Dear Jehovah’s Witness,
Like you, I would love to live forever in paradise, I care about right and wrong, and I care about the truth. Unlike you, I did not grow up as a Jehovah’s Witness, and I have never become one. From your perspective, this makes me a worldly person. From mine, this is a meaningless classification. It lumps together people who are truly degenerate, religiously devout people who follow a different religion, critical thinkers who seek after truth, and various other people. It’s like the Muslim term infidel, which a Muslim will call both you and me and anyone else who isn’t Muslim.
I don’t believe there is a sharp difference between us. If we got to know each other, you might learn that we have more in common than your preconceptions of worldly people would lead you to believe. Personally, I regard myself as a truth-seeker. What unites people as truth-seekers is not shared belief. Rather, it is an active interest in uncovering the truth, whatever that may be. Even if we hold different beliefs, I hope we can come together in honestly wanting to know the truth.
What’s at Stake?
If your own beliefs are correct, then believing the truth is a matter of life or death. You believe that one day soon, Jehovah will reward his followers with life in paradise but eradicate everyone else. Since you regard yourselves as the only living followers of Jehovah, you believe that anyone alive who is not a Jehovah’s Witness will be put to death when that day comes. Out of an interest in reducing this death toll, you go door-to-door to convert people to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Since I would like to live in paradise without being among the people executed on Judgment Day, that seems like a compelling reason to become a Jehovah’s Witness.
But there is one hitch. Other religions make similar claims. Various Christian denominations and various Muslim sects will tell me that I have to become one of them to go to Heaven. If I become one of you instead, they will typically tell me that I will end up in Hell. Of course, if Heaven and Hell are real, I would like to go to Heaven and stay out of Hell. Like you, I want to live a long or even unending life that is full of happiness. That’s the main appeal of Heaven or paradise. According to many religions, yours included, picking the right religion is the most monumental decision I can make. If I choose right, the reward will be great, but if I choose wrong, I’m toast. Given what is at stake, I cannot make this decision lightly.
So, whether I should become a Jehovah’s Witness or follow another religion is something I must decide carefully, not haphazardly. The July 2013 Watchtower makes the same point in the article
Why Question Religion? It says,
it is wise to examine religion carefully. If you belong to a religious organization, you are, in effect, putting your spiritual life in its hands. This includes your prospects for salvation.
Besides salvation, quality of life is at stake. Some religions make onerous demands on their members. Besides coming together on Sunday morning, you spend time studying Watchtower literature, going to meetings, and going door-to-door preaching to people. While these are all worth it if your religion is true, they do not serve any useful purpose if it is not. If you are expected to give up college, a career, or enjoyable leisure time to have more time for these activities, you are losing out unless you are getting something better down the line. On top of that, being a Jehovah’s Witness puts restrictions on who you can be friends with and on what activities you may engage in.
If your religion is not true, then these restrictions may be doing more harm than good. Living a good life is important in and of itself. You give up things that enrich other people’s live, and you toil away at what the Watchtower expects of you, because you are expecting to eventually enjoy life in paradise. But if paradise doesn’t await you, you will have lost out. As long as you’re being expected to sacrifice happiness now, you owe it to yourself to investigate whether your sacrifice really will be rewarded.
One further way that the Jehovah’s Witnesses differ from most other religions is that you may be expected to let yourself die to prove your faith. If you have an accident or give birth, you might lose enough blood that you would need a blood transfusion to go on living. While most people don’t have any religious objection to blood transfusions, the Jehovah’s Witnesses do, and several of them have died to stay true to this belief. If your religion is true, then you may expect to be rewarded for this. But if it’s not, you would be throwing your life away for nothing.
With your eternal salvation, your quality of life, and even your life at stake, it’s important to examine and choose your beliefs carefully. Most people don’t do this. It is common for people to just stick to the religion they were raised in, whatever it may be. If someone was born a Catholic, a Protestant, or a Muslim, you would consider this the wrong thing to do. That’s one of the reasons you go door-to-door telling people why they should become Jehovah’s Witnesses. You believe that by sticking to the religions they were born into, they are making a huge mistake, one that will ultimately prove fatal if they do not correct it.
But how do you know you’re not making the same kind of mistake? If you were born into a Jehovah’s Witness family, that wasn’t any more your doing than someone being born into a Catholic family, a Protestant family, or a Muslim family. If you stay in your religion without examining it carefully, that has the same risk as picking a religion at random. It’s a gamble, and if some different religion is true, it will not pay off.
The Only True Christians?
Your religion claims to have the Truth with a capital T. It is not one of those ecumenical denominations that seek harmony with others, and it is not one of those liberal denominations that give you leeway concerning what you may think. It tells you what’s what. If you disagree, you’re out. And if you’re out, you’re considered doomed. Of all the religions and denominations in the world, the Jehovah’s Witnesses portrays itself as the only one with the truth. But how do you know for sure it actually has the truth?
You might rely on the authority of your parents, the elders in your Kingdom Hall, or the Governing Body to tell you that being a Jehovah’s Witness is what God wants of you. But people born into other religions also have authority figures to tell them they are in the right place. Catholics have nuns, priests, bishops, cardinals, and the Pope. Protestants have ministers, pastors, or other clergy. Muslims have their imams. All of these include people who will speak as though they have authority, telling their parishioners, congregations, or whatever that they know what God wants of them.
If it is wrong for Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims to blindly follow their clergy, what could make it right for you to blindly follow your leaders? If you say it’s because they have the Truth, that’s just circular reasoning. If you need to depend on others to tell you what the truth is, you may not be the best qualified person to know who actually has the truth. Ultimately, you cannot rely on the presumed authority of any religious leaders to tell you that your religion is the correct one. With so many different parties claiming to speak with authority, you cannot rely merely on someone’s authority in choosing between them. That would just be picking an authority at random, which has the same risk as picking a religion at random.
From an outside perspective, it does not seem that likely that the Jehovah’s Witnesses have a monopoly on truth. After all, it is a relatively new variation on Christianity, which has a much longer history. If the only true Christians are the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and all members of other denominations will perish on Judgment Day, we have to account for why other forms of Christianity should be considered wrong while only the Jehovah’s Witnesses are in possession of the truth. We might expect an older form of Christianity to have a closer connection to Jesus and the apostles and so be closer to the truth. For example, the Roman Catholic Church claims apostolic succession.
Many newer denominations of Christianity get around this by claiming that earlier forms of Christianity have become corrupt. Martin Luther criticized the Catholic Church for its corruption, and many of your own publications have included articles on how paganism has infected other forms of Christianity. I agree that there has been lots of corruption in earlier forms of Christianity. But showing that others are wrong is not enough to show that the truth is on your side.
Another factor is that many other denominations of Christianity are larger than yours. Since there are over a billion Catholics and only around 8.5 million of you, one might think that the Catholics know something you don’t. Besides them, there are many times more Protestants than Jehovah’s Witnesses. If so many people are reading the Bible without interpreting it the same as you do, then maybe you’re not interpreting it correctly. Of course, majority opinion does not determine truth. It is a logical fallacy, known as Argumentum ad populum, to conclude that something is true because a majority of people believe it.
Why Are Other Forms of Christianity More Popular?
If you are right and they are wrong, it follows that very large numbers of people can be led astray. You may pause to wonder how this could happen. One factor is growth through reproduction. Religions grow larger as their members have children and pass their beliefs onto them. The main reason the Catholics have so many more members is that they have been at this much longer. It’s not that people around the world carefully considered the evidence, and then over a billion chose to become Catholic. It is simply that Catholics have been making babies for a much longer time, and most of the people who are Catholic today were born into Catholic families.
Besides just being around longer, the Catholic Church has, at least for most of its history, discouraged Catholics from marrying non-Catholics. When both parents are the same religion, the children are much more likely to be raised in that religion. Restricting sex to procreation, which includes forbidding homosexuality and birth control, has also helped increase the Catholic birthrate.
Another factor is keeping a tight rein on what members believe. For centuries, the Catholic Church would murder and persecute people for heresy. Disagreeing with the Catholic Church could be grounds for excommunication or even execution.
One more factor is information control. For centuries, the Catholic Church did not allow lay people to read the Bible. Instead, they made them rely on the clergy to know what the Bible said. The Protestant Reformation got underway only after the invention of the printing press. This made the Bible widely available for people to read, and Martin Luther used it to quickly spread his criticisms of the Catholic Church.
Information control also includes the shaping of information, as in propaganda. This is often used in war to demonize the enemy. The 1947 issue of your own Awake! magazine had an excellent article on this subject called Who Thinks for You?. This article tells us
Your defence against propagandists comes through knowledge of their methods. Reasoning is their deadliest foe; emotion is seduced as their staunchest friend. Hence it is their primary purpose to rout reasoning and stimulate passion. Drawing on Nazis and Catholics for some of its examples, it explains how propaganda works and how you can protect yourself from falling prey to its manipulation.
Knowing how easily people can be led astray, it becomes even more imperative to carefully examine what you believe. Believing you have the truth won’t do you one whit of good unless you actually have the truth. Since yours is a Christian denomination that denies the truth of other Christian denominations, let’s look at some of its differences with them.
How do Jehovah’s Witnesses Differ from Other Christians?
Unlike most Christians, you deny the concept of the Trinity, and you deny that Jesus was God. Non-Christians agree with you on this. Among Christians, Unitarian Christians also agree with this. Joseph Priestley, the scientist who discovered oxygen, wrote a treatise called An History of the Corruptions of Christianity, in which he argued that the original Apostolic form of Christianity was unitarian, not trinitarian. While the Unitarians believe that Jesus was a human being, I understand that you believe he was Michael the Archangel. I’m not aware of any Bible verse identifying them together, but you may correct me if I’m wrong.
Another big difference between you and most Christians is that you do not believe in Hell. The idea that God would have people tormented in Hell forever is an abominable, inhumane idea, and I commend you for not agreeing to it. Universalist Christians are agreed with you on this. They typically believe that everyone is going to Heaven.
A more nuanced position is that Hell is for rehabilitation, not eternal torment. A position along these lines is expressed by C. S. Lewis in his allegorical novel The Great Divorce and by George MacDonald in his unspoken sermon Justice. You differ from them both by teaching that those who don’t make it to Heaven or paradise will just die and cease to exist. Personally, I like the idea of God not giving up on people, as portrayed by Lewis and MacDonald, but when it comes to matters of this sort, my personal opinion is not enough to establish what is actually true.
Jehovah’s Witnesses differ from most Christians by separating themselves from the rest of the world. They are by no means the only ones who do this, though thanks to their door-to-door ministry, they are better known than others who do. Others that come to mind include the Exclusive Brethren, the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints, and the Twelve Tribes.
The Watchtower leaders are particularly noted for predicting the end of the world multiple times since the late 18th century. Each time the deadline for one of their predictions has come around, the prediction has failed to come true. The rapture did not happen in 1878, as Charles Taze Russell had predicted. The world did not end in 1914 or 1918, as he later predicted. The Biblical patriarchs were not resurrected in 1925, as Joseph Franklin Rutherford predicted, nor was there any general resurrection soon after that date. The world did not end again in 1975, and this failure eventually led Raymond Franz, a member of the Governing Body, to dissociate from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Though Jehovah’s Witnesses still expected the world to end sometime in the the 20th century, we are now well into the 21st century without the world ending yet.1
These failures bring to mind Deuteronomy 18:22. As it appears in the New World Translation, it says
When the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word is not fulfilled or does not come true, then Jehovah did not speak that word. The prophet spoke it presumptuously. You should not fear him.’ This is one Bible verse I agree with. This litany of false prophecies seems like a good indication that the Watchtower Society has not been speaking for Jehovah, and you should not fear anything else they have to say.
Concerning 1914, Russell’s prediction got reinterpreted after the date passed. It was said that Jesus came back invisibly and selected Russell’s Watchtower Society as his organization. Aside from assertions to this effect on the part of Watchtower, there is no evidence that this ever happened. Jesus did not make his 1914 second coming known to any other church in the world, nor did he personally inform any of the rank and file of the International Bible Students. It think someone told a lie to save face or retain power.
Besides being unprovable, this claim contradicts what the Bible tells us to expect. Concerning the second coming, Matthew 24:23-27 says,
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look! Here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will perform great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones. 25 Look! I have forewarned you. 26 Therefore, if people say to you, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; ‘Look! He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For just as the lightning comes out of the east and shines over to the west, so the presence of the Son of man will be.
These verses are predicting that people will make false claims about the return of Christ. It also points out that you should not take them at their word, because when Christ does return, it will be as visible as lightning from the east that can be seen in the west. Since nothing like this has happened in human history, you can rest assured that Jesus has still not returned, and any claims that he has are either mistaken or deceitful.
If you doubt that anyone couldn’t be so deceitful as to make up something like this, consider that some of the religions you disagree with include fantastic claims that must actually have been huge deceptions if the Jehovah’s Witnesses have the truth. For example, Mormonism is based on the claim that Joseph Smith was visited by the angel Moroni, who gave him the Book of Mormon on golden tablets and told him that all other forms of Christianity were corrupt. If the Jehovah’s Witnesses have the truth, then Joseph Smith was a conman who pulled off a huge hoax. But if there were religious hucksters like this in 19th century America, why couldn’t Charles Taze Russell have been another?
Is the Light Getting Brighter?
The Watchtower Society is known for regularly issuing new light, which consists of modifications of former teachings. For example, it has not always practiced disfellowshipping. In the January 8, 1947 issue of Awake!, an article called
Are You Also Excommunicated? denounced the Catholic practice of excommunication as unbiblical and pagan in origin. Five years later, The Watchtower published an article that instituted disfellowshipping2, which is the same kind of thing as excommunication. In fact, the Watchtower Online Library in its section on Expelling describes disfellowshipping as "judicial excommunication".
To give a related example, the penalty of being shunned was originally just for disfellowshiping, not for disassociation. This changed after Governing Body member Ray Franz disassociated from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. So, in 1981, it was added that former members who have disassociated should be treated the same as disfellowshipped members.3 As a Jehovah’s Witness yourself, you probably know of even more examples of new light than I do.
New light might seem innocuous if you make an analogy to science. Scientists are regularly correcting what past scientists have said, and this isn’t a problem. This is because science is an investigation into the truth that relies on trial and error. If scientists could not correct each other, science would grind to a halt.
But the Watchtower has claimed throughout its history to have the Truth. It tells you what to believe, and if you disagree, you are disfellowshipped and branded an apostate. This kind of behavior can be justified only if it can be relied upon to always have the truth. But if it keeps changing what it tells you the truth is, then it does not always have the truth. If it has the truth now, it didn’t have it when it told you something else was the truth. If it had the truth then, it ceases to have it when it starts telling you something else. What is true is what corresponds with reality. It does not change whenever people in authority change their minds.
Whichever way this goes, it undermines the authority of the Governing Body. They have their authority on the basis of succession from Charles Taze Russell. If what they teach now is correct, then Russell was teaching a false religion, and if he was, he had no true authority to pass on to successors. Yet if Russell was correct, the Watchtower Society has since veered from true religion, and it should be judged as no longer possessing the authority that Russell had. Either way, the Watchtower Society and its Governing Body are lacking in authority.
Neither Inspired nor Infallible?
In fact, on page 26 of the February 2017 issue of The Watchtower, it says
The Governing Body is neither inspired nor infallible. Therefore, it can err in doctrinal matters or in organizational direction. Given this admission, what authority can the Governing Body have over how you should live your life or over what standing you have with Jehovah? The JW website Opposers Demythed tries to answer this question on a page titled If the Governing Body is "Neither Inspired nor Infallble[sic]", Why Obey its Direction? It claims that we still obey government officials, police officers, college professors, scientists, company managers, teachers, and parents even though they are not inspired or infallible.
But there are important differences. In free societies like the United States, none of these claim the same authority and control over your life that the Governing Body claims. In general, none of these tell you what career to follow, whom you may date or marry, or what you should be spending your free time on. Of these, parents exercise the most direct authority, but this is mainly over young children, because it is their responsibility to look out for them. When children grow up, they normally take charge of their own lives.
The others have limited authority in specific domains. Teachers and professors can assign homework and ask students to pay attention in class without being disruptive, but they cannot tell students how to live their lives or use their authority to demand special favors. Police may arrest or ticket people who break the law, but they cannot decide what the law will be, and they cannot extort people or run protection rackets. When a policeman calls me on the phone for a donation, I may decline without any repercussions. While it is wise to heed scientists speaking on their area of expertise, we are not bound by law or duty to obey or even believe them.
Jehovah’s Witnesses even advocate disobedience of some of these authorities. When a teacher leads children in saying the Pledge of Allegiance, you believe the child should refrain. If government officials tell you that you have been drafted into the army, you believe that you should instead be a conscientious objector. And if children have been born into families that practice a different religion than your own, you believe they should convert to the Jehovah’s Witnesses even if their parents forbid it.
Disobedience is sometimes the right thing to do. Henry David Thoreau refused to pay a tax that supported a war he didn’t believe in. In his book Civil Disobedience, he argued that breaking the law can be justified when the law is wrong. In the 20th century, Mahatma Ghandi used civil disobedience on a large scale to win India’s independence from Britain, and Martin Luther King Jr. used it to fight for civil rights in America. As long as an authority is neither inspired nor infallible, you do not owe that authority complete allegiance, and it is up to your own conscience how far you are willing to obey that authority.
Furthermore, the authority of each of these roles is grounded in human relations or agreement. In a republic like the United States, the government is elected by the people, and it is granted limited authority for the sake of keeping the peace and promoting the public good. Scientists, professors, and teachers gain their authority from their expertise, training and knowledge. Students willingly submit to the authority of their teachers for the sake of gaining an education. Managers have authority by being representatives of an employer. Employees follow their directions in exchange for a paycheck. Parents have authority over young children, because the children cannot fend for themselves yet.
In contrast, the authority of the Governing Body is grounded in the understanding that they represent the will of Jehovah, and Jehovah is understood to have authority because the day will soon come when he will reward his followers with life in paradise but kill off everyone else. If the Governing Body is not inspired, it is not actually getting its marching orders from Jehovah. If it is not infallible, it is not accurately representing the will of Jehovah.
So, if Jehovah really is going to reward his followers and eliminate everyone else, then getting the will of Jehovah wrong jeopardizes the fate of everyone who follows the Governing Body. Suppose, for example, that Jehovah wants you to love your enemies and play the good Samaritan, yet the Governing Body asks you to shun apostates and treat them as anathema. If you follow the Governing Body on this, and Armageddon finally happens, you could end up in opposition to Jehovah and lose out on paradise.
A Small Misunderstanding?
If the Governing Body ever effectively communicates the will of Jehovah, it gets this from either direct revelation or Biblical interpretation. Since they say they aren’t inspired, I presume this rules out direct revelation. This leaves us with Biblical interpretation. Vol 138, No. 1 2017 of The Watchtower has an article called
Is It Just a Small Misunderstanding? This article prescribes some guidelines for understanding the Bible correctly.
The first one is "The Bible is designed to be understood by those who are humble and willing to learn (14)." With respect to interpreting text, humility would be found in a recognition that you might be wrong and in a willingness to listen to other people’s interpretations and to try to understand where they’re coming from. But in contrast to this, the Governing Body proclaims that its interpretation is the Truth, and if you question or deny its interpretation, you are at risk of being disfellowshipped and shunned. I would not call this humility. I would call it arrogance. In being unwilling to tolerate differences in opinion, they show an unwillingness to learn.
The second one is "The Bible is directed at people who honestly want God’s help to understand it (15)" If God was truly helping people understand the Bible, there would be a lot more agreement on what the Bible is saying. But there are plenty of Christian denominations with different interpretations of the Bible. These surely include people who have also asked God for help in understanding the Bible. So, asking God for help in understanding the Bible doesn’t seem to work. It’s more likely that doing so just leads people to assume that God supports whatever ideas they come up with. This allows them to bypass critical thinking, which can lead them a variety of different ways.
The third one is "Some Bible passages can be understood by people only at the proper time in history." This is clearly referring to prophecies. If a prophecy is about something still far in the future, people wouldn’t be able to understand it yet. I expect they’re using this principle to excuse their failed prophecies of the end of the world.
Even though the world hasn’t ended yet, there is a long tradition of Christians applying Bible prophecy to current events and predicting the the world would soon end. When I was younger, I paid attention to the claims of Hal Lindsey and Herbert W. Armstrong about how Bible prophecy predicted current events and the imminent end of the world. The passage of time soon revealed they were wrong. I have since become aware of others, both before and after, who have failed at the same game.4 It’s tempting to use Bible prophecy as a roadmap to understanding the future, but it has never yet worked for anyone, including the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
How Should We Understand the Bible?
One of the key principles to correctly understanding the Bible is that it is not a harmonious work from a single perspective. It is actually a collection of texts by multiple authors writing at different times with different perspectives.
One example of this is the four Gospels.5 When these Gospels tell of the same events, they often provide different, and sometimes conflicting, details. Some tell about different events in a different order than others. And some tell about events not mentioned in the others. Looking at each Gospel individually, each seems to be portraying a different understanding of Jesus. While Mark might be used for claiming that Jesus was a human being, John has been used in favor of Jesus being the second person of the Trinity.
The Book of Genesis is another example. Scholarship has revealed that it has at least three sources, which have been identified as J for Jehovah, E for Elohim, and P for priestly. This book opens with the seven days creation story, then follows it with a second creation story involving Adam and Eve.
When people treat the Bible as a harmonious work from a single perspective, as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and many others do, they end up mistranslating or misunderstanding some passages that conflict with others. This is one of the reasons there are so many different Christian denominations. Some interpret the Bible one way, and some interpret it another way. Since each can find passages in the Bible supporting its interpretation, the Bible cannot be used to adjudicate between them. For example, you believe that Jesus was not God, and many other Christians believe he was. There are in fact Bible verses supporting each interpretation.
For another example, you believe in bodily resurrection, and many other Christians believe the souls of the dead go directly to Heaven or Hell. In Luke 23:43, Jesus promises one of the thieves being crucified with him that he will be with him in Paradise that day. Contrary to most translations, the New World Translation changes this verse to have Jesus say “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise.” Although this harmonizes it with JW doctrine, it is harder to harmonize the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, which appears in Luke 16. Luke 16:23 describes them as going to Hades, hell, or the place of the dead. The NWT differs from other translations by saying the Grave. But even the NWT has the rich man say in Luke 16:24, "I am in anguish in this blazing fire." This parable portrays the belief that some people burn in Hell after they die, and this is inconsistent with what Jehovah’s Witnesses teach.
Ultimately, the Bible contains so many contradictions, it cannot be the word of God.6 If a being as powerful and as well-informed as God is said to be has given people his written word to follow, it would be much more cohesive and harmonious than the Bible. Normal human beings regularly write books that are clearer and more self-consistent than the Bible. So, I expect a real God could have done much better than the Bible. Given that the Bible is not actually the word of God, it is not a legitimate source of authority. No matter how well someone interprets the Bible, it doesn’t give that person any real authority over you.
In the end, Jehovah’s Witnesses is a false religion, and the Governing Body has no true authority over you. All they really have over you is the ability to have your friends and family who are still Jehovah’s Witnesses shun you. Their hope is that the pain from this will lead you to come back to them. This is just a coercive tactic intended to manipulate you. They have no divine or moral authority to do this, and tactics like this work just as well for lies as they do for the truth. If you do choose to give in to this blackmail, understand it for what it is, and try to use reason and evidence to eventually steer your loved ones away from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, so that you may all leave together.
How Can We Find the Truth?
If you can’t rely on the Watchtower Society or on the Bible, what can you rely on? The convenient thing about truth is that it has reality behind it. Criticize the truth all you like, and it will stand up to it. With this in mind, don’t be afraid of criticizing ideas. Feel free to inform yourself about opposing opinions and what non-believers say in criticism of your beliefs. If your beliefs are true, they will withstand criticism. If they are not true, it is best to find that out. In his essay On Liberty, John Stuart Mill advocated free speech, because it provides the opportunity for a free exchange of ideas, which is useful for separating truth from falsehood. When people who have different ideas can freely discuss them, they are better able to distinguish what is true from what is false.
There is more that could be said against what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe. For the sake of not making this letter too long, I will not cover it all here. My main purpose has been to get you to question the authority of the Watchtower Society and the Governing Body and to encourage you to investigate further criticisms of Jehovah’s Witness beliefs on your own. There is plenty of more material on why the Jehovah’s Witnesses are a false religion. There are websites, such as JWFacts.com and JWsurvey.org. There are many books critical of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, including many you can read for free with Kindle Unlimited. You can find many former members on the /r/exjw reddit forum. There are several videos on YouTube from bright, articulate former members who can explain in detail their various criticisms of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Since the Jehovah’s Witnesses present creationism as fact, you can also check out various videos, posts, and books on evolution vs. creationism. The evidence is very much on the side of evolution. You may also find various resources, including my own blog (https://www.fortheloveofwisdom.net), that are critical of religion in general.
- See the Wikipedia article Watch Tower Society unfulfilled predictions for further details.
- Keeping the Organization Clean in The Watchtower, March 15, 1951, pp. 131-137. The same issue included the follow-up article Propriety of Disfellowshiping
- Disfellowshiping—How to View It in The Watchtower, September 15, 1981, pp. 20-26. Section 16, which falls under the heading “Those Who Dissociate Themselves,” reads “Persons who make themselves ‘not of our sort’ by deliberately rejecting the faith and beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses should appropriately be viewed and treated as are those who have been disfellowshiped for wrongdoing.”
- See the Wikipedia article List of dates predicted for apocalyptic events for further examples of failed apocalyptic predictions.
- See my post What Happened on Easter? for details on some of the contradictions found between the four Gospels.
- You may read The Cure for Fundamentalism by Steve McRoberts for a long, detailed listing of Bible contradictions.