On October 28, 2011, I posted 12 Questions I Found Useful Asking Jehovah’s Witnesses. Since then I received 2 responses from Jehovah’s Witnesses’ reddit members with profile names jw101 and JWJONAH.
This is a companion to the first question in my 12 questions I found useful asking JW, responding jw101 and JWJONAH’s answers to my questions.
I found hope and was encouraged by Apostle Peter’s words when I wrote this companion. He wrote:
“Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.”(1 Peter 3:13-17 ESV)
JWJONAH wrote: “This guy [Prayson Daniel]is the new kid on the blogspam block. He came out strong trying to make a name bashing JW’s. I answered his lies on reddit and refused to answer them on his blog as he wanted. He has yet to answer my questions. All he is a spam blogger.”
With gentleness and respect, let us look at the answers given by JWJONAH and jw101:
1. Why did Jehovah’s Witnesses properly worshiped Christ Jesus until 1954?
Jw101: “I would have to see some articles about this to understand what the OP talking about. Most likely it is a misunderstanding of some sort.”
In Did Jehovah’s Witnesses Properly Worshiped Jesus? post, I presented Watchtower’s published literatures that recorded Jehovah’s witnesses’ properly worshiping Christ Jesus.
Ask, in love and gentleness, for JW to present a single Watchtower published literature before 1954 that deny worship to Christ Jesus. All jw101 could produce was that JW worshiped God the Father, true! But they also worshiped the Son of God.
One clear evidence is found in the original Watchtower’s legal Charter that stated the purposes of their Society: “to prepare, support, maintain and send out to various parts of the world Christian missionaries, teachers and instructors in the Bible and Bible literature and for public Christian worship of Almighty God and Christ Jesus” 1945′s Yearbook(emphasis added)
JWJONAH: “This make no sense we decided upon the name Jehovah Witnesses in the 1930’s. Probably what you are referring to as of the last song book revision we had more songs that focused on Jesus and less on the Father that we corrected.”
It is true the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” was adopted at Columbus, Ohio, in 1931 when Rutherford filled in the J.W. initials, renaming what was already C. T. Russell’s movement: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society(from Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society,) of Pennsylvania movement.
“The meaning of `JW’ was revealed on Sunday, July 26, 1931, when thrilled conventioners heartily adopted a resolution presented by J. F. Rutherford and entitled `A New Name.’ It said, in part: … therefore we joyfully embrace and take the name which the mouth of the Lord God has named, and we desire to be known as and called by the name, to wit, Jehovah’s witnesses.'” (WB&TS, 1975, pp.149-150).
“A milestone, though, was reached at a convention held in Columbus, Ohio, in 1931. On Sunday, July 26, at noon, Brother Rutherford delivered the public discourse `The Kingdom, the Hope of the World,’ which was broadcast over a vast radio hookup, with more than 300 additional stations later rebroadcasting the message. At the end of the discourse, Brother Rutherford served notice on Christendom by reading a stinging resolution entitled `Warning From Jehovah,’ which was addressed `To the Rulers and to the People.’ To his invitation that they adopt the resolution, the entire visible audience stood and shouted, `Aye!’ Telegrams later received indicated that many of those listening on the radio likewise raised their voices in agreement. From one o’clock, when the public discourse was finished, until four o’clock, when Brother Rutherford reentered the auditorium, the atmosphere was charged with excitement. Brother Rutherford had specially requested that everyone who was really interested in the noonday warning to Christendom be in his seat at four o’clock. Promptly at four, Brother Rutherford began by stating that he regarded what he was about to say as of vital importance to everyone who could hear his voice. His listeners were keenly interested. During his discourse he presented another resolution, this one entitled `A New Name,’ which was climaxed by the declaration: `We desire to be known as and called by the name, to wit, Jehovah’s witnesses. `The thrilled convent’ again jumped to their feet with the ringing shout `Aye!’ They would henceforth be known as Jehovah’s Witnesses!” (WB&TS, “Jehovah’s Witnesses, Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom,” Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Brooklyn NY, 1993, pp.79,82. Emphasis original)
“In exalting Jehovah’s name, however, the convention of God’s people at Columbus, Ohio, July 24-30, 1931, was a milestone. . It was unique in that extension conventions were scheduled for 165 other places throughout the earth. But that was not the most important factor. There was something much more significant. It was linked with the enigmatic letters `JW’ appearing on the printed assembly program and the title page of The Messenger, the convention newspaper-in fact, seen in many places. `When we got near the assembly grounds,’ remarks Burnice E. Williams, Sr., `we saw “JW” all over the place. But not knowing what it stood for, we were all wondering, “What is this JW for?”‘ Sister Herschel Nelson recalls: `Speculations were made as to what JW stood for-Just Wait, Just Watch, and the correct one …” (WB&TS, “1975 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses,” Watchtower Bible & Tract Society: Brooklyn NY, 1975, p.149).
Even if we grant that new name means new record, we still have two decades of worshiping of Jesus under the new name: Jehovah’s Witnesses.
[Update: Joseph Franklin Rutherford, who renamed the movement, continued in the teaching of proper worshiping of Christ Jesus:
“Jehovah God commands all to worship Christ Jesus because Christ Jesus is the express image of his Father, Jehovah, and because he is the Executive Officer of Jehovah always carrying out Jehovah’s purpose (Heb.:3-6).” Watchtower 1939 Nov. 15 p.339
“During the Millennium, “the princes will lead the people in their worship of Jehovah and of Christ.” Vindication Volume 3 p.295
“The people of all nations who obtain salvation must come to the house of the Lord to worship there; that is to say, they must believe on and worship Jehovah God and the Lord Jesus Christ, his chief instrument (Philippians 2:10, 11).” Salvation p.151]
The question remain unanswered: Why did Jehovah’s Witnesses properly worshiped Christ Jesus until 1954?
Next: Companion To Question 2