Bible Apostate Watchtower

Because of my love for Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW’s), it’s easy for me to maintain a positive tone and show kindness toward them on this blog. Also, I do not promote blogs or websites which slander, show maliciousness, bitterness or have an ax to grind – so to speak – with JW’s or the Watchtower organization. Even so, while keeping things positive and trying to help JW’s, I cannot overlook things which I believe must be addressed, even though it may seem negative to some. I must take an honest and open approach in the articles I write, yet show love and kindness while not watering down or avoiding what may seem to be controversial to a loyal JW. I always prayerfully consider these things before I write on this blog or speak to others about the organization.

(Please note this is a guest article By Mark Martin, posted by Greybeard )

I have spent a lot of time praying and thinking about this particular article before posting it on this site. My goal is to be honest yet not gloss over the facts. Please do not mistake my candor as anger or bitterness. I write these things in Christian love.

That being said, I would like to share a few thoughts with you regarding the July 15, 2011 Watchtower study article which begins on page 15. The article is entitled, “Will You Heed Jehovah’s Clear Warnings?” This was the Watchtower study topic for Sunday 9/11/2011 which focused on apostasy and apostates.

Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language defines apostasy as, “The abandoning of a religious faith.”

The same dictionary defines an apostate as, “Someone who abandons his religious faith for another.”

Merriam-Webster online gives two definitions of apostasy.

: renunciation of a religious faith
: abandonment of a previous loyalty

These definitions sound accurate and reasonable to me. After all, this is the definition of the words from what most would consider an authority on the English language.

It seems though, that the Watchtower has a definition of apostasy which applies only to it’s own organization or members. For example, if someone leaves another Christian Church and becomes a JW, from the Watchtower’s point of view this is not considered an apostasy. Why? Because they left a “false religion” and came to the “truth.” Yet, the true definition of the word according to Webster makes this an apostasy because they abandoned one religious faith for another. But as far as the Watchtower is concerned, one can only apostatize from the JW organization because they are the only “true Christians” in the world.

The Watchtower’s book, Reasoning From The Scriptures page 34, defines apostasy this way:
“Apostasy is abandoning or deserting the worship and service of God, actually a rebellion against Jehovah God. Some apostates profess to know and serve God but reject teachings or requirements set out in his Word. Others claim to believe the Bible but reject Jehovah’s organization.”

The Reasoning book later comments on page 35 in bold heading:

“Not only do they abandon the true faith but they then “beat” their former associates, using public criticism and other methods to hinder their work; the efforts of such apostates are devoted totearing down, not building up”

According to the Watchtower organization I am considered an apostate. Under normal circumstances if we were considering the actual definition (Webster’s definition) of an apostate this would not offend me at all. However, the Watchtower organization demonizes apostates to the point that the majority of rank and file witnesses are literally afraid of anyone labeled an apostate.

This being the case, out of sheer curiosity I decided to tune in to the local Kingdom Hall meeting during this particular study. Most Kingdom Halls have a provision for those who are ill, infirm or otherwise can’t make it to the meeting, to be able to call in on the phone and listen or even participate.

Since I am well aware of the Watchtower’s view of apostates, it came as no surprise to see this study article describe apostates as it did, using such terms as:

1 False teachers
2 Ravenous wolves
3 Corruptive
4 Deceptive
5 Mentally diseased
6 Disloyal
7 Twisted
8 Malicious slanderers
9 Meddlers

What really grabbed my attention were some of the comments of the friends during this study. As I listened, I began to write down the words being used by the congregation to describe apostates. Some of these words were repeated several times, so I decided to put them on a spreadsheet and let it alphabetize them while removing any duplicated words or phrases. Here is a partial alphabetized list of the words the friends used during the Watchtower study describing apostates.

1 Bitter
2 Cunning
3 Dangerous
4 Dark
5 Disgusting
6 Distorted
7 Filthy
8 Godless
9 Haters of Jehovah
10 Immoral
11 Miserable
12 Nasty
13 Oppressors
14 Satanic
15 Sick
16 Slanderers
17 Unkind
18 Unloving
19 Venomous
20 Wolves in sheep’s clothing

Again, this is only a partial list of the words used by those commenting during the Watchtower study. Is it just me, or is this considered slander toward those of us who have decided to leave the organization due to teachings and policies we believe to be unscriptural?

There have been many articles and comments about apostasy and apostates in the pages of the Watchtower over the years, but take a look at the following paragraph.

The Watchtower 10/1/93 page19 paragraph 15 says this:
“Apostates are included among those who show their hatred of Jehovah by revolting against him. Apostasy is, in reality, a rebellion against Jehovah. Some apostates profess to know and serve God, but they reject teachings or requirements set out in his Word. Others claim to believe the Bible, but they reject Jehovah’s organization and actively try to hinder its work. When they deliberately choose such badness after knowing what is right, when the bad becomes so ingrained that it is an inseparable part of their makeup, then a Christian must hate (in the Biblical sense of the word) those who have inseparably attached themselves to the badness. True Christians share Jehovah’s feelings toward such apostates; they are not curious about apostate ideas. On the contrary, they “feel a loathing” toward those who have made themselves God’s enemies, but they leave it to Jehovah to execute vengeance.”

Does this quote or the comments above sound like they came from a Christian organization? Is this what Jesus taught? By saying and promoting these things, is the Watchtower following the command Jesus gave to love your enemy? Please notice what our Lord Jesus said in Matthew 5:43-48 during His sermon on the mount,

“You heard that it was said, ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those persecuting you45 that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous. 46 For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have? Are not also the tax collectors doing the same thing? 47 And if you greet your brothers only, what extraordinary thing are you doing? Are not also the people of the nations doing the same thing? 48 You must accordingly be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (New World Translation (NWT) Emphasis mine)

While I may not agree with some of the Watchtower’s theology, I do not persecute my JW brethren, neither do I slander them or consider them my enemy. I love them and I continue to pray for them. This same love for the JW congregation is shared among my “apostate” friends who have other websites which are designed, not to tear down the brothers and sisters, but to help JW’s should they decide to leave the organization. Like me, these particular “apostates” have left not because they are immoral or rebellious, but because they have awakened to the fact that the organization is not “the truth” which they thought at first. We are living up to the light that we have and we DO NOT believe salvation comes through an organization. In John 14:6 Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (NWT Emphasis mine)

Jesus is the truth, not an organization! I believe we should be part of a corporate group of Christian fellowship. (Hebrews 10:24-25) I also believe we should try to find a group or Church that teaches the closest thing to Bible truth we can find. (John 4:23-24) If we are part of an organization or Church which is preaching the Gospel and we find another which preaches the Gospel and in addition, other valuable truths which my organization or Church isn‘t teaching, wouldn’t it be wise to go where there is more Bible truth? Would Jehovah and Jesus condemn us for not being part of the Watchtower if we believe in our heart of hearts there is another Church or organization that has more Bible truth than the JW‘s? Are people condemned which are not part of the Watchtower organization?

Please consider this. Right after Jesus and his disciples went into Capernaum, He was counseling them that if anyone welcomes a little child in His (Jesus’) name, they are welcoming Jesus. In turn, by welcoming Jesus, they are welcoming His Father. Immediately following this, notice what happens in Mark 9:38-40:

“John said to him: “Teacher, we saw a certain man expelling demons by the use of your name and we tried to prevent him, because he was not accompanying us.” 39 But Jesus said: “Do not try to prevent him, for there is no one that will do a powerful work on the basis of my name that will quickly be able to revile me; 40 for he that is not against us is for us.” (NWT)

Luke 9:49-50 reports the same account: “In response John said: “Instructor, we saw a certain man expelling demons by the use of your name and we tried to prevent him, because he is not following with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him: “Do not YOU men try to prevent [him], for he that is not against YOU is for YOU.” (NWT)

Stop and think for a moment what is being said here. The disciples actually tried to stop this man who was not part of their “organization” – if you will – from doing a good thing and expelling demons in in the name of our Lord Jesus. Did this mean that he did not have the approval of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ? Absolutely not! We know this because Jesus rebuked His disciples by telling them “Do not try to prevent him.” Then He basically told them that they were on the same team – so to speak – because this man was not against them but  for them.

In the same sense, I am not against the JW organization as far as the good they are doing. I have said, and will continue to say, that the organization has a place in ministering to people for the good. JW’s have helped many people to leave the dregs of society and have taught people how to live clean and moral lives by following Biblical principles. This is certainly a good thing! Also as I have written in the header of this blog, JW’s do have some valuable truths, i.e. the dead are conscious of nothing, the earth will be restored to a paradise, hell is not an eternal burning fire.

However, one of several areas where I have a major problem with the Watchtower leadership is how they treat those of us who have decided to leave because we may disagree with some of the doctrines. If it’s made known that someone disagrees with the Watchtower on any point of doctrine, he will be talked to by the Elders. If he tells them he cannot accept what the Watchtower says, he will be disfellowshipped being completely cut off from association with the congregation whether family or friends.

It seems to me that if the organization is going to have their own definition of apostasy, they should establish levels of apostasy. But the Watchtower does not allow for this. One must treat apostates as if they are the filthiest of the filthy by cutting them off completely simply because of being labeled an apostate by the organization. If a JW does not cut off the apostate completely, the JW has the fearful reality that he or she will be labeled an apostate as well. Of course there are those that have left the organization whom the list above may describe in some way. There are also many who are bitter and will say terrible things about the JW’s. But to make a blanket statement that these words describe all apostates without any kind of disclaimer, makes the leadership in the organization  false teachers,corruptive, deceptive, disloyal, malicious slanderers and meddlers to use the Watchtower’s own words as applied to apostates.

Using the descriptive words of the congregation provided in the list above this would make the organization bitter, cunning, distorted, oppressors, slanderers, unkind and unloving.

Might I submit to you that many who have left and will leave the organization angry and bitter may not be that way if the organization would let them leave with their dignity. They likely would not feel this way if they were still able to communicate at least with their immediate family.

There are many like me that have tremendous love for Jehovah God and His Son Jesus, who have come to realize that our relationship with the Father and His Son is personal. Contrary to what the Watchtower teaches, our relationship with Jehovah is not based on our affiliation with the Watchtower organization. It is based solely our personal relationship with Jehovah and Jesus. Salvation does not come with a religious denomination or through an organization as the Watchtower teaches. Salvation comes from believing in the shed blood of Jesus, repenting of our sins and having faith that Jesus is the risen Christ who is now serving in heaven as our High Priest. Having this faith means that we will live up to the light that we have.

As for me and my personal friends that have been labeled apostates by the Watchtower, we continue to serve Jehovah and our Lord Jesus even though we are not part of the Watchtower organization. We truly love the JW brothers and sisters. That’s why we provide websites such as this one. These sites are designed to help JW’s deal with the unjust, unloving way the Watchtower deals with those who must leave due to doctrinal differences. James said, “Therefore, if one knows how to do what is right and yet does not do it, it is a sin for him.” (James 4:17 NWT)

It would have been a sin for us if we would have remained in the organization.

Mark Martin

(Guest posted by Greybeard taken from HERE)

Rating 4.88 out of 5

Tags: , , ,

17 Comments on Analyzing The Watchtower’s View Of Apostasy

  1. andrew says:

    I liked your comment Mark that many who leave would not be angry and bitter if they were allowed to leave with dignity.

    That is so true. If the society simply said if you don’t believe in our teachings just tell us up front and we’ll go our separate ways and it will be as if you were never baptized into the org.

    But of course it’s not like that. If you let on you honorably don’t believe their teachings anymore you will never see your loved ones who are JWs again. You will be thought of as evil, the scum of the earth, a child of the devil.

    The org. is manufacturing it’s own opposition. Today’s bible students are tomorrow’s apostates.


  2. greybeard says:

    Thank you Mark for a wonderful article! I loved your point about Christ saying, “he who is not against you is for you.” That should be clear but it is not to the Watchtower. Great point!


  3. Alden says:

    There’s a lot to comment on here, Mark! I’ve come to many of the conclusions that you have. It has always been a problem when religions get too “organized” and regimented. There is no room for spontaneous expressions of faith but just a following of the rules. I don’t know why certain people like to rule over the faith of others. It doesn’t make any sense.
    I enjoyed your statement “Jesus is the truth, not an organization! I believe we should be part of a corporate group of Christian fellowship.” An organisation can only be as truthful as it adheres to the spirit of Christ and the WTS has fallen short of this. Individual JWs are still worthy of attention, as long as they don’t try to run other people’s lives or take the other extreme and completely ignore you. Honest and sincere love knows no man-made bounderies.
    I don’t think, however, that you will find “a group or Church that teaches the closest thing to Bible truth we can find.”. ALL organisations have their flaws, including this organized forum, as I’m sure JJ, Andrew, Greybeard, Cedars and most all the other commentators will freely conceed. You have stated the most precious truths in your comments. We need to stick to these until Kingdom come and it will go well with us. We have fellowship; most importantly with Jehovah and his Son. And there are a lot of people out there, good people with hearts of gold, and we want to be there for them, whether they are “organized” or not! May peace and love be with you all.


  4. Pastor Russell on “Organization”,

    “Beware of ‘organization.’ It is wholly unnecessary. THE BIBLE RULES WILL BE THE ONLY RULES YOU WILL NEED. Do not seek to bind others’ consciences, and do not permit others to bind yours. BELIEVE AND OBEY SO FAR AS YOU CAN UNDERSTAND GOD’S WORD TODAY, and so continue growing in grace and knowledge and love day by day.” [Watch. 1895 Sep 15, page 216 (“Concerning Profitable Meetings”)] – Emphasis Theirs

    How far the Society has strayed from their roots!


    Galatians 5:7-8 (NLT)

    7 You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?
    8 It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom.


  5. JWB says:

    Wow, yet another excellent writer! Mark, well done in putting together such an informative article.

    I thought the following quote very interesting. It seems the man was commended for not giving heed to the priest’s warning. I wonder if he was encouraged to think for himself and examine what, from the priest’s perspective, was considered ‘poison’ to see if it was the truth.

    “When I began to study with Jehovah’s Witnesses, I was also preparing for my confirmation as an Anglican. On one occasion, the priest tried to explain the ‘holy’ Trinity. After listening for a while, I spoke up, saying that I did not believe that this doctrine was in the Bible. He retorted: ‘I KNOW THAT YOU ARE READING CERTAIN BOOKS, AND THOSE BOOKS ARE POISONOUS. DON’T READ THEM. You must believe in the Trinity.’ From then on, I never went back to the Anglican church but continued my study with the Witnesses. I was baptized in 1958.” [2005 Yearbook of JWs – Guyana, “My Gilead Assignment Was My Home Country”]

    Dennis, actually the emphasis was not theirs, it was mine! I see you’ve been cutting and pasting, but I’ll forgive you friend. ;o)


  6. jacqueline says:

    All I can say is AMEN! You expressed it well. Thank you.


  7. LonelySheep says:

    “John said to him: “Teacher, we saw a certain man expelling demons by the use of your name and we tried to prevent him, because he was not accompanying us.” 39 But Jesus said: “Do not try to prevent him, for there is no one that will do a powerful work on the basis of my name that will quickly be able to revile me; 40 for he that is not against us is for us.” (NWT)

    Another fine example of how Jehovah’s spirit and blessing are upon ANYBODY who delights in his name is found in Numbers 11. The account with Mark and this one are very similar….notice Joshua’s response to the situation in verse 28….

    Num 11:25 Then Jehovah came down in a cloud and spoke to him and took away some of the spirit that was upon him and put it upon each of the seventy older men. And it came about that as soon as the spirit settled down upon them, then they proceeded to act as prophets; but they did not do it again.
    Num 11:26 Now there were two of the men remaining in the camp. The name of the one was El’dad, and the name of the other was Me’dad. And the spirit began to settle down upon them, as they were among those written down, but they had not gone out to the tent. So they proceeded to act as prophets in the camp.
    Num 11:27 And a young man went running and reporting to Moses and saying: “El’dad and Me’dad are acting as prophets in the camp!”
    Num 11:28 Then Joshua the son of Nun, the minister of Moses from his young manhood on, responded and said: “My lord Moses, restrain them!”
    Num 11:29 However, Moses said to him: “Are you feeling jealous for me? No, I wish that all of Jehovah’s people were prophets, because Jehovah would put his spirit upon them!”

    Moses acting like Jesus, was liberal with the blessing and wanted all to have what he enjoyed, not trying to exclude others.


  8. John S. says:

    If you ever get enough of this abuse from anyone “Lording it over the flock”,you will pack your bags of scriptural knowledge ,turn around and walk away.Don’t go half a block away,come back to the Kingdom Hall door and start knocking,because when that door opens you’ll find some very mean bees will start stinging and stinging.You’ll also find the apostasy rhetoric worse than a sting,as it makes you nauseous,too. But every week you are out,your head will clear.So keep praying for wisdom,and just keep pouring over the New Testament.Read it thru at least three times,nothing else. (books that is)This will guarantee to heal your wounds.Try it.


  9. JWB says:

    Very good points John S. Time away from the KH will indeed give a ‘breathing space’ to gather your thoughts. I believe that there is something like ‘religious addiction’ in the case of life as controlled and managed by the WTS. It will be very difficult for some to wake up if they continue to get their weekly doses of spiritual dependency. Some have found that the only way to heal properly is to “go cold turkey” in that, for the sake of their future emotional health they not only stop engaging in the WTS’ local activities through the congregation, they NEVER enter a KH again. They may also refuse to entertain any ‘shepherding calls’ as these could also persuade the person to go back, especially if they are in an emotionally vulnerable situation.


  10. John S. says:

    I,too appreciated Mark’s articles on apostasy.And if we think about it,the only apostasy we need worry about is that of leaving our dedication to Jah,and the Lord,and deviating from the Gospel as presented in the N.T.The idea of apostasizing from the Watchtower Society? Yeah,ok let’s do that.Everyone I have seen comment on this site has been doing that for one valid reason after another,no need to whine ,or gripe as the W.T. levels a full broadside at you,cause they will and are.They call it ‘theocratic warfare’,and also,”Jehovah will execute vengeance upon them”. Isn’t it clear to everybody that when you get on a site like this,where major doctrinal points or W.T. policies are discussed openly,you have chosen sides,that is you have stepped outside the Watchtower ‘flock’ and are now examining the whole,’elephant’,so to speak.You now begin to analyze whether this fairly large,highly controlled religious movement that claims TOTAL truth,inspiration,direction,protection,wisdom,and blessing from God is what it claims to be.Now the fact that you are doing something that many thousands wish they could do,but are intimidated by fear of punishment,seems beside the point to W.T. They feel totally free to use any measure they can to squash opposition,and dissent from anyone that may start a panic rush for the colliseum gates.They have their methods.And they are far from being tactful,kind,or reasonable.To the contrary,if the W.T. could they would likely revert to methods adopted by any religions of the past who have done the same thing to ‘heritics’.Men are the same…when they hate,they hate.Hate breeds envy,violence and murder.The very indecent doctrine they have that all people of the earth not J.W.’s are to be destroyed at Armageddon is a hate doctrine.Anyone not desiring to stay a Witness,or not happy with their narrow viewpoint after seeing what it really is all about over the years or what has evovled into,needs to be disfellowshipped… is a hate doctrine.Look at Saul of Tarsus,a hater and murderer of Christians.Look at the wars fought in the past and present between religious groups;even in Protestant vss. Catholic.Look at hatred toward Jews,Moslems,Christians,and on and on.This is something to be EXPECTED.The J.W. Society is acting exactly like the world,…”let’s slander them real good before we exticate them,so no one else,especially their relatives( a very gooood knife in the guts)will pay any attention to what they are saying,out of a sense of TERROR over getting the same treatment”.That’s ok,lay it on as thick as you like.I am not the one grinding an axe for the W.T. It is in the past for me now.I will never set at their table again,as I have been free of their doctrines for several years now,and am fully recovered from their spells.I study the word 5 times as much as I ever did as a Witness.I am thoroughly eaten up with the holy spirit,thinking about these Bible truths night and day.I read and post on the internet all hours of day and night,as I know others are doing.The dam has broken,the waters of truth and spirit of freedom is flowing thru the veins of truth seekers worldwide,and neither the W.T. autocrats governments,police forces ,armies here or in demon heaven can stop this,because the spirit is being poured out upon us,and WE CANNOT STOP SPEAKING about what we are learning or about how we feel! Am I right brothers and sisters?Do your worst,cuss,stomp, accuse, vilify,scream accusations,pass gas,belch at, and every other rude and rotten act toward us.It only shows your true colors.You’re wetting your own bed,and you’re gonna have to sleep in your own actions.One wise saying is,”A clean conscience is a soft pillow”.But obviously there is little conscience left in many of these so called Christians.No,my ax is not the one they need worry about. Matt. 3:10


  11. humanencounters says:

    I was a ‘JW’ for almost 30 years, 25 of those in some position as an appointed man. I had deep unsettling thoughts however for many years, before having a particular ‘gestalt’ moment in the middle of the night when I decided to never again step foot across the threshold of a Kingdom Hall. That was almost 3 years ago. I am about to qualify as a psychotherapist and my spirituality is still intact and has in fact matured. Fortunately, my loving wife made the same decision and so we have been able to provide succour for each other. My eldest son left the organisation many years before, however my eldest daughter is still within.


  12. Ruth says:

    Lonely sheep!
    What you wrote is something to be considered very carefully.

    Also we had better make sure we do not take it the wrong way and go back into false religions
    thinking because they use the Lords name its ok!
    This thinking could also be taken in vain?
    Paul also said some were following Apollos and other men A distinction had to be made.
    And it was this. John 14:6 Jesus is the way the truth and the life and no one goes to the Father accept through him.

    Would like to understand exactly what Jesus meant regarding “Who is for us is not against us”
    I have always wanted to know.
    sister Ruth


  13. BRUCEK says:

    It is tragic that an Organization that demands weekly attendance and door-to-door preaching, never acknowledges the loyalty, zeal and devotion of former members. Instead yesterdays brother or sister is today’s Apostate. Every Jehovah’s Witnesses can ask questions, none may demand an answer. Those that do find out that the Love experienced by Jehovah’s Witness is conditioned on unquestioned obedience to a deceptive, desperate group of religious fanatics, i.e. the Governing Body. Destroying families, individuals and friends is the effect of disfellowshiping those who have the courage to confront these Corporate religious fanatics.


  14. sunset says:

    What happened Greybeard? You are so quiet. Sunset


  15. chrissy qu says:

    Jehovahs witnesses are not clear thinking. (The witnesses ) are really what they are because they cant be Jehovahs true witnesses.
    Jesus did not agree with the Pharisees and was out spoken to them. Why cant anyone else be outspoken about real truth ? Im sure that if The jws lived in Jesus day they would call him apostate. Its sad but their god is man, or shall I say a golden calf.


Leave a Reply

Website Apps