But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts,
always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to
give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness
and reverence - 1 Peter 3:15
The Jehovah's Witnesses
Over the years there have been many splits or schisms from the main body of Jehovah's Witnesses. These usually broke off because of disagreements in policies, doctrine, prophecy, authority, decipline etc. One such group is "Bible Student's Fellowship" here in San Diego.
It seems that man's opinions about truth are forever changing. Even when Charles Russell died (founder of Zion's Watchtower Society), his successor Joseph F. Rutherford began almost immediately making adjustments and reversals of Russell's teachings.
Today, after well over 100 years of history, the organization continues modifications and flip-flops on prophecy, doctrine and practice.
Most members blindly follow. After all, if this is God's organization, this must be what God wills. They maintain that confidence in the society is certainly better than following Satan outside the organization, which will bring certain destruction.
A growing number of faithful witnesses and ex-witnesses see the religion of the Jehovah's Witnesses as valid but needing reform. An impressive Internet site proclaims a group called, "The Jehovah's Witnesses Reformation Movement". In bold letters on their home page it states, "Call for Change". The current site is available in 2 languages with four more in the works.
The opening paragraph explains who they are and the adjustments they wish to take place:
"The Jehovah's Witnesses Reformation Movement is a growing group of Christians consisting of both current Jehovah's Witnesses in good standing and former members who have either disassociated themselves over issues of conscience or who have been disfellowshipped (excommunicated) from the group because they vocalized their concerns about mistakes made or injustices committed by the Witness leadership. This movement recognizes the value of the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses but sees an urgent need for fundamental reform in the manner in which the Governing Body exercises control and authority over the general membership. The reform movement feels the present system ...has led to spiritual, emotional, and sometimes physical harm to servants of God worldwide." (web site, www.jwreform.org)
They further seek reform in the power and authority of the leadership:
"If, in their attempts to coerce, they have made extravagant claims about their authority, they have been treading more dangerous ground and may be upsetting the God they claim to worship. If, in addition, they have condemned others for making the same sort of mistakes that they themselves have made, then they are guilty of hypocrisy. However, we cannot judge the hearts of these ones. Only God knows their hearts, and it is never too late to turn around (compare Isaiah 1:18-19). The Reform Movement calls on all those who write or speak on behalf of the organization to cease the practice of passing on information to the membership that they themselves do not believe or that they themselves are not certain is taught in the Bible."
Even if the reforms they seek come to pass the root of the tree is yet corrupt. At heart they are still followers of the blind and the spiritually dead. Although they see the abuse of authority and prophetic speculation they insist on following the core beliefs of the witnesses which separate them from true Christianity. They deny the trinity and the deity of Christ as well as the pure gospel in the person and work of the Lord Jesus and His bodily resurrection.
The Bible is clear that by nature we are all unbelieving and DO NOT seek God. Even the religious apart from the Spirit of God are just religious but lost. The Apostle Paul to the Romans stresses our natural condition and rebellion that was also clearly laid out in the Old Testament:
"There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Romans 3:11-12)
Salvation is all of God from beginning to end. He seeks us. He draws us. He illuminates our hearts. He gives faith. He grants repentance. He changes our affections. He gives the will and power to obey. He seals us. He Keeps us. How Great is His Grace!
"So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." (Romans 9:16)
web site: www.challengemin.org
Direct all correspondence to:
P.O. Box 20195
El Cajon, Calif. 92021
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