Jehovah's Witnesses and Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses, How does a person?
Become a Jehovah's witness? From the beginning (recruitment) to being a complete, fully in the truth Witness?
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
You must be indoctrinated thoroughly. This process begins by agreeing to study Watchtower literature with one or more JWs, usually once a week. Along with this literature, selected scriptures are read from their own translation of the Bible, unless you absolutely refuse to use it. They will agree to let you use your own Bible, but will "encourage" and pressure you to use theirs, claiming it is superior (personally, there are some things I like and some things I dislike about it). Though rare, you might begin to consider "dedication and baptism" after completing a study of their primary book for new recruits. Currently this book is called "What Does the Bible Really Teach?", a question many JWs should ask themselves daily! More often the case is that they want you to have completed the study of at least two of their publications, sometimes a brochure but most often another book. Meanwhile, you are expected to "progress", meaning that you should start going to the meetings at the Kingdom Hall and, if your indoctrination is going smoothly, you might be encouraged to become an "Unbaptized Publisher", which is a person who does the door- to- door preaching work alongside a JW but who is not a JW themselves yet. After your study conductor feels that you are well enough indoctrinated, you will be encouraged to consider baptism, and to begin taking the steps toward it.
After making a personal dedication to God in prayer, you cannot simply inform the elders that you have made your dedication and then expect to be baptized on the next opportunity. First, you must meet with three different elders on three separate occasions and answer over 30 questions per elder, for a total of 104 questions about JW doctrine. Some of these questions, found in the book, "Organized To Do Jehovah's Will", deal with things such as;
- Why people who have a "potentially fatal disease" should "not initiate public displays of affection" (page 196).
- Keeping people with "potentially fatal diseases" (such as HIV) away from congregation book studies held in private homes whenever possible (page 197).
- Why someone with such a disease should not react negatively "WHEN" someone chooses not to invite them into their homes (page 197). *Yes, it actually says, "when", meaning that such a person should expect this behavior and just accept it!
- How you can "identify 'the faithful and discreet slave' today" (page 209). *Matthew 24:45-47 is cited as the source of the answer. Nothing in those two verses points to the Governing Body of JWs, whom they believe is the "faithful and discreet slave"!
- What the Governing Body is (page 209). *Acts 15:1, 2 are cited as the source of the answer for this one. Evidently, the Governing Body place themselves on par with the Apostle Paul and Barnabas!
- How to demonstrate submission to the elders (page 210).
- What efforts you make to attend all the meetings (page 211). *What does this have to do with anything???
- Why " approved works" are so important (page 211).
- In what ways are you "sharing the good news" with others (page 212) *Does God really care how as long as you do it?
- How (not why) you can give "material support" to the "Kingdom work" (organization) today (page 212).
- What your attitude should be "toward giving of yourself and your material possessions" (page 213).
- What you can pray about (page 214).
- Why it is important to be called a "Jehovah's Witness" (page 215).
After these 104 questions, the elders will discuss with each other whether or not you're adequately indoctrinated (page 218, under "Instructions For Congregation Elders"). If so, one of them will review with you the two questions which will be asked aloud of you on the day of your baptism in front of hundreds of JWs. The second of these questions is;
"Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah's Witnesses in association with God's spirit- directed organization?"
In other words, do you acknowledge that your being baptized by JWs makes you one of them, a part of their organization, and binds you to their rules, policies, and dictates?
This is perhaps the most important question in the hierarchy of the JW chain of command.
If you answer these questions to the elders' satisfaction, then you are considered "qualified" for baptism. Then you go through the motions of answering the two baptism questions in front of other JWs at a convention or assembly, and then you get immersed in a pool. When you emerge, you have just sealed your fate to be shunned by any JW whom you know and love the moment you discover that you don't agree with the organization's teachings anymore! Those who embraced you while you were taking in all of their indoctrination will discard you like a soiled diaper the moment you question that indoctrination!
Anyway, that's how you become one. I have seen this process take anywhere from 8 months to 6 years, depending on how much natural resistance a brain has to the indoctrination and the type and amount of pressure applied.
- KarenLv 44 years ago
I am so pleased you asked former Jehovah's Witnesses to answer this question. Otherwise, how could you ever find out why they left? There are some interesting answers from your spiritual brothers and sisters - but not one of them has come up with the obvious. While I was a Jehovah's Witness, I also thought I had the true religion and there was no way I was ever going to leave it. That would be really stupid, wouldn't it, to leave what you believed to be true that gave you peace of mind. Neither did I leave because I was immoral or someone stumbled me or I simply didn't want to live up to the Bible's high standards. I wasn't mixing with worldly people, I didn't take up smoking or drinking. In fact, I was pioneering and I was married to a pioneer. So why did I leave? You need to understand that my parents became Witnesses in the 1930's, and that I knew nothing other than what Jehovah's Witnesses believed. We were all expecting the end of 6,000 years of man's existence to end in the fall of 1975 (I can provide the Watchtower quotations if you doubt me) and that meant Armageddon would come soon after. My parents believed they were the generation that would see the fulfilment of the end-time prophecies in Matthew 24 and that they would be alive when the Millennial reign of Christ started. None of us made any of this up. We all believed what the Society told us. Guess what? This prophecy was false - we're still waiting, 33 years later. This is the reason I left - false prophecies about dates and predictions when 6,000 years of human existence will end. Any peace of mind I had was shattered when I realised the extent to which I had been mislead. I am now a born-again Christian with a heavenly hope and I praise God that, through the Holy Spirit, he brought me to a place of repentance and forgiveness. Religion does not save. Only Jesus Christ can do that.
- 1 decade ago
First you will begin studying the Bible, probably once/week with a member. They will encourage you to also read
their literature and to attend the 3 meetings they have each week (which is being, or has been reduced to 2 recently).
-They will request that you change your lifestyle to be consistent with what they would expect from a Witness. This includes giving up smoking and Christmas holidays, distancing yourself from non-Witness friends, etc.
Eventually they will encourage you to participate in meetings, first by participating in discussions and eventually by giving presentations to the congregation. They will also start to bring you preaching from door to door.
When they feel you are ready (I've never heard of this taking less than 6 months - usually it's more like a year or several years), they will put you through a series of quizes on the Bible and Jehovah's Witness beliefs.
Then you will be baptized.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
One thing that everyone will agree with on this questions answers above and that is the claim of Jehovah's Witnesses that they are a completely Bible based organization that uses the bible to TEACH everything that they do and believe.I remember well the account of the eunuch and Phillip and how Phillip sat in the chariot for at least 6 to 8 months and studied the bible with him and they hopped off now and then to attend all of the meetings that were taking place and also the eunuch was an un baptized publisher for quite sometime before going through around 104 questions with 3 apostles who later met together to decide if he knew enough to get baptized And the scroll was although not mentioned to be such a earlier addition of the NWT..I don't understand why everyone persecutes these people all they do is preach EXACTLY what God's word says right????Source(s): SMILE
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
It starts first with a personal study of the Bible. You will need to know the teachings and beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses. You will have to accept Jehovah as the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the principal source of your salvation. You will also need to go door to door and tell others of the things you have learned. If after all this you still want to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses then you can get baptized. We want to make sure you don't think you have made a mistake getting baptized as one. By the time you get baptized as one you ...know what is expected of you.
- NutmegKKLv 61 decade ago
To become a friend of God, you must obtain a good knowledge of Bible truth (1 Timothy 2:3, 4), put faith in the things you have learned (Hebrews 11:6), repent of your sins (Acts 17:30, 31), and turn around in your course of life. (Acts 3:19) Then your love for God should move you to dedicate yourself to him. This means that in a personal, private prayer you tell him that you are giving yourself to him to do his will.—Matthew 16:24; 22:37.
2. After you have made your dedication to God, you should be baptized. (Matthew 28:19, 20) Baptism lets everyone know that you have dedicated yourself to Jehovah. So baptism is only for those who are old enough to make a decision to serve God. When a person is baptized, his whole body should be put under the water momentarily.*—Mark 1:9, 10; Acts 8:36.
3. After you have made a dedication, Jehovah will expect you to live up to your promise. (Psalm 50:14; Ecclesiastes 5:4, 5) The Devil will try to stop you from serving Jehovah. (1 Peter 5:8) But draw close to God in prayer. (Philippians 4:6, 7) Study his Word each day. (Psalm 1:1-3) Stick close to the congregation. (Hebrews 13:17) By doing all of this, you will gain the strength to stay faithful to God. For all eternity you thus can do the things that God requires of you!Source(s): http://www.watchtower.org/e/rq/article_16.htm Your Decision To Serve God
- Grey TowerLv 71 decade ago
My experience may be slightly different inasmuch as I was born into a family of staunch JW's. So, from the word "go!" I was raised to accept their religious belief system and teachings as right and everyone else's religious beliefs were, by default, wrong. Seemed pretty normal to me. Anyway, what child argues against its parents and wins?
However, before anyone can become a baptised JW, they have to stand up and declare and affirm their beliefs in what the Watchtower Society teach. Which is as it should be. The individual must take responsibility for their actions. After all, if you disagree with the teachings of an organisation, why on earth would you wish to be associated with it?
To get to the point where you can affirm your beliefs, you have to study all their literature, attend all their meetings and go from door to door to convert others. I use the term 'convert' deliberately. The whole point in going from door to door with their literature is to get home studies going and bring those people to join up. Records are kept. Statistics are used. Questions will be asked of anyone failing to put in the requisite number of hours. You've got to be absolutely dedicated to make the grade!
That's what it takes to be accepted as a baptised, dedicated JW. One thing you must never do, though, is question the beliefs of the Governing Body. Or do independent research. Or just read the Bible without the help of all their literature. Oh, and you must be absolutely, totally subservient to the Governing Body and obey without question. Otherwise, you won't survive Armageddon.
- achtung_heissLv 71 decade ago
Jehovah's Witnesses make every conceivable effort to assure and ascertain that their students know what Jehovah's Witnesses teach from the bible and what Jehovah's Witnesses expect from baptized members. The process that must be followed before one can become baptized as a Jehovah's Witness requires many many hours and lots of hard work, and a typical minimum of six months.
Jehovah's Witnesses actually encourage a student to resign from any false religious organization rather than to begin a campaign targeting one particular former religion. Jehovah's Witnesses encourage those who learn bible truth to join in preaching Kingdom "good news" and not to indulge in the human work of vindictive retribution.
Becoming baptized as a Jehovah's Witnesses is not a trivial step. At a minimum, a student must demonstrate months of regular meeting attendance and public ministry, then must himself express the desire to be baptized. The candidate then spends hours answering hundreds of bible questions wherein he expresses both a clear understanding and personal conviction regarding Jehovah's Witness teachings in at least three separate interviews with three different elders. The candidate must vocally agree to be baptized in front of hundreds or thousands of eyewitnesses, and must be publicly immersed in water. This is not a momentary emotional decision by an unreasoning child. Dedication as a Witness required hard work and determination at the time.. ..
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Let Jesus tell you,John 6:43 In answer Jesus said to them: “Stop murmuring among yourselves. 44 No man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him; and I will resurrect him in the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by Jehovah.’ Everyone that has heard from the Father and has learned comes to me. 46 Not that any man has seen the Father, except he who is from God; this one has seen the Father. 47 Most truly I say to YOU, He that believes has everlasting life; and at verse 65 So he went on to say: “This is why I have said to YOU, No one can come to me unless it is granted him by (Jehovah) the Father.”Source(s): What the Bible really teaches
- Anonymous1 decade ago
First of all, I love your question. When I was young my parents were studiny with the witnesses, and it was the best time of their lives. After falling subject to relative discouragment(for not celebrating holidays), they soon strayed away from there studies, and after that divorced. As an adult I was at a bad place in my life and so I called my local kingdom hall requesting a bible study. I have been studying with them now, and attending meetings. They are not pushy, they simply do what Jehovah says in the bible to spread his word. Every time you ask a question, they have a scripture to back it up. They are not cult like in any way, and their behavior is in an effort to please Jehovah. As it says in the bible the meek shall inheiret the earth. And Jesus said (especially toward the end of days) they will hate you as they have hated me. They do not put down other religious, they simply help you to draw close to Jehovah. This is why we use his name, would'nt you call your best friend by name. I am on my way to being baptized, and despite the constant grief from others, I am going to raise my children in the truth. I have hit rock bottom before, and after studying, and praying for help my prayers are being anwsered. Jehovah says draw close to me and I will draw close to you. In the bible it also says he will give you strength beyond what is normal. Forgive me for not being able to give you the exact scripture, as I myself still have alot to learn. Talk with your bible study brothers and sisters, I'm sure they would love to awnser your questions. Please do not let these negative thinking people who don't know, or have been witnesses, to sway you away, pray, and listen to your heart. Look at the times we live in. Be strong, and look to Jehovah for guidance. Learning his word is so awe inspiring to me, I know we are imperect, but he loves us so much, so I pray that I will be strong, stay on the right path, and reisist tempation, and be able to turn away from false prophets, or those who have evil influence, in spreading lies. Good luck to you my friend.