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I'm a Jehovah's Witness! Ask me Anything!

Arnox

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Houseman said:
Knock Knock...
How would you say your missionary service differs from LDS (mormon) missionary service? Besides obviously only using the Bible.
 

Houseman

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Arnox said:
How would you say your missionary service differs from LDS (mormon) missionary service? Besides obviously only using the Bible.
From what I know about LDS: typically: A) Only young men go on "missions", B) These missions are somewhere other than where they live, and C) Are short-term. You go on your mission and then you are done and you never have to do it again.

In contrast, our preaching activity is for everyone, young and old, male and female. You are considered "inactive" if you do not preach each month, and if we are in good health, we are encouraged to preach every week. Our preaching is local, in that we preach where we live. We also never stop preaching until we are physically unable to do so.

For JWs, to preach is the most important thing, and it should be the focus of our lives.
 

Arnox

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Houseman said:
From what I know about LDS: typically: A) Only young men go on "missions", B) These missions are somewhere other than where they live, and C) Are short-term. You go on your mission and then you are done and you never have to do it again.

In contrast, our preaching activity is for everyone, young and old, male and female. You are considered "inactive" if you do not preach each month, and if we are in good health, we are encouraged to preach every week. Our preaching is local, in that we preach where we live. We also never stop preaching until we are physically unable to do so.

For JWs, to preach is the most important thing, and it should be the focus of our lives.
Oh I see.

For us, Mormon missionaries can be female as well although they're less common. Also, no one is forced in any way to do a mission at any point, but it is heavily encouraged when you're young for several practical reasons.

Beyond missionary work though, we have a somewhat similar "every member a missionary" philosophy. Basically, we believe that one of the best ways to preach is to simply be a positive example in someone's life. We pray for missionary opportunities as we go about our lives, so it's more a passive thing. We also heavily believe in service to others which is part of being that positive example. So less proselytizing and more helping and being there for others.
 

Monoochrom

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The only question I can really think of is

Why? Why do you believe what you believe?
 

bluegate

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Jehovah's Witness... You're those people that go through neighborhoods, door to door, doing your speeches, aren't you?

Although I don't subscribe to your religion, I admire your devotion.

As for my question, it's the same as Monoochrom above me.
 

Vendor-Lazarus

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There is a Jehova's Witness temple/church in my closest city, but they are quite unassuming, so I've got no problem with its adherents on a general level.
Isn't JW the one where they only believe 300 people (or some such figure) can get into heaven?
How does that square with their followers exceeding that amount?
Wouldn't that mean that not all those followers are ..faithful? worthy?
I would have to echo the above two posters question as well.
 

Houseman

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Monoochrom said:
The only question I can really think of is

Why? Why do you believe what you believe?
The evidence that I have seen convinces me that it is more true than the alternatives.

Vendor-Lazarus said:
Isn't JW the one where they only believe 300 people (or some such figure) can get into heaven?
144,000 yes.

How does that square with their followers exceeding that amount?
Wouldn't that mean that not all those followers are ..faithful? worthy?
Heaven isn't the only goal. The other goal is eternal life on a paradise earth. Heaven is for those who would rule as kings alongside Jesus.

It's not as if living on earth is "worse", or anything, just different.
 

Vendor-Lazarus

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Houseman said:
The evidence that I have seen convinces me that it is more true than the alternatives.
I see. More true than all of the different spiritual beliefs that exist amongst all the peoples of Earth. Interesting.
So, how long have you been a Jehovah's Witness?
144,000 yes.
I got the number wrong. My apologies. I did remember something about your religion though. ^^
Heaven isn't the only goal. The other goal is eternal life on a paradise earth. Heaven is for those who would rule as kings alongside Jesus.

It's not as if living on earth is "worse", or anything, just different.
I'm all for eternal life. On Earth or in space. I betting that science and its technology will help us along in that regard.
Space can also support a lot more than 144,000 people. I don't know about ruling as kings though. Maybe there is something to that when I think about it.
Not being tied down to a vulnerable gravity well or dependent on a specific planet and its biosphere. Still, rulers and subjects are so archaic. No love for equality and 'first amongst many'-leaders?

Another follow-up question there. What makes them able to become rulers, alongside Jesus?
 

Houseman

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Vendor-Lazarus said:
So, how long have you been a Jehovah's Witness?
Officially, for 10 years.
Another follow-up question there. What makes them able to become rulers, alongside Jesus?
God chooses them. Presumably He sees something in the individual that makes them worthy of the calling.
 

Arnox

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What is your opinion on the fallibility of the Bible? Do you believe in taking the Bible entirely literally?
 

Houseman

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Arnox said:
What is your opinion on the fallibility of the Bible? Do you believe in taking the Bible entirely literally?
We don't have specific terminology about the "infallibility of the bible" like the Catholics do, so I'm hesitant to word it like that, but we believe that the bible is God's Word, and trust in it.

We believe in taking the bible entirely literally, but this does not mean that nobody can ever use metaphors or figures of speech in it. If someone in the bible were to say "I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse", for example, we wouldn't literally believe that. We believe in things like Noah's Ark, however.
 

Arnox

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Houseman said:
We don't have specific terminology about the "infallibility of the bible" like the Catholics do, so I'm hesitant to word it like that, but we believe that the bible is God's Word, and trust in it.

We believe in taking the bible entirely literally, but this does not mean that nobody can ever use metaphors or figures of speech in it. If someone in the bible were to say "I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse", for example, we wouldn't literally believe that. We believe in things like Noah's Ark, however.
Getting a little bit off-topic here, but honestly, I have to say I'm surprised you want to post here considering that this site has some lax rules. Someone could easily come in here and say you're fucking retarded because you're a JW and because of the way this site is, there wouldn't be anything that would be done to them.

Having said that, I'm glad you're here as diversity is absolutely what we need.
 

Kaleion

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I'm going to be that asshole...

First off, why do you preach door to door? I mean most people don't take you seriously and most of us consider that to be a nuisance.

When preaching how many rude responses do you get?

Has someone ever punched you for preaching?

And finally, I would hope you aren't one of those but don't you think it's rude to preach to someone that has told you that they are in a hurry to get to work and the person preaching is blocking their way? I mean most of JWs don't do that but the few that do should know that it is extremely rude.
 

Houseman

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Arnox said:
Getting a little bit off-topic here, but honestly, I have to say I'm surprised you want to post here considering that this site has some lax rules. Someone could easily come in here and say you're fucking retarded because you're a JW and because of the way this site is, there wouldn't be anything that would be done to them.
I ain't no snowflake!

Having said that, I'm glad you're here as diversity is absolutely what we need.
Thanks!

Kaleion said:
I'm going to be that asshole...

First off, why do you preach door to door? I mean most people don't take you seriously and most of us consider that to be a nuisance.
Because Jesus told us to, basically:

“Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And, look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.” (Matt. 28:19, 20)

When preaching how many rude responses do you get?
Only one or two people have ever been rude to me while preaching in all my years of consciousness.

Has someone ever punched you for preaching?
No. Never even been threatened.

Y'know, in a lot of the JW topics I see pop up across the internet, people always pretend to be tough and edgy, saying things like "oh yeah, if one ever comes to my house, I'm going to smear myself with fake blood and answer the door naked while praying to Satan! Then they'll never come back!"

I've never seen anything even remotely close to that. Hardly even anything interesting. If I could be so fortunate, it would make my year.

And finally, I would hope you aren't one of those but don't you think it's rude to preach to someone that has told you that they are in a hurry to get to work and the person preaching is blocking their way? I mean most of JWs don't do that but the few that do should know that it is extremely rude.
Yes, I would consider that to be rude. I'm sorry if that has happened to you.
 

Vendor-Lazarus

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Houseman said:
Officially, for 10 years.
And unofficially? (Also, what does officially mean in your case?)

God chooses them. Presumably He sees something in the individual that makes them worthy of the calling.
I thought that worth didn't enter into Jehovah's Witnesses, or did I get that wrong?
Why only 144,000 though? and what does it mean to "rule as kings besides Jesus"?
 

Houseman

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Vendor-Lazarus said:
And unofficially? (Also, what does officially mean in your case?)
Unofficially for my whole life.
I say "officially", because I was baptized 10 years ago. Before that I would still go to the meetings and out preaching.
I thought that worth didn't enter into Jehovah's Witnesses, or did I get that wrong?
We are all equal, in that we are all brothers and sisters. Those who are "anointed" are treated no differently, and given no special privileges.
Why only 144,000 though? and what does it mean to "rule as kings besides Jesus"?
144,000 seems to be an arbitrary number chosen by god, 12,000 from each of the symbolic "tribes of Israel" as found in Revelation 7:4-8.
The number 12 represents completeness, balance, and divine arrangement. Jacob had 12 sons, which became the 12 tribes of Israel.

And it means exactly what it sounds like, they will be ruling as kings alongside Jesus. What they rule over will be the rest of humanity.
I assume that there will still be matters that need to be handled and tasks that need to be done, for humanity will still exist, and will need to be ruled, and the kings will make sure that whatever needs to happen will happen. God is good at delegating like that.
 

Kaleion

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Houseman said:
Only one or two people have ever been rude to me while preaching in all my years of consciousness.

No. Never even been threatened.
It's good to hear most people are polite, I still think that door to door preaching is awful and find it ridiculously annoying though.

Y'know, in a lot of the JW topics I see pop up across the internet, people always pretend to be tough and edgy, saying things like "oh yeah, if one ever comes to my house, I'm going to smear myself with fake blood and answer the door naked while praying to Satan! Then they'll never come back!"

I've never seen anything even remotely close to that. Hardly even anything interesting. If I could be so fortunate, it would make my year.
To be honest I've always found those responses to be extremely stupid, I hate religion as a whole and door to door preachers annoy me to no end but the most I've done is told the preacher to fuck off and slammed the door in his face but only when he made an extremely rude remark that I looked like a helpless soul in need of saving, I mean seriously I ain't having anyone that shows up to my house uninvited and basically tells me I look awful, fucking asshole that guy was, besides I look great not my fault some people don't appreciate sexual ambiguity, anything else I would be unnecessary and even that ws excessive but I do have a short fuse, besides I'm also vain so I really ain't having that.

Yes, I would consider that to be rude. I'm sorry if that has happened to you.
It has, since the fence was quite small and the guy brought his whole family, kids included I decided not to be an ass and tell him to fuck off, so I instead jumped the fence and walked by while saying "Sorry, but I really don't have the time right now and you should really know when to step aside." I was angry enough that I would have pushed him if his family wasn't there, not really his fault but I had overslept that day and had like 5 minutes to get to work, which was doable but I really had to dash to get there on time and out of breath, still even if it was my fault there was no reason for him not to move when I said that I didn't have the time.
 

Vendor-Lazarus

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Houseman said:
Unofficially for my whole life.
I say "officially", because I was baptized 10 years ago. Before that I would still go to the meetings and out preaching.
Does that mean that your parents are/were Jehovah's Witnesses?

We are all equal, in that we are all brothers and sisters. Those who are "anointed" are treated no differently, and given no special privileges.
144,000 seems to be an arbitrary number chosen by god, 12,000 from each of the symbolic "tribes of Israel" as found in Revelation 7:4-8.
The number 12 represents completeness, balance, and divine arrangement. Jacob had 12 sons, which became the 12 tribes of Israel.

And it means exactly what it sounds like, they will be ruling as kings alongside Jesus. What they rule over will be the rest of humanity.
I assume that there will still be matters that need to be handled and tasks that need to be done, for humanity will still exist, and will need to be ruled, and the kings will make sure that whatever needs to happen will happen. God is good at delegating like that.
Symbolic tribes of Israel.. What is symbolic about it?
Doesn't that just mean that only Jews gets to rule and that the entire Abrahamic religion only really concerns Jews?
Are you of Jewish descent yourself?
 

Houseman

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Vendor-Lazarus said:
Does that mean that your parents are/were Jehovah's Witnesses?
Yes, my mom at least. She took me to the meetings.
Symbolic tribes of Israel.. What is symbolic about it?
The tribes of Israel are symbolic in the sense that:
1) The tribes listed in Revelation don't match up with actual tribes of Israel listed earlier in the bible, so it would have been impossible to gather people from a tribe that didn't exist.
2) Literal Israel was disinherited, and a new spiritual Israel was created. Before that point, Jesus and his disciples only preached to Jews, but after that, salvation was opened up to everybody. These 144,000 are collected from every "tribe, nation, and tongue" , as it says in Revelation 5: 9,10

Doesn't that just mean that only Jews gets to rule and that the entire Abrahamic religion only really concerns Jews?
If it were literal Israel and not "spiritual Israel", yes, that would be the case.

On a related note, after the preaching-to-non-jews thing started, the early jews-turned-christians still had some lingering racism. This can be read in the bible, after the gospels.
Are you of Jewish descent yourself?
No.
 

Vendor-Lazarus

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Houseman said:
Yes, my mom at least. She took me to the meetings.
So you have grown up with these teachings from an early age?

The tribes of Israel are symbolic in the sense that:
1) The tribes listed in Revelation don't match up with actual tribes of Israel listed earlier in the bible, so it would have been impossible to gather people from a tribe that didn't exist.
2) Literal Israel was disinherited, and a new spiritual Israel was created. Before that point, Jesus and his disciples only preached to Jews, but after that, salvation was opened up to everybody. These 144,000 are collected from every "tribe, nation, and tongue" , as it says in Revelation 5: 9,10
If it were literal Israel and not "spiritual Israel", yes, that would be the case.
Why do you think that the listed tribes differ in the bible?

Let me see if I got this right..
The physical location of Israel was disinherited (how?) and a new idea of a common country (also named Israel) shared by ..all the people of the world?.. was thought up?
Is that were the "Kingdom of God" comes from?
I thought "Kingdom of God" and heaven was basically the same.. but does that mean that Earth (after..rapture?..) is that instead?
 

Houseman

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Vendor-Lazarus said:
So you have grown up with these teachings from an early age?
Yes.
Why do you think that the listed tribes differ in the bible?
To make it clear that the tribes are not the literal, physical 12 tribes of old.
Let me see if I got this right..
The physical location of Israel was disinherited (how?)
Not Israel as a location, Israel as a people.

Way early in the bible, Jehovah makes a promise to a guy named Abraham that his descendants will be God's chosen, blessed, people. These were Israelites. Jesus' earthly parents were also Israelites. Israelites are also Jews.

and a new idea of a common country (also named Israel) shared by ..all the people of the world?.. was thought up?
Spiritual Israel is also made up of a people, as opposed to a country. As literal Israel were God's chosen worshipers so spiritual Israel is made up of God's chosen worshipers. The difference is that the spiritual nation is open for anyone to join.

Is that were the "Kingdom of God" comes from?
It depends. That phrase is used in a lot of different contexts. The 144,000 would be part of this kingdom.

I thought "Kingdom of God" and heaven was basically the same.. but does that mean that Earth (after..rapture?..) is that instead?
Yes, it is basically the same. The "Kingdom of God" will be everywhere. Earth will also be included.
 

Vendor-Lazarus

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Houseman said:
If you have grown up being taught that this is the right, correct and true belief, then how can you say that you have chosen it?
Indoctrination is a thing and children especially are vulnerable to influence.
Maybe you renounced this faith in your teens/youth and traveled around the world to compare religions?
That then begs the question of why you felt that you needed a spiritual faith belief at all?

To make it clear that the tribes are not the literal, physical 12 tribes of old.
Not Israel as a location, Israel as a people.

Way early in the bible, Jehovah makes a promise to a guy named Abraham that his descendants will be God's chosen, blessed, people. These were Israelites. Jesus' earthly parents were also Israelites. Israelites are also Jews.

Spiritual Israel is also made up of a people, as opposed to a country. As literal Israel were God's chosen worshipers so spiritual Israel is made up of God's chosen worshipers. The difference is that the spiritual nation is open for anyone to join.

It depends. That phrase is used in a lot of different contexts. The 144,000 would be part of this kingdom.

Yes, it is basically the same. The "Kingdom of God" will be everywhere. Earth will also be included.
So one people have a story about them being special and then it fractures into two stories, both being special in their own stories, which then leads the latest of-shoot to fracture again for a total of three special peoples. While the first people have remained whole, and the third of-shoot fractured into two very similar beliefs, the second of-shoot only accelerates and continuously forms new beliefs again and again, always saying that they are the only one true belief.
 

Arnox

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Kaleion said:
not my fault some people don't appreciate sexual ambiguity
I appreciate sexual ambiguity...
 

Houseman

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Vendor-Lazarus said:
If you have grown up being taught that this is the right, correct and true belief, then how can you say that you have chosen it?
Indoctrination is a thing and children especially are vulnerable to influence.
Every JW-hopeful (not an official term) is taught that one must make a personal dedication, that it cannot be made for you, not by your parents, not by anyone else. I feel that I have made this personal decision.
The only thing more we can do is to force some sort of minimum age requirement, or like the Amish, allow people to go out and see the world for a time before deciding whether or not go commit to this way of life. We couldn't do that, because what if Armageddon comes during this period in a person's life? They wouldn't be saved. Plus, Jesus' disciples once tried to shoo children away, but Jesus reprimanded them for doing that, so we would be spurning our lessons if we were to do that.

Maybe you renounced this faith in your teens/youth and traveled around the world to compare religions?
No, but before getting baptized I did spend some time on another religion sub-forum for the express purpose of allowing people to criticize my potential beliefs. It didn't change my mind, if that means anything.

So one people have a story about them being special and then it fractures into two stories, both being special in their own stories, which then leads the latest of-shoot to fracture again for a total of three special peoples.
While the first people have remained whole, and the third of-shoot fractured into two very similar beliefs, the second of-shoot only accelerates and continuously forms new beliefs again and again, always saying that they are the only one true belief.
If the first are the Jews/Israelites, and the second are the Christians, then who are the third? I don't consider there to be a third. I consider Christians to be Spiritual Israel, specifically the Christians mentioned in the bible, and then, of course, Jehovah's Witnesses.
 
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