HOW TO GET Jehovah's Witnesses TO LISTEN

by ex-JW David A. Reed

Doctrinal Reversals

There is no lack of evidence, because this sect has changed its teachings more than any other major religion. In instance after instance, new Watchtower publications have come out rejecting the organization's own teachings and replacing these with new teachings.

During its first fifty years the sect gave prominence to the Great Pyramid of Egypt, referring to it as "God's Stone Witness," and basing time calculations and prophecies on measurements of the Pyramid's internal passageways. Then, the November 15, 1928 Watch Tower reversed its teaching, saying instead that, "If the pyramid is not mentioned in the Bible, then following its teachings is being led by vain philosophy and false science and not following after Christ." (page 341) And, "Satan put his knowledge in dead stone, which may be called Satan's Bible, and not God's stone witness." (page 344)

During the late 1920s and early 1930s the Society's second president Joseph Franklin ("Judge") Rutherford repudiated many other teachings of founder Charles Taze Russell -- teachings Rutherford had endorsed under Russell's presidency and throughout the first ten years of his own presidency which commenced shortly after Russell's death in 1916.

Among the teachings rejected during this time period were the celebration of Christmas, belief that Jesus died on a cross, and democratic church government in local congregations. (See the books Index of Watchtower Errors and Answering Jehovah's Witnesses Subject by Subject both by David A. Reed and published by Baker Book House.)

Leadership that could change from viewing an Egyptian pyramid as God's stone witness to the Devil's bible and that could reverse itself on a host of other topics would be enough reason for most people to quit a religious group. But clever Watchtower leaders introduced another doctrine that converts such indecisiveness into "proof" that this is God's organization.

When shown such doctrinal reversals, Jehovah's Witnesses respond with a well-practiced reflex, quoting Proverbs 4:18, "But the path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established." (NWT)

Trained to see each doctrinal change as an example of 'the light getting brighter,' JWs have been taught to see this as evidence that they are indeed in God's organization: Where else would one find God correcting the leadership and bringing them into greater understanding?

Still, these doctrinal reversals are worth showing to a Jehovah's Witness -- especially if you can document each one with actual pages from Watchtower publications. Most JWs are totally unfamiliar with the details, and actually seeing the old teaching in print, defended and taught using scriptural arguments, can have great shock value in getting a Witness to wake up and re-examine his or her beliefs.

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