Have you ever wondered about the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses? Here is a summary of their history and beliefs.
- Begun by Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916) in 1872.
- His family was a part of a Presbyterian church in Pittsburgh.
- Russell had difficulty accepting the doctrine of an eternal hell.
- This prompted him to deny eternal punishment, the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
- In order to get out his controversial teachings, he began to publish what we now know as the Watchtower magazine.
- The Watchtower printed 6,000 copies the first month. Its Brooklyn headquarters now prints 100,000 books and 800,000 copies of magazines daily.
- Russell claimed that the Bible could only be understood based upon his own interpretations written within the Watchtower magazine.
- After Russell’s death, Joseph Franklin Rutherford took over presidency of the Watch Tower Society.
- In 1931, he officially changed the name of the organization to “The Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
- They currently have over 4 million members worldwide.
- 200,000 members join each year.
- It takes 740 house calls to recruit 1 new member.
- Jehovah’s Witnesses have several studies each week that train them in their doctrine.
- The average Jehovah’s Witness is constantly indoctrinated with teaching and can easily confuse or convince the average Christian who is unprepared to defend his or her beliefs.
- There is one God, Jehovah.
- Jehovah’s first and only creation was Michael the archangel who would later turn into Jesus.
- Jesus did not die on a cross and he did not rise physically.
- There is no hell.
- Good works are necessary for salvation.
- Only 144,000 will get to enter heaven.
- They forbid blood transfusion.
- They refuse certain national and religious customs.
If you are interested in reading more, you can visit the blog as I write about Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.