Witnesses undergoing baptism are required to publicly confirm that they are associating themselves "with God's spirit-directed organization",  thereby submitting themselves to its direction and judicial system. Disagreement with the Watch Tower Society's concept of God's organization figured prominently in events that led to a purge of high-level members at the group's Brooklyn headquarters.
A summary by a Governing Body committee of "wrong teachings" being promoted as "new understandings" included the suggestion that God did not have an organization on earth. Witnesses believe that after the death of the apostles , the Church embarked on a " Great Apostasy ", diverging from the original teachings of Jesus on several major points.
Influenced by Restorationism in the 19th century, Charles Taze Russell and his associates formed a Bible study group in the s in Allegheny , Pennsylvania , developing teachings that they considered to be a revival of "the great truths taught by Jesus and the Apostles". The entire Protestant canon of scripture is seen as the inspired, inerrant word of God. Witnesses reject the Trinity doctrine, which they consider unscriptural.
The Holy Spirit is described as God's "active force", rather than the third part of the Trinity. Witnesses teach that God must be distinguished by his personal name— Jehovah.
Whether single or married, Jehovah's Witnesses are convinced that the best decisions in life are those based clearly on Bible principles. Relationship advice to help you avoid dating pitfalls and enjoy a happy, successful relationship. Do Jehovah's Witnesses Have Rules About Dating? Is dating.
Kyrios , is rarely used by Witnesses when speaking about God. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus is God's "only-begotten Son", and that his life began in heaven. Jesus is said to have been used by God in the creation of all other things. They also identify him with the " rider of the white horse " at Revelation 6 and They believe that after his death, Jesus appeared to his disciples, convinced them of his resurrection, and then ascended into heaven to sit at Jehovah's right hand until he would become the promised king of God's heavenly kingdom.
Jesus acts as the mediator of a "new covenant"  referred to in Jeremiah Those with an earthly hope are said to be beneficiaries of that covenant. They consider the cross to be of pagan origins and an object of idol worship. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Satan was originally a perfect angel who developed feelings of self-importance and craved worship that belonged to God. Satan persuaded Adam and Eve to obey him rather than God, raising the issue—often referred to as a "controversy"—of whether people, having been granted free will , would obey God under both temptation and persecution.
The issue is said to be whether God can rightfully claim to be sovereign of the universe. Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe that Satan lives in Hell or that he has been given responsibility to punish the wicked. Satan and his demons are said to have been cast down from heaven to the earth in , marking the beginning of the " last days ".
At Armageddon, Satan is to be bound for 1, years, and then given a brief opportunity to mislead perfect humanity before being destroyed. Writers including James Beckford and former members James Penton and Barbara Grizzuti Harrison have stated that Jehovah's Witnesses' have a fear of demons, which Penton says is "sometimes so extreme that it becomes quite superstitious". However, Penton also notes that avoidance of "demonistic practices" has released many people in Africa and Latin America from fear of spirits.
Publications of Jehovah's Witnesses teach that God's kingdom is a literal government in heaven, established in ,  ruled by Jesus Christ and , humans raised to heaven. Witnesses regard the soul as mortal, based on the statement at Ezekiel Watch Tower publications teach that hell hades or sheol is not a place of fiery torment, but rather the "common grave of mankind", a place of unconscious non-existence. Witnesses teach that wicked angels demons sometimes pretend to be spirits of the dead, and that their deception is the basis for many beliefs about ghosts. Jehovah's Witnesses' believe that faith in Jesus' ransom sacrifice is essential for salvation.
They reject the concept of universal salvation  and the concept of predestination. They believe that all intelligent creatures are endowed with free will , and that salvation is dependent on God's " undeserved kindness ", but also requires faith in God and in the " ransom sacrifice " of Jesus Christ,  demonstrated by "zealous" preaching activity. Based on a literal interpretation of scriptures such as Revelation They believe that most of those are already in heaven, and that the "remnant" at Revelation Members who claim to be anointed are not given special treatment by other congregation members.
According to The Watchtower , "the Governing Body does not keep a list of all partakers, for it does not maintain a global network of anointed ones. Watch Tower Society literature states that Jesus' use of the term "other sheep" at John They will be given the opportunity to join Jesus' "other sheep" and live forever on a paradise earth.
Watch Tower Society publications teach that Jesus Christ began to rule in heaven invisibly as king in October Witnesses base their beliefs about the significance of on the Watch Tower Society's interpretation of biblical chronology,  based on their belief that the destruction of Jerusalem and the beginning of the Babylonian captivity both occurred in BCE. The secularly accepted date for the fall of Jerusalem is within a year of BCE; exiles were taken in various years, with most Jews exiled to Babylon following the siege of Jerusalem of BCE.
They believe that when the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, the line of kings descended from David was interrupted, and that God's throne was "trampled on" from then until Jesus began ruling in October The current world era, or "system of things", is considered to be in its " last days ",  facing imminent destruction through intervention by God and Jesus Christ, leading to deliverance for those who worship God acceptably.
This judgment will begin with the destruction by the United Nations of false religion, which they identify as " Babylon the Great ", or the "harlot", of Revelation Most of those who had died prior to God's intervention will gradually be resurrected to a "day of judgment" lasting for the thousand years referred to in Revelation Watch Tower Society publications assert that members of the group are not compelled to remain part of the congregation.
Jehovah's Witness goes beyond the usual religion and is widely regarded as a cult. If she stays in, you will have to convert or the relationship won't work long-term. They are pretty liberal about a lot of things they don't prohibit alcohol as you mentioned , but all family members must convert or be shunned, and the "Elders" have the final say in your life in a way a priest or reverend or etc.
I have a lot of experience with them because they had several JW families in my neighborhood growing up, and I always invite them in for tea or such when they come by evangelizing. They are not scientologist-level cultists and are not known for kidnap or murder, but they have some bizarre beliefs inaccurate end-of-the world predictions, Jesus is the Arch-Angel Micheal, every instance of God's name replaced with "Jehovah" in the Bible, no birthdays or Christmas or other holidays, most other religions are satanism, etc.
I'm sorry but I wasn't asking for a biased opinion on Jehovah's Witnesses but for help on how to deal with my relationship. I know enough about the religion since she is very open to it and has explained it to me when I have asked. I personally hate referring to a religion as a cult since there is no clear difference from a mainstream religion like protestantism, to something like JW's or Mormons. Doesn't matter how long they've been around, they all still believe in a God.
Yeah I worded that wrong. What I meant to say is in definition a cult can be used to define any religion. In any case, I wasn't asking for your opinion on her religion, but on our relationship. Man, I'm not here to discuss your dislike of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Although all of those are very reputable sources, I am not getting into this. Sorry you misunderstood, I have no dislike of Jehovah's Witnesses and often invite them in for tea. You have gotten into it by dating that girl, and you seem to have come here to seek reinforcement and encouragement. I have friends and family who are or were JW and I also studied with them for a few years. They aren't as bad as you say, they don't force conversion or anything like that. At the congregation in my hometown, for example, probably half the families had only one practicing parent.
Maybe you knew a couple extremists, you'll find those in any group, but they aren't representative of the whole bunch. More so I knew former JW's who complained a lot, and I saw the effect their religion had on the families in my neighborhood child abuse covered up by the "elders. There was no "couple," I have known maybe 20 JW's over the years and around the world. They find me in nearly every flat I move to, and nearly always make it in for tea and conversion.
Thus far I have made better progress with the converting than they have it helps that my family and I love to read the Bible ;. As an ex-jehovahs witness now atheist myself I can give you some serious insight into this unlike most speculative advice you will be given in this thread from others.
The real question is whether or not she is baptized. If she is baptized, things get much stickier and really you should go your own way. Baptism limits how far the negatives that the church can impose on her life go. If she is baptized and is found to have committed "serious wrongdoing" drugs, fornication, etc or gross misconduct repeated use of cigarettes, masturbation, pornography then she can be disfellowshipped which is basically a shunning from all her friends and family that she knows.
If she is not baptized, the worst they can do is "mark" her as bad association among the congregation and most witnesses will avoid spending time with her outside of church, but her family will most likely stay with her. Her dating a nonwitness is a big problem for both her church and her parents. They will at all costs attempt to break her relationship with you and prevent it from going further. That said, understand that once you are married, their entire focus will change to converting you to becoming a JW.
Also, with regards to the elders, people are so full of shit sometimes. I have heard of elders in some areas doing some pretty fucked up things, but all in all their involvement in your relationship is how much you let them be involved and the general culture of that congregation. Many groups of elders simply will just leave you alone after a while if you express no interest to them or the religion. Understand that they have an obligation to "shepard the flock" and keep her active in the church, but other than that and them trying to catch her if she slips up and commits sin, they will usually stay at a distance.
Thank you so much for this. This is good to know and I'll try to find out. She has explained a lot about the religion to me already since we are very open about this. Its one of the reasons I think this could work out. I think the biggest issue is definitely the family, and how we will tell them eventually. Thank you for this. A heck of a lot more useful than people talking hateful shit due to their dislike of JW's. Your differences will become a bigger issue as time goes on.
In the beginning it's always super easy, you overlook your differences.
Right now you're thinking "maybe this no sex thing isn't a big deal" and right now it isn't. In a year it will be. People have a tendency to try to change each other rather than accept each other. She's liberal for a Jehovah's Witness, which is to say, not liberal at all. An exception might be if there is an adult chaperone or perhaps double dating, but even this would be looked down upon, because someone who is not financially stable and ready to get married should not be dating.
If they're not ready for marriage, they shouldn't be dating.