AControversial Community: Jehovah’s Witness
Thereare many secret societies that popularize different ideologies andbeliefs. The Jehovah’s Witness organization is one of thesesocieties, and it was established in the 1870s (MacMillan 1). Interms of structure, Jehovah’s Witness society has a network ofseveral branches and dedicated leaders. The society is led by agoverning body that has seven members. The body operates from theheadquarters located in Brooklyn, New York. It has about 90 branchesacross the globe. The branches are managed by representatives fromthe headquarters. The travel overseers are given the responsibilityof managing circuits that have about 20 congregations. Congregationsare established on the basis of language or geographical area. Eachcongregation has its elders, baptized publishers, ministerialservants, associates, un-baptized followers, and students. Thispaper will provide a discussion of Jehovah’s Witness society, witha focus on its purpose and value to the larger society and members.
PurposeJehovah’s Witness Society
Theaim of establishing the Jehovah`s Witness was to propagate what itsleaders call the “true religion”. The secret society has beenpursuing this purpose by writing its own translation of the bible.This version of the bible is referred to as the New World Translation(Meyer 4). The bible version presents several ideas that areinconsistent with the traditional Christian teachings. For example,the society holds that the trinity of God does not exist. Inaddition, the society teaches its members that Jesus did notresurrect, but He was given a new body. The society holds thatsalvation is a reward that people get after doing some good work. Inthe conventional Christianity members are taught that salvation isattained through grace.
Valueto Members and the Larger Community
Membersof the Organization
Althoughthe leadership of Jehovah’s Witness has managed to convincemillions of people to believe in the doctrine across the globe, thereare three factors indicating that the society has no value to itsmembers. First, the organization does not demonstrate the willingnessto protect its members. Justice is one of the key elements of astable community, which ensures that the sacredness of each member ishonored (Colombo 1). The Jehovah’s Witness society has been accusedof failing to report cases of child abuse to the authority, which isan indication of the fact that kids are insecure in the organization.It is estimated that the organization has failed to report about1,000 cases of sexual abuse against children since the 1950s (Colombo1). Law enforcers claim that members of the clergy are required toconceal any information that could incriminate their followers, whichmake it difficult to find substantial evidence for formalprosecution.
Secondly,the Jehovah’s Witness society does not allow its members to enjoythe freedom of expression. A community is expected to ensure that thefreedom of expression is guarded without compromise (Colombo 1). TheJehovah’s Witness society permits its members to remain friendlywith people from other religions, but not to interact with them orvisit their churches (Colombo 1). In addition, the organization hasstrict rules that do not allow its members to make any complaint.Those who disagree with certain issues are required to remain silent.This is a confirmation that the organization does not give people thefreedom that they need to express themselves.
Apartfrom the lack of value to its members, there are several factorsindicating that the Jehovah’s Witness society does not have valueto the larger community. For example, it has been accused of denyingits members the freedom to join the military force. During the WorldWar II, its members refused to join the military and support theirrespective countries, including Canada, U.S., and Germany (Kuipers27). A decision to deny the members the opportunity to defend theircountries confirms that the organization has no value to the largercommunity. Therefore, the larger community cannot expect any supportfrom the Jehovah’s Witness.
Inaddition, members of the secret society are discouraged from votingor supporting any political ideology. Studies have shown that over 75% of all members claim to be politically independent, 50 % do notrespond to any question regarding their ideologies, and 64 % say thatthey are not registered as voters (Lipka 1). These statistics suggestthat the Jehovah’s Witness society is a barrier to the growth ofdemocracy, which is a key pillar of the community development. Itsactions reveal that it denies its members the opportunity to enjoytheir democratic rights, thus isolating them from the largercommunity.
TheJehovah’s Witness was established with the objective ofpopularizing several beliefs that are inconsistent with theconventional Christian teachings. The society has an establishedleadership structure and branches that are properly managed. Althoughthe society has managed to attract millions of people in differentnations, it is evident that it has no value to its members. Thisweakness is confirmed by its failure to protect children who areabused by other members. It also denies its members the right toenjoy the freedom of speech. In addition, the society does not permitthe members to take part in the military operations and the votingprocess, which indicates that it has no value to the largercommunity.
Bundy,T. Jehovah’s Witness fight law on reporting child sex abuse topolice. TheCenter for Investigative Reporting.1 February. 2016. Web. 17 October 2016.
Colombo,C. six characteristics of strong communities. MassachusettsInstitute of Technology.2016. Web. 17 October 2016.
Kuipers,S. Loyalto Jehovah’s Witness good news: Religious motivation amongJehovah’s Witness.Leiden: Leiden University, 2014. Print.
Lipka,M. A closer look at Jehovah’s Witness living in the U.S. PewResearch Center.26 April 2016. Web. 17 October 2016.
MacMillan,A. Jehovah’s Witness. WorldNews.10 March. 2016. Web. 17 October 2016.
Meyer,S. Acritique of the Jehovah’s Witness doctrine of salvation.Cary: Shepherds Theological Seminary. Print.