Is there anything to appreciate about the Jehovah's Witnesses?

By S. Michael Houdmann, Got Questions Ministries

I had some Jehovah's Witnesses come to my door the other day. I tried not to roll my eyes because I instantly knew who they were and what they were trying to accomplish. They began the conversation by asking me, "Are you scared about the end of the world?" I think my response surprised them. I said, "No, I'm not scared about the end of the world. I'm a dedicated believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, and I know He has all things under control, including the end of the world. Therefore, I have nothing to fear, not even the end of the world."

They then handed me a booklet from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society with some information about what Jehovah's Witnesses believe about the end of the world and some other issues. I took it and gave them two cards in exchange. They then asked me if I had any questions about the end of the world. I tried not to laugh. If only they knew. I have been asked thousands of questions about the end of the world over the past 11 years. I thought about asking them, "What are the implications of dispensational pre-millennialism on the interpretation of the timing of the seven seals, trumpets, and bowls of Revelation, presupposing a pre-tribulational interpretation on the relationship between the Rapture and the Tribulation?" But that probably would not have been productive.

Concern about the end of the world aside, there are a few things I have always appreciated about the Jehovah's Witnesses. Now, don't misunderstand. I strongly disagree with the Jehovah's Witnesses on several very important doctrines. They deny the orthodox understanding of the deity of Christ, the Trinity, and salvation by grace through faith. They have unbiblical beliefs in regards to the end times, the intermediate state of the dead, and the eternality of hell. They use a systematically and intentionally corrupted translation of the Bible. I could go on and on. Make no mistake, the Jehovah's Witnesses are a cult. So don't misunderstand my "appreciation" for them as any sort of endorsement.

Aspects to appreciate about Jehovah's Witnesses

  1. Their evangelistic zeal. The Jehovah's Witnesses are faithful in proclaiming their message. They put most evangelical Christians to shame. I do not think door-to-door evangelism is a good method, but at least the Jehovah's Witnesses are committed to spreading their beliefs.
  2. Their avoidance of pagan traditions, especially in regards to holidays. Jehovah's Witnesses do not observe Christmas, Easter, Halloween, birthdays, etc. Why? Because these holidays are not mentioned in the Bible and because these days may have pagan origins/traditions as aspects of the celebration.

    While I disagree with the Jehovah's Witnesses in regards to whether a follower of Jesus Christ can, in good conscience, observe these holidays but refrain from pagan aspects, I appreciate the fact that they have looked into holiday origins and have considered how involvement would impact their faith. Far too many Christians dive straight into the holidays, with all the traditions, without even thinking.
  3. Their ability to defend what they believe. Generally speaking, Jehovah's Witnesses are prepared for the tough questions people ask them about their beliefs. They know what they believe, why they believe it, and how to defend it. This is another area in which many evangelical Christians are woefully unprepared.
Yes, we should adamantly reject the false teachings and practices of the Jehovah's Witnesses, but that does not mean there is nothing to learn from them. The Jehovah's Witnesses are faithful in proclaiming their beliefs, able to defend their beliefs, and willing to stand firmly in their convictions.

As Christ-following, Bible-obeying believers, we have the true Gospel. We have beliefs that are truly defensible. We have convictions that are wholly biblical. All the more reason for us to be even more faithful than the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Now, if only we could figure out how to deliver Christmas cookies to our Jehovah's Witness neighbor.

Image Source: Ivy Dawned; Dirty Doorbell; Creative Commons

TagsFalse-Teaching  | Other-Religions

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Published 1-9-13