Critique Of The Cult Of The Jehovah’s Witnesses -- By: Ian C. Macleod

Journal: Puritan Reformed Journal
Volume: PRJ 06:2 (Jul 2014)
Article: Critique Of The Cult Of The Jehovah’s Witnesses
Author: Ian C. Macleod


Critique Of The Cult Of The Jehovah’s Witnesses

Ian C. Macleod

One of the marks of the “perilous times” of which Paul warns Timothy regards those who are “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:1, 7). They “[have] a form of godliness, but [deny] the power thereof” (2 Tim. 3:5), and they “creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts” (2 Tim. 3:6). Both the danger these reprobates pose and the consequent need for the preached Word is captured in the following chapter when Paul writes, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim. 4:3-4).

This warning against reprobates and the consequent need to be armed with the Word of God is as relevant today as it has ever been. The Russellite cult, those who wrongly designate themselves “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” are one such group.1 In 2001, their membership exceeded six million, one sixth of whom resided in the USA.2 Wikipedia estimates that this membership has now risen close to eight million.3

The fact that this cult places such an onus on door-to-door “evangelism” means that most people will end up encountering them at some time or the other. One common question regarding our interaction with this group is, Should I engage with them or just ignore them? Scripture teaches that Christians ought to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). The word for “answer” is ἀπολογία (apologia), which designates a defense or an apologetic. Peter does not give this as an option but as a command.

Further, the Christian is himself called to “witness” to the truth of God’s existence. The Lord says, “Ye are my witnesses…that I am God” (Isa. 43:12). The Christian realizes that the One of whom he witnesses is also the One who says, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ezek. 33:11). This consideration impacts...

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