Serena Williams confirms she will not celebrate daughter’s first birthday due to Jehovah’s Witness beliefsBy Guest Indiana
Serena Williams’s daughter Alexis Olympia turns 1 this week – but we shouldn’t expect any extravagant party pictures on the ‘gram.
The tennis legend has confirmed that she will not be celebrating her baby girl’s first birthday, due to her beliefs as a Jehovah’s Witness.
Serena was speaking at a press conference at the when she was asked whether she has thought about she’d be celebrating Olympia’s first birthday.
Responding to a reporter asking: ‘Is there a birthday party planned?’, the 36-year-old said: ‘Olympia doesn’t celebrate birthdays. We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses, so we don’t do that.’
It is believed Serena’s husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, is now practicing with his wife, despite not growing up in a religious household.
Speaking to Vogue last year, Serena said: ‘Being a Jehovah’s Witness is important to me, but I’ve never really practiced it and have been wanting to get into it.
‘Alexis didn’t grow up going to any church, but he’s really receptive and even takes the lead. He puts my needs first.’
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe God is the Creator and Supreme Being, and reject the Trinity doctrine.
They do not celebrate religious holidays like Christmas and Easter, and do not observe birthdays or national holidays, feeling that many of these customs have pagan origins and do not celebrate God.
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Sources of doctrine
Jehovah's Witnesses believe their religion is a restoration of first-century Christianity. Doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses are established by the Governing Body, which assumes responsibility for interpreting and applying scripture. The Watch Tower Society does not issue any single, comprehensive "statement of faith", but prefers to express its doctrinal position in a variety of ways in its publications. Its publications teach that doctrinal changes and refinements result from a process of progressive revelation, in which God gradually reveals his will and purpose, and that such enlightenment results from the application of reason and study, the guidance of the holy spirit, and direction from Jesus Christ and angels. The Society also teaches that members of the Governing Body are helped by the holy spirit to discern "deep truths", which are then considered by the entire Governing Body before it makes doctrinal decisions. The religion's leadership, while disclaiming divine inspiration and infallibility, is said to provide "divine guidance" through its teachings described as "based on God's Word thus ... not from men, but from Jehovah."
The entire Protestant canon of scripture is considered the inspired, inerrant word of God. Jehovah's Witnesses consider the Bible to be scientifically and historically accurate and reliable and interpret much of it literally, but accept parts of it as symbolic. They consider the Bible to be the final authority for all their beliefs, although sociologist Andrew Holden's ethnographic study of the religion concluded that pronouncements of the Governing Body, through Watch Tower Society publications, carry almost as much weight as the Bible. Regular personal Bible reading is frequently recommended; Witnesses are discouraged from formulating doctrines and "private ideas" reached through Bible research independent of Watch Tower Society publications, and are cautioned against reading other religious literature. Adherents are told to have "complete confidence" in the leadership, avoid skepticism about what is taught in the Watch Tower Society's literature, and "not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding." The religion makes no provision for members to criticize or contribute to official teachings and all Witnesses must abide by its doctrines and organizational requirements.
Jehovah and Jesus Christ
Jehovah's Witnesses emphasize the use of God's name, represented in the Hebrew Scriptures of the Bible by the Tetragrammaton. In English we prefer to use the name Jehovah. We believe that Jehovah is the only true God, the creator of all things, and the "Universal Sovereign". We believe that all worship should be directed toward Him, and that he is not part of a Trinity; consequently, our religion places more emphasis on Jehovah God than on Christ. We believe that the holy spirit is Jehovah God's applied power or "active force", rather than a person.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus is God's only direct creation, that everything else was created by means of Christ, and that the initial unassisted act of creation uniquely identifies Jesus as God's "only-begotten Son". Jesus served as a redeemer and a ransom sacrifice to pay for the sins of humanity. They believe Jesus died on a single upright torture stake rather than the traditional cross. They believe that references in the Bible to the Archangel Michael, Abaddon (Apollyon), and the Word all refer to Jesus. Jesus is considered to be the only intercessor and high priest between God and humanity, and appointed by God as the king and judge of his kingdom. His role as a mediator (referred to in 1 Timothy 2:5) is applied to the 'anointed' class, though the 'other sheep' are said to also benefit from the arrangement.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Satan was originally a perfect angel who developed feelings of self-importance and craved worship. Satan caused Adam and Eve to disobey God, and humanity subsequently became participants in a challenge involving the competing claims of Jehovah and Satan to universal sovereignty. Other angels who sided with Satan became demons.
Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Satan and his demons were cast down to earth from heaven after October 1, 1914, at which point the end times began. Witnesses believe that Satan is the ruler of the current world order, that human society is influenced and misled by Satan and his demons, and that they are a cause of human suffering. They believe that human governments are controlled by Satan, but that he does not directly control each human ruler.
Life after death
See also the video: What Happen's after Death?
Jehovah's Witnesses believe death is a state of non-existence with no consciousness. There is no Hell of fiery torment; Hades and Sheol are understood to refer to the condition of death, termed the common grave. Jehovah's Witnesses consider the soul to be a life or a living body that can die. Watch Tower Society publications teach that humanity is in a sinful state, from which release is only possible by means of Jesus' shed blood as a ransom, or atonement, for the sins of humankind.
Witnesses believe that a "little flock" go to heaven, but that the hope for life after death for the majority of "other sheep" involves being resurrected by God to a cleansed earth after Armageddon. They interpret Revelation 14:1–5 to mean that the number of Christians going to heaven is limited to exactly 144,000, who will rule with Jesus as kings and priests over earth. Jehovah's Witnesses teach that only they meet scriptural requirements for surviving Armageddon, but that God is the final judge. During Christ's millennial reign, most people who died prior to Armageddon will be resurrected with the prospect of living forever; they will be taught the proper way to worship God to prepare them for their final test at the end of the millennium.
Main article: Eschatology of Jehovah's Witnesses
A central teaching of Jehovah's Witnesses is that the current world era, or "system of things", entered the "last days" in 1914 and faces imminent destruction through intervention by God and Jesus Christ, leading to deliverance for those who worship God acceptably. They consider all other present-day religions to be false, identifying them with "Babylon the Great", or the "harlot", of Revelation 17, and believe that they will soon be destroyed by the United Nations, which they believe is represented in scripture by the scarlet-colored wild beast of Revelation chapter 17. This development will mark the beginning of the "great tribulation". Satan will subsequently attack Jehovah's Witnesses, an action that will prompt God to begin the war of Armageddon, during which all forms of government and all people not counted as Christ's "sheep", or true followers, will be destroyed. After Armageddon, God will extend his heavenly kingdom to include earth, which will be transformed into a paradise similar to the Garden of Eden. After Armageddon, most of those who had died before God's intervention will gradually be resurrected during "judgment day" lasting for one thousand years. This judgment will be based on their actions after resurrection rather than past deeds. At the end of the thousand years, a final test will take place when Satan is released to mislead perfect mankind. Those who fail will be destroyed, along with Satan and his demons. The end result will be a fully tested, glorified human race. Christ will then hand all authority back to God.
Watch Tower Society publications teach that Jesus Christ began to rule in heaven as king of God's kingdom in October 1914, and that Satan was subsequently ousted from heaven to the earth, resulting in "woe" to humanity. They believe that Jesus rules invisibly, from heaven, perceived only as a series of "signs". They base this belief on a rendering of the Greek word parousia—usually translated as "coming" when referring to Christ—as "presence". They believe Jesus' presence includes an unknown period beginning with his inauguration as king in heaven in 1914, and ending when he comes to bring a final judgment against humans on earth. They thus depart from the mainstream Christian belief that the "second coming" of Matthew 24 refers to a single moment of arrival on earth to judge humans.
Meetings for worship and study are held at Kingdom Halls, which are typically functional in character, and do not contain religious symbols. Witnesses are assigned to a congregation in whose "territory" they usually reside and attend weekly services they refer to as "meetings" as scheduled by congregation elders. The meetings are largely devoted to study of Watch Tower Society literature and the Bible. The format of the meetings is established by the religion's headquarters, and the subject matter for most meetings is the same worldwide. Congregations meet for two sessions each week comprising five distinct meetings that total about three-and-a-half hours, typically gathering mid-week (three meetings) and on the weekend (two meetings). Prior to 2009, congregations met three times each week; these meetings were condensed, with the intention that members dedicate an evening for "family worship". Gatherings are opened and closed with kingdom songs (hymns) and brief prayers. Each year, Witnesses from a number of congregations that form a "circuit" gather for one-day, and two-day assemblies. Several circuits meet once a year for a three-day "district convention", usually at rented stadiums or auditoriums. Their most important and solemn event is the commemoration of the "Lord's Evening Meal", or "Memorial of Christ's Death" on the date of the Jewish Passover.
Different Schools Provided for Training within Jehovah's Witnesses
Do Jehovah's Witnesses Practice Tithing?
Jehovah's Witnesses are known for their preaching from house to house.
See also: Jehovah's Witnesses publications
Jehovah's Witnesses are perhaps best known for their efforts to spread their beliefs, most notably by visiting people from house to house, distributing literature published by the Watch Tower Society in 700 languages. The objective is to start a regular "Bible study" with any person who is not already a member. Once the study course is completed, the individual is expected to become baptized as a member of the group. Witnesses are told they are under a biblical command to engage in public preaching. They are instructed to devote as much time as possible to their ministry and are required to submit an individual monthly "Field Service Report". Baptized members who fail to submit a report every month are termed "irregular" and may be counseled by elders; those who do not submit a report for six consecutive months are termed "inactive".
Ethics and morality
See article: Sex and Jehovah's Witnesses
Their views of morality reflect conservative Christian values. All sexual relations outside of marriage are grounds for expulsion if the individual is not deemed repentant; homosexual activity is considered a serious sin, and same-sex marriages are forbidden. Abortion is considered murder. Suicide is considered to be "self-inflicted murder" and a sin against God. Modesty in dress and grooming is frequently emphasized. Gambling, drunkenness, illegal drugs, and tobacco use are forbidden. Drinking of alcoholic beverages is permitted in moderation.
The family structure is patriarchal. The husband is considered to have authority on family decisions, but is encouraged to solicit his wife's thoughts and feelings, as well as those of his children. Marriages are required to be monogamous and legally registered. Marrying a non-believer, or endorsing such a union, is strongly discouraged and carries religious sanctions. Divorce is discouraged, and remarriage is forbidden unless a divorce is obtained on the grounds of adultery, termed "a scriptural divorce". If a divorce is obtained for any other reason, remarriage is considered adulterous unless the prior spouse has died or is since considered to have committed fornication. Extreme physical abuse, willful non-support of one's family, and what the religion terms "absolute endangerment of spirituality" are considered grounds for legal separation.
Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses and congregational discipline
Formal discipline is administered by congregation elders. When a baptized member is accused of committing a serious sin—usually cases of sexual misconduct or charges of apostasy for disputing the Watch Tower Society's doctrines—a judicial committee is formed to determine guilt, provide help and possibly administer discipline. Disfellowshipping, a form of shunning, is the strongest form of discipline, administered to an offender deemed unrepentant. Contact with disfellowshipped individuals is limited to direct family members living in the same home, and with congregation elders who may invite disfellowshipped persons to apply for reinstatement; formal business dealings may continue if contractually or financially obliged. Witnesses are taught that avoiding social and spiritual interaction with disfellowshipped individuals keeps the congregation free from immoral influence and that "losing precious fellowship with loved ones may help [the shunned individual] to come 'to his senses,' see the seriousness of his wrong, and take steps to return to Jehovah." The practice of shunning may also serve to deter other members from dissident behavior. Members who disassociate (formally resign) are described in Watch Tower Society literature as wicked and are also shunned. Expelled individuals may eventually be reinstated to the congregation if deemed repentant by elders in the congregation in which the disfellowshipping was enforced. Reproof is a lesser form of discipline given formally by a judicial committee to a baptized Witness who is considered repentant of serious sin; the reproved person temporarily loses conspicuous privileges of service, but suffers no restriction of social or spiritual fellowship. Marking, a curtailing of social but not spiritual fellowship, is practiced if a baptized member persists in a course of action regarded as a violation of Bible principles but not a serious sin.[note 4]
Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses and governments
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the Bible condemns the mixing of religions, on the basis that there can only be one truth from God, and therefore reject interfaith and ecumenical movements. They believe that only their religion represents true Christianity, and that other religions fail to meet all the requirements set by God and will soon be destroyed. Jehovah's Witnesses are taught that it is vital to remain "separate from the world." Watch Tower Society publications define the "world" as "the mass of mankind apart from Jehovah's approved servants" and teach that it is morally contaminated and ruled by Satan. Witnesses are taught that association with "worldly" people presents a "danger" to their faith, and are instructed to minimize social contact with non-members to better maintain their own standards of morality.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe their highest allegiance belongs to God's kingdom, which is viewed as an actual government in heaven, with Christ as king. They remain politically neutral, do not seek public office, and are discouraged from voting, though individual members may participate in uncontroversial community improvement issues. They do not celebrate religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter, nor do they observe birthdays, nationalistic holidays, or other celebrations they consider to honor people other than Jesus. They feel that these and many other customs have pagan origins or reflect a nationalistic or political spirit. Their position is that these traditional holidays reflect Satan's control over the world. Witnesses are told that spontaneous giving at other times can help their children to not feel deprived of birthdays or other celebrations.
They do not work in industries associated with the military, do not serve in the armed services, and refuse national military service, which in some countries may result in their arrest and imprisonment. They do not salute or pledge allegiance to flags or sing national anthems or patriotic songs. Jehovah's Witnesses see themselves as a worldwide brotherhood that transcends national boundaries and ethnic loyalties. Sociologist Ronald Lawson has suggested the religion's intellectual and organizational isolation, coupled with the intense indoctrination of adherents, rigid internal discipline and considerable persecution, has contributed to the consistency of its sense of urgency in its apocalyptic message.
See also: Are Jehovah's Witnesses a Religion?
Yearbook 2002, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, p. 31, 2002 Van Voorst,Robert E. (2012). RELG: World (with Religion CourseMate with eBook Printed Access Card). Cengage Learning. p. 288. ISBN 1-1117-2620-5. Organized to Do Jehovah's Will, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2005, pages 17–18. "Cooperating With the Governing Body Today,", The Watchtower, March 15, 1990, page 19. Beckford 1975, p. 119 "Focus on the Goodness of Jehovah's Organization". The Watchtower: 22. 15 July 2006. "Impart God's Progressive Revelation to Mankind", The Watchtower, March 1, 1965, pp. 158–159 Penton 1997, pp. 165–171 "Flashes of Light—Great and Small", The Watchtower, May 15, 1995, page 15. Penton 1997, p. 165 J. F. Rutherford, Preparation, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1933, page 64, 67, "Enlightenment proceeds from Jehovah by and through Christ Jesus and is given to the faithful anointed on earth at the temple, and brings great peace and consolation to them. Again Zechariah talked with the angel of the Lord, which shows that the remnant are instructed by the angels of the Lord. The remnant do not hear audible sounds, because such is not necessary. Jehovah has provided his own good way to convey thoughts to the minds of his anointed ones ... Those of the remnant, being honest and true, must say, We do not know; and the Lord enlightens them, sending his angels for that very purpose." "The Spirit Searches into the Deep Things of God", The Watchtower, July 15, 2010, page 23, "When the time comes to clarify a spiritual matter in our day, holy spirit helps responsible representatives of 'the faithful and discreet slave' at world headquarters to discern deep truths that were not previously understood. The Governing Body as a whole considers adjusted explanations. What they learn, they publish for the benefit of all." "Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible?". The Watchtower: 19. February 15, 1981. "True, the brothers preparing these publications are not infallible. Their writings are not inspired as are those of Paul and the other Bible writers. (2 Tim. 3:16) And so, at times, it has been necessary, as understanding became clearer, to correct views. (Prov. 4:18)" "Do You See the Evidence of God's Guidance?", The Watchtower, April 15, 2011, pages 3–5, "How, then, do we react when we receive divine direction? Do we try to apply it “right afterward”? Or do we continue doing things just as we have been accustomed to doing them? Are we familiar with up-to-date directions, such as those regarding conducting home Bible studies, preaching to foreign speaking people, regularly sharing in family worship, cooperating with Hospital Liaison Committees, and conducting ourselves properly at conventions? ... Do you clearly discern the evidence of divine guidance? Jehovah uses his organization to guide us, his people, through “the wilderness” during these last days of Satan’s wicked world." "Unity Identifies True Worship", The Watchtower, September 15, 2010, page 13 par.8 "This spiritual food is based on God’s Word. Thus, what is taught is not from men but from Jehovah." "Overseers of Jehovah’s People", The Watchtower, June 15, 1957, "Let us now unmistakably identify Jehovah’s channel of communication for our day, that we may continue in his favor ... It is vital that we appreciate this fact and respond to the directions of the “slave” as we would to the voice of God, because it is His provision." Penton 1997, p. 172 All Scripture is Inspired of God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1990, page 336. All Scripture is Inspired of God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1990, page 9. Reasoning From The Scriptures | pp. 199–208 Jehovah's Witnesses Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 67, "Materials such as The Watchtower are almost as significant to the Witnesses as the Bible, since the information is presented as the inspired work of theologians, and they are, therefore, believed to contain as much truth as biblical texts." James A. Beverley, Crisis of Allegiance, Welch Publishing Company, Burlington, Ontario, 1986, ISBN 0-920413-37-4, pages 25–26, 101, "For every passage in Society literature that urges members to be bold and courageous in critical pursuits, there are many others that warn about independent thinking and the peril of questioning the organization ... Fear of disobedience to the Governing Body keeps Jehovah's Witnesses from carefully checking into biblical doctrine or allegations concerning false prophecy, faulty scholarship, and injustice. Witnesses are told not to read books like this one." "Keep Clear of False Worship!", The Watchtower, 15 March 2006, "True Christians keep clear of false worship, rejecting false religious teachings. This means that we avoid exposure to religious programs on radio and television as well as religious literature that promotes lies about God and his Word." "Questions From Readers—Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses decline to exchange their Bible study aids for the religious literature of people they meet". The Watchtower: 31. May 1, 1984. "So it would be foolhardy, as well as a waste of valuable time, for Jehovah’s Witnesses to accept and expose themselves to false religious literature that is designed to deceive." Question Box, Our Kingdom Ministry, September 2007, "Throughout the earth, Jehovah’s people are receiving ample spiritual instruction and encouragement at congregation meetings, assemblies, and conventions, as well as through the publications of Jehovah’s organization. Under the guidance of his holy spirit and on the basis of his Word of truth, Jehovah provides what is needed so that all of God’s people may be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought and remain stabilized in the faith. Surely we are grateful for Jehovah’s spiritual provisions in these last days. Thus, the faithful and discreet slave does not endorse any literature, meetings, or Web sites that are not produced or organized under its oversight." "Make Your Advancement Manifest", The Watchtower, August 1, 2001, page 14, "Since oneness is to be observed, a mature Christian must be in unity and full harmony with fellow believers as far as faith and knowledge are concerned. He does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding. Rather, he has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by Jehovah God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and the faithful and discreet slave." Testimony by Fred Franz, Transcript, Lord Strachan vs. Douglas Walsh, 1954. page 123, Q: "Did you imply that the individual member has the right of reading the books and the Bible and forming his own view as to the proper interpretation of Holy Writ? A:" .... No....The Scripture is there given in support of the statement, and therefore the individual when he looks up the Scripture and thereby verifies the statement,...search[es] the Scripture to see whether these things were so." "Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible?", The Watchtower, February 15, 1981, page 19, "Jesus’ disciples wrote many letters to Christian congregations, to persons who were already in the way of the truth. But nowhere do we read that those brothers first, in a skeptical frame of mind, checked the Scriptures to make certain that those letters had Scriptural backing, that the writers really knew what they were talking about. We can benefit from this consideration. If we have once established what instrument God is using as his 'slave' to dispense spiritual food to his people, surely Jehovah is not pleased if we receive that food as though it might contain something harmful. We should have confidence in the channel God is using." Beckford 1975, pp. 84, 89, 92, 119–120 "Questions From Readers", The Watchtower April 1, 1986 pp. 30–31. Holden, Andrew (2002). Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement. Routledge. p. 24. ISBN 0-415-26609-2. Ringnes, Hege Kristin; Helje Kringlebotn Sødal (ed.) (2009). Jehovas vitner—en flerfaglig studie (in Norwegian). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. p. 27. Holden, A. (2002). Cavorting With the Devil: Jehovah's Witnesses Who Abandon Their Faith (PDF). Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YL, UK. p. Endnote . Retrieved 2009-06-21. Alan Rogerson (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Constable. p. 87. Beckford 1975, p. 105 Revelation Its Grand Climax, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1988, pg 36, "In the songbook produced by Jehovah’s people in 1905, there were twice as many songs praising Jesus as there were songs praising Jehovah God. In their 1928 songbook, the number of songs extolling Jesus was about the same as the number extolling Jehovah. But in the latest songbook of 1984, Jehovah is honored by four times as many songs as is Jesus. This is in harmony with Jesus’ own words: 'The Father is greater than I am.' Love for Jehovah must be preeminent, accompanied by deep love for Jesus and appreciation of his precious sacrifice and office as God’s High Priest and King." Alan Rogerson (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Constable. p. 90. "What is the Holy Spirit?". The Watchtower: 5. October 1, 2009. "There is a close connection between the holy spirit and the power of God. The holy spirit is the means by which Jehovah exerts his power. Put simply, the holy spirit is God’s applied power, or his active force." Hoekema 1963, p. 262 Hoekema 1963, pp. 276–277 Penton 1997, p. 372 Hoekema 1963, p. 270 "Stay in the “City of Refuge” and Live!", The Watchtower, November 15, 1995, page 19 Penton 1997, pp. 188–189 Penton 1997, pp. 188–190 Hoekema 1963, pp. 298–299 Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 25 "Identifying the Wild Beast and Its Mark". The Watchtower: 5. 1 April 2004. "This does not mean, however, that every human ruler is a direct tool of Satan." Hoekema 1963, pp. 322–324 Hoekema 1963, pp. 265–269 Penton 1997, p. 186 Penton 1997, p. 193–194 "Remaining Organized for Survival Into the Millennium", The Watchtower, September 1, 1989, page 19, "Only Jehovah's Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the 'great crowd,'as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil." You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth,, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1989, pg 255, "Do not conclude that there are different roads, or ways, that you can follow to gain life in God's new system. There is only one ... there will be only one organization—God's visible organization—that will survive the fast-approaching 'great tribulation.' It is simply not true that all religions lead to the same goal. You must be part of Jehovah's organization, doing God's will, in order to receive his blessing of everlasting life." "Our Readers Ask: Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe That They Are the Only Ones Who Will Be Saved?", The Watchtower, November 1, 2008, page 28, "Jehovah's Witnesses hope to be saved. However, they also believe that it is not their job to judge who will be saved. Ultimately, God is the Judge. He decides." Hoekema 1963, pp. 315–319 Insight on the Scriptures Volume 1 p. 606 "Declare Righteous" Hoekema 1963, p. 297 Hoekema 1963, pp. 286 "Apocalypse—When?", The Watchtower, February 15, 1986, page 6. Penton 1997, p. 180 Hoekema 1963, pp. 307–321 Penton 1997, p. 17–19 The Watchtower 10/1/92 p. 16 par. 6 "The Messiah’s Presence and His Rule" Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 64–69 2010 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses: p. 6 Highlights of the Past Year "UPBUILDING AND ENJOYABLE FAMILY WORSHIP" The Watchtower 5/15 2011 p. 14 par 13 Christian Families—“Keep Ready” Maintain a Family Worship Evening Hoekema 1963, p. 292 Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. p. 5. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 1. ISBN 978-0094559400. Whalen, William J. (1962). Armageddon Around the Corner: A Report on Jehovah's Witnesses. New York: John Day Company. p. 15,18. "Global Printing—Helping People to Learn About God", online, jw.org Ringnes, Hege Kristin; Helje Kringlebotn Sødal (ed.) (2009). Jehovas vitner—en flerfaglig studie (in Norwegian). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. p. 43. "Question Box: How long should a formal Bible study be conducted with an individual in the Knowledge book?". 'Our Kingdom Ministry. October 1996. "We want people to receive a basic knowledge of the truth. Yet it is expected that within a relatively short period of time, an effective teacher will be able to assist a sincere average student to acquire sufficient knowledge to make an intelligent decision to serve Jehovah... (if there is no) clear evidence of his desire to serve Jehovah .... it may be advisable to discontinue the study." Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 77. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. "The society states explicitly that all Bible studies should quickly show signs of 'real progress' to be deemed worthy of pursuit ... unless the potential converts are willing to give clear indication that they accept both the doctrines and the consequent responsibilities of attending meetings and going from door to door themselves, the study should be discontinued." Bearing Thorough Witness About God's Kingdom, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2009, page 63, "Do you obey the command to bear thorough witness, even if the assignment causes you some apprehension?" "Determined to bear thorough witness," The Watchtower, December 15, 2008, page 19, "When the resurrected Jesus spoke to disciples gathered in Galilee, likely 500 of them, he commanded: '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.' That command applies to all true Christians today." Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 52. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. "Do You Contribute to an Accurate Report?", Our Kingdom Ministry, December 2002, page 8, "Jehovah’s organization today instructs us to report our field service activity each month ... At the end of the month, the book study overseer makes sure that all in the group have followed through on their responsibility to report their activity." "Regularity in Service Brings Blessings", Our Kingdom Ministry, May 1984, page 7. "Helping Irregular Publishers". Our Kingdom Ministry: 7. December 1987. "Keep the Word of Jehovah Moving Speedily". Our Kingdom Ministry: 1. October 1982. Chryssides, G.D. (1999). Exploring New Religions. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 103. ISBN 0-304-33651-3. "Imitate Jehovah—Exercise Justice and Righteousness", The Watchtower, August 1, 1998, page 16. Holden & 2002 Portrait, pp. 26–27, 173 "Questions From Readers". The Watchtower: 30,31. June 15, 2002. Penton 1997, pp. 152, 180 "The Bible's Viewpoint What Does It Mean to Be the Head of the House?".Awake!: 26. July 8, 2004. "Christian Weddings That Bring Joy". The Watchtower: 11. 15 April 1984. Shepherd the Flock of God. pp. 37–38, 124–125. "How should individual Christians and the congregation as a whole view the Bible advice to marry "only in the Lord"?". The Watchtower: 31. 15 March 1982. Penton 1997, pp. 110–112 "Adultery". Insight on the Scriptures 1. p. 53. "Marriage—Why Many Walk Out", Awake!, July 8, 1993, page 6, "A legal divorce or a legal separation may provide a measure of protection from extreme abuse or willful nonsupport." "When Marital Peace Is Threatened". The Watchtower: 22. 1 November 1988. Beckford 1975, pp. 54–55 Penton 1997, pp. 106–108 Osamu Muramoto (August 1998). "Bioethics of the refusal of blood by Jehovah's Witnesses: Part 1. Should bioethical deliberation consider dissidents' views?". Journal of Medical Ethics 24 (4): 223–230.doi:10.1136/jme.24.4.223. PMC 1377670. PMID 9752623. The Watchtower April 15, 1988. Jehovah's Witnesses Official Media Web Site: Our History and Organization, "Do you shun former members? ... If, however, someone unrepentantly practices serious sins, such as drunkenness, stealing or adultery, he will be disfellowshipped and such an individual is avoided by former fellow-worshipers. ... The marriage relationship and normal family affections and dealings can continue. ... Disfellowshipped individuals may continue to attend religious services and, if they wish, they may receive spiritual counsel from the elders with a view to their being restored. They are always welcome to return to the faith [emphasis retained from source]" "Display Christian Loyalty When a Relative Is Disfellowshipped". Our Kingdom Ministry: 3–4. August 2002. "Disfellowshipping-How to View It". The Watchtower: 24. 15 September 1981. "Appendix: How to Treat a Disfellowshipped person". Keep Yourselves in God's Love. Jehovah's Witnesses. 2008. pp. 207–209. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 163 "Disfellowshiping—How to View It", The Watchtower, September 15, 1981, page 23. "Do You Hate Lawlessness?", The Watchtower, February 15, 2011, page 31. Franz, Raymond. Crisis of Conscience. p. 358. Shepherd the Flock of God. Watch Tower Society. p. 119. "Questions From Readers", The Watchtower, January 1, 1983 pp. 30–31. "Should the Religions Unite?". The Watchtower: 741–742. 15 December 1953. "Is Interfaith God's Way?". The Watchtower: 69. 1 February 1952. Beckford 1975, p. 202, "The ideological argument states that, since absolute truth is unitary and exclusive of all relativisation, there can only 'logically' be one human organization to represent it. Consequently, all other religious organizations are in error and are to be strictly avoided. The absolutist view of truth further implies that, since anything less than absolute truth can only corrupt and destroy it, there can be no justification for Jehovah's witnesses having any kind of association with other religionists, however sincere the motivation might be." "15 Worship That God Approves". What Does The Bible Really Teach?. p. 145. Reasoning From the Scriptures, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1989, pages 435–436. "Live a Balanced, Simple Life", The Watchtower, July 15, 1989, page 11. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 12 "Keep Your Distance When Danger Threatens". The Watchtower: 23. February 15, 1994. "Steering Clear of Danger ... We must also be on guard against extended association with worldly people. Perhaps it is a neighbor, a school friend, a workmate, or a business associate. ... What are some of the dangers of such a friendship? We could begin to minimize the urgency of the times we live in or take a growing interest in material rather than spiritual things. Perhaps, because of a fear of displeasing our worldly friend, we would even desire to be accepted by the world." Holden & 2002 Portrait, pp. 109–112 Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. p. 409. ISBN 0-914675-17-6. ""Each One Will Carry His Own Load", The Watchtower, March 15, 2006, page 23. Bryan R. Wilson, "The Persistence of Sects", Diskus, Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religions, Vol 1, No. 2, 1993, "They have extensive contact with the wider public, [in Britain in 1989, 108,000 publishers undertook 23 million hours of house-calls]. Yet, they remain little affected by that exposure—they confine their contacts to their single-minded purpose and avoid all other occasions for association." Questions From Readers, The Watchtower, November 1, 1999, p. 28,"As to whether they will personally vote for someone running in an election, each one of Jehovah's Witnesses makes a decision based on his Bible-trained conscience and an understanding of his responsibility to God and to the State." Questions From Readers, The Watchtower, March 1, 1983, p. 30 Reasoning From The Scriptures p. 178 Holidays The Watchtower 8/15/09 p. 22 par. 20 “Keep Yourselves in God’s Love” The Watchtower 9/15/68 p. 573 par 6 "The Seriousness of It" The Watchtower 10/15/92 p. 18 par. 21 "Work to Preserve Your Family Into God’s New World" Worship the Only True God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2002, p. 159. Korea government promises to adopt alternative service system for conscientious objectors Education, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2002, pp. 20–23 Owens, Gene (September 1997). "Trials of a Jehovah's Witness.(The Faith of Journalists)". Nieman Reports. Racial and ethnic unity Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Media Web Site Ronald Lawson, "Sect-state relations: Accounting for the differing trajectories of Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses", Sociology of Religion, Winter 1995, "The urgency of the Witness's apocalyptic has changed very little over time. The intellectual isolation of the Witness leaders has allowed them to retain their traditional position, and it is they who continue to be the chief purveyors of the radical eschataology ....This commitment (to principle) was bolstered by their organizational isolation, intense indoctrination of adherents, rigid internal discipline, and considerable persecution."
By The Librarian
The world looks a lot different through the eyes of little children. And according to a recent study in Imagination, Cognition, and Personality, the idea of aging might look different too. A good number of children aged three to five seemed to think that birthday parties were responsible for making people grow older. According to those kids, if a person doesnÂ’t have a birthday party, they stay the same age.
Developmental psychologist Jacqueline Woolley and her team at the University of Texas, Austin, compiled two studies in which they tested childrenÂ’s understanding of aging by telling them stories.
In the first study, the researchers told 99 American children between the ages of 3 and 5 aÂ story about a child who had no birthday party. Then, a story about a child who had two birthday parties. Â“The third was simply about a child who was turning 3,Â”Â the authors write. After hearing the stories, the children were asked to tell the age of each character.
WoolleyÂ’s team expected that 4- and 5-year-olds would do significantly better than 3-year-oldsÂ at reporting the age of the character in each story. And that was mostly true for the stories with no birthday party and with one birthday party. But for the third scenario, in which a child had two birthday parties, all the kids seemed confused.Â
Thirty-eight percent of all the children were confused by the two-birthday party scenario, and incorrectly answered that the child in that story would be two years older. They had an easier time wrapping their head around the scenario of children with no birthday parties, and children who had one birthday party on their birthday.Â
The researchers also tested children's beliefs about the way adults age by telling a story about a woman who does not want to grow older. The researchers' scenario went like this: Â“This is Mrs. Jamison. She is a teacher. How old do you think she is? Tomorrow is her birthday. But she does not want to get older. She wants to stay the same age for the rest of her life. Can Mrs. Jamison stay the same age and not get older? Does Mrs. Jamison have to get older even if she does not want to?Â”
Apparently, this caused some confusion among the children. Seventy-oneÂ percent of three-year-oldsÂ responded that yes, Mrs. Jamison could make herself younger. The older kids did better on that question, and all of the kids were able to correctly answer the other questions about Mrs. Jamison's age.Â
But why carry out this study in the first place? A lot of research explores how children understand the facts of the world around them as they age. The researchers citeÂ studies from the 1980sÂ in which it was shown that children as young as 3 understand the idea that living things grow and objects do not.Â
But birthday parties are a cultural practice.Â Jehovah's Witnesses, for instance, don't celebrate birthdays. So the researchers set out to study how a piece of culture might affect the way children think about an idea that overlaps culture and biology. And, as it turns out, kids think the darnedest things.Â
So.... I am wondering.... what did they find out about JW's? .... Anyone else left wondering?
By Guest Nicole
Prince reportedly once said he wanted President Obama to outlaw birthdays and Christmas.
“Why doesn’t Obama just outlaw birthdays?” the “Purple Rain” singer once asked Van Jones, the CNN political commentator reveals in a story published Thursday in GQ magazine.
The “Purple Rain” singer, who died in April at age 57 from an accidental drug overdose, was baptized as a Jehovah’s Witness in 2003. Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate birthdays because they “believe that such celebrations displease God” and because Christmas has pagan roots, according to the Church’s official website.
“Although we choose not to celebrate Christmas ourselves, we respect each person’s right to decide for himself in this matter. We do not interfere in the Christmas celebrations of others,” the website states.
Jones said Prince told him, “I was hoping that Obama as soon as he was elected, would get up and announce there’d be no more Christmas presents and no more birthdays — we’ve got too much to do.
Jones, who indicated he was laughing during the conversation with the music superstar, replied, “I don’t know if that would go over too well.”
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