Why are you a Jehovah's Witness?

This is the first question I recommend in my class that you ask JW's when they come to your door.  Today my wife was able to ask her frequent JW visitor, Mary, that question .  Mary said her mother and father studied with the Watchtower when she was a teen and though her Father didn't become a JW, her mother did.  She said that most of the others she knew became JW's coming from other faiths and denominations because they had become disillusioned with the people in their churches.  She may not be telling the whole story but I think there is a great deal of truth to what she says.  My own father and sister became JW's as adults and should have known better but they were also disillusioned with the Christian churches they had been in.  It must also be pointed out that they were only professing Christians and not soundly saved as evidenced by them joining a cult that denies Christ's divinity and the trinity.

Still, the church did not reach out to warn them what they were getting into and most churches have little concern for those who leave out the back door as long as more are coming in the front door.  The hopeful newcomers are a lot easier to deal with than disillusioned members who have begun to ask uncomfortable questions and complaining that their needs, even the valid ones, are not being met.  The church should live like the family it is, even when it is being dysfunctional.  Even if there is a falling out in a family you don't just let someone leave and act like they were never there to begin with.  Co-workers often have closer relationships than church families these days so I can see why people would get disillusioned with their churches.  But why would they be attracted to the JW's?

I think the attraction is that the JW's spend a lot more time together, the expectations are a lot clearer, they often work together going door to door, and the congregations are usually smaller than where they came from and they know each other.  They also don't have a clergy/laity split in that they don't have paid pastors and only elders govern the Kingdom Halls.  In a church, a paid pastor may feel a threat from a disgruntled parishioner and would be glad if they go elsewhere before the disharmony grows and threatens their job.  I've seen that happen where the pastor pushes out members.  A JW has a different challenge.  If they get disgruntled and the elders disfellowship them then they could lose contact with their family, maybe lose a job, and they can't just go down the road to another Kingdom Hall.  They also can't just find another denomination either because all the churches of 'Christendom' are considered apostate.

So, if you ask the JW, "Why are you a Jehovah's Witness?", you may get an answer that you may find uncomfortable.  Not everything a JW believes is false.

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