Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Poor

If you have ever read any literature published by Jehovah’s Witnesses, you pick up real quick that they love themselves. You know what I mean. They spend endless amounts of time in their writings expounding the virtues and accomplishments of the organization. Never will you find a critical thought or question in the write-in sections. It is all praise and wonder for Jehovah’s visible organization.

Interestingly enough, they also expounded their generosity to the poor in last years May 1, 2006 Watchtower article entitled “Who Will Help the Poor.” It really is a wonderful article that talks about how Jehovah’s Witnesses have helped the poor around the world, unless you know the truth, or are discerning enough to read through the flowery B. S. in the text. If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that none of the poor helped are non-witnesses. What? Surely not you say.

It’s true, and it is borne out on the back cover of the September 1, 2003 edition of the Watchtower in a short called “Real Help for the Poor.” Conspicuously absent is any “real help” at all. The only “help” is a Jehovah’s Witness on your doorstep telling you how it will be in the recreated earth. That’s right, no food, no financial assistance, only worthless words about a future paradise. Now I certainly do believe in future paradise, but we are called to care for the poor and weak here and now.

The New World Translation translates Psalm 72:13 to say that God “feels sorry” for the weak and needy whereas the ESV says, “He has pity.” See the difference? Having pity leads to action, whereas feeling sorry leads to nothing. What good is someone who just feels sorry and yet does nothing? True Jesus Freaks actually do stuff, not just to proselytize people to try to get them to join their religion, but we help people regardless of their religious background because Christ fed thousands, many of whom were not believers at all, and some likely were only there to criticize him.

Nowhere in the Bible that I know of does God say that only the needy or poor believers should be cared for, but all people. Jehovah’s Witnesses love to talk about all the homes they rebuilt after hurricane Katrina, but they neglect to tell you that they didn’t rebuild anybody’s house that was not a “brother.”

A recent study found that Jehovah's Witnesses were the poorest of major religious groups. Their never ending disdain toward education is a primary cause of this. Secondary education is even lower on their list. They discourage education in favor of pioneering, leading to lives unfulfilled, performing menial labor and endless door to door evangelism. They want to tell us they help the poor when they are the poor.

Jehovah’s Witnesses love to tell you about how true religion shows true love. But, are they the only religious organization with love? They seem to think so. The problem that I have with this is the following. What love do they show any one who is not one of them? Showing up at your door to tell you their “good news” doesn’t count because unless you become one of them, they really don’t care. Jesus told us to love our enemy, how much more should we love the harmless and unfortunate?

Poverty is not a family value.

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