb.1:6)
they have, in actuality and in practice,
placed their organization and the men who direct it,
above God, the Bible, and Jesus Christ.

This practice is proven, every time one of their members is disfellowshipped
for lacking
unquestioning subjection and obedience to that organization, 
and perfect harmony of thought with the current doctrines of it's leaders.
This expulsion typically occurs even while those being judged establish their differences and concerns by means of scripture!
In actual practice, the scriptures must take second place to Organizational doctrine.
Obedience to God and acceptance of His Word of Truth, must yield to the demands of these rulers, and the Congregational representatives who condemn on their behalf. (Acts.4:19,20; 5:29)

The organization itself has taken on a divinity to it's followers.
By every scriptural definition of the word "worship"...
     (Rev.13:8,16; Rom.6:16  -slavery/obedience, in one's thoughts and deeds)
that word describes what is expected of the members of "Jehovah's Witnesses",
toward their organization and it's leaders.
This has replaced the worship/obedience/slavery due God Himself.

They have unwittingly replaced the God they claim to worship exclusively,
with an organizational Idol, just as was prophesied about them (Rev.13:11,12,14,15,8; 2Thess.2:2,4).

The end result is that it really doesn't matter what these people call themselves,
nor what they claim. (Matt.15:8)

In practice and in faith, they hypocritically promote an ideal which they themselves do not in actuality, practice.
Jesus Christ would never follow an organization above his direct relationship with,
and loyalty to, his heavenly Father.
He regarded the authority of God's written Word as supreme,
and he took direct guidance by means of Holy Spirit.

"Jehovah's Witnesses" fail to fulfill their own definition of "Christian", in that they fail to imitate the course of Christ, when faced with a choice between Truth and their organization's ever-changing doctrines. (Matt.23:13-39 click on to read)
Their loyalty to God and Truth has been replaced with a loyalty to men and their doctrines (Mark7:7; Rom.1:25).
Jesus would never commit such idolatry! (Luke4:8)

The stature of "witness" to the God "Jehovah",
is defined at Isa.43:10-21 (click on to read).
That explanation given by God Himself, states plainly and clearly,
that God's witnesses are "chosen" by him individually.
They are the same group that the Bible calls "chosen ones" (1Pet.2:9).
Just as explained at Isa.43:21; their purpose is the same as 1Pet.2:9.

The common "Jehovah's Witness" has presumptuously dared to replace that chosen group (Matt.24:15),
due to the corrupt doctrines dispensed by those in power above them (Rev.8:10,11; 9:1; 13:11; Luke12:45,46),
combined with the unquestioning worship (obedient slavery) with which those doctrines are received,
 as the "rank and file" gulp them down [Rev.12:16 (LINK)].... 
....[and allow those false doctrines to control their thinking and actions ("forehead" and "right hand") Rev.13:16] (LINK).
(1John4:1; Matt.24:24,25; 23:24; Gal.1:10; 1Cor.7:23) (LINK)
 God's Word prophesies about this very group, as being false witnesses (Rev.13:16,17,18), all the while they are bearing His Holy Name (Jer.25:29,30; Joel 3:13; Rev.14:19)!

Your last question...
"what religious category do they consider themselves to be?"

"Jehovah's Witnesses" consider themselves within the exclusive category as the only ones deserving of eternal life, essentially because they have the approval of men.
This approval of an organization gives them a false confidence of "peace and security" with God (1Thess.5:3; Ps.146:3).
But they fail to fear God alone, by seeking His approval by means of God's own expressed requirements. (John5:44,41; 12:43; 1Thess.2:6; Matt.25:45,46; Gal.1:10)
They believe that they are the "Great Crowd" of Rev.7:9-17,
even though the Bible's definition of the traits this group possesses,
defines the Great Crowd's description, as the remnant (last) of the chosen priests.
All descriptions within Revelation, are symbolic.
The meaning of "Great" is given to us,
at Matt.5:19 B.
It has nothing to do with 
conveying the size of this group,
which we are told, is inestimable. (Rev.7:9)

Thank you for your good questions. I hope my reply was satisfactory.
If any need remains, please respond with a follow-up question.
There is a contact form in the right side column of this page,
for that purpose.

All the best,


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