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 Just (About) Married.