Please understand I am not judging JW's or orthodox Christians' eternal salvation!God is love, and one of the most important things in the world IS LOVE.Love even covers a multitude of sin,so I'll let GOD,the great reader of hearts,judge everyone through Christ.What I am doing is declaring the truth as I've found it & exposing error where I perceive it because I know how the truth sets us free and that's what Christ would have done..tell the truth and lay bear the error,bringing every thought into captivity to his.(the youtubes are below if you'd rather watch those than read all this.)
1st similarity:They will label you with horrible names like "heretic" and "apostate" if you don't fully accept their traditions of men no matter what you may show them in scripture that refutes their traditions.
One example for each group..If you show a trinitarian how Jesus confirmed the Shema as HIS statement of faith,as a truth that still stands,as one of the most important things a man can know,and if that trinitarian knows that the Jews of old who didn't have the "full revelation" of the trinity to whom this truth was first given knew that the father was that ONE YAHWEH,is anyone really to believe the truth has changed and that that ONE YAHWEH for the Jews is now three for the Christians?If you show a trinitarian Jesus said WE worship what WE know(John 4:22-24),including himself as a Jew who worshipped the God of the Shema,they will excuse that as a "nature speaking" though there was no such qualification from our Lord.Since Jesus had a God and still apparently does,(Ephesians 1:3)there's no reason whatsoever to believe that HIS God exists in the very same Lord Jesus himself was made.(Acts 2:36)If believing what Jesus said in John 17:3 makes me a heretic then I wear that title proudly.And if you tell Jehovah's Witness that there's no reason to label someone just because they left an organization but still happen to love and serve Yahweh,still happen to believe Jesus is the Christ,but knows now a corporation isn't a savior and men can be questioned,they of course will still call you apostate and think you're scum because you don't think God's channel is a billion dollar a year publishing entity who has false prophecied repeatedly,harboring bloodguilt, with no seeming remorse.So,again,these two groups will name call and sometimes shun for unbiblical reasons though they both claim that God is our judge.
2nd similarity:They have listened to mere men's exegesis of the Lord's words instead of simply believing the Lord's words.They have let men color or erase altogether the Lord's words of truth.They have let men tell them "what Jesus meant" instead of simply listening to what Jesus actually said when there is good reason to just let Jesus speak without any imposition of theories about what he "meant."For example..I'll once again give just one example a piece for each group:
John 3:3: Jesus said to him(Nicodemus): “Most truly I say to you, Unless anyone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
There's no qualification here,Jehovah's Witnesses.Listen to Jesus!
and for Christians:Jesus said at:
John 17:3:This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.
There's no qualification here Christians!In other words,no evidence all of Christ wasn't present in his words ,including those of his declarations in other texts of inferiority and of not knowing everything,as opposed to just 100 of his "200 percent" being present in much of what he declared.Someone who doesn't know everything who calls his father the only one truly God,distinguishing himself from that One as being the one that One "sent forth" is clearly neither omniscient nor the True God.Do you REALLY think those listening thought that Jesus had just there declared that he was the second of three persons who individually is "True God" yet also 1/3 of the entirety of the same True God he said his father was the only one of?If you think so,I would say that's one of the most far fetched and ridiculous notions I have simply ever heard.
3rd similarity:They believe certain far fetched theological theories and base entire doctrines upon those simply because they have misused a literal few texts and then proceeded to let their misuse of those few texts color their interpretation of every thing else they see in scripture.Instead of letting everything else they see in scripture simply mean what it says without any imposition of preconceived theological biases changing the meaning of those scriptures to make them fit that far fetched theological theory,sometimes called a "mystery,"(which reminds me of Babylon the Great) and sometimes called "new light" even though Christ the true light never changes HIS truth.
For example:The JW's believe there are two groups who will be separated eternally ,one on earth and the other in heaven lording it over those on earth.This is mainly because of a misuse of the texts about "little flock"(Luke 12:32) and "other sheep."(John 10:16) who they think are the heavenly and the earthly class,but they're REALLY the Jews and the Gentiles.Also based on a misuse of Revelation ch 7 where they say the 144,000 has to be literal,with no good basis in a symbolic book,failing to understand that the great crowd may very well be the 144,000 because "spiritual Israel,"who the tribes may symbolize, is composed of every tribe,tongue,people and nation,yes,the great crowd.Why not consider the possibility that perhaps this symbolic number has what it represents explained right afterward,as if oft the case with symbols in revelation!Keep in mind,JW's,that the heavenly kingdom can simply be the "new earth" because Heaven will descend TO it and it will belong to God in heaven,a heavenly kingdom,a "new earth."I could go on and on, but I will instead refer you to my 3 part series "Are there 2 separate hopes for Christians?"Check them out if you can.There are a few possible interpretations of Revelation ch 7 but suffice it to say the WT one is an IMPOSSIBLE one.Don't believe me?Read Ephesians 2:14-17 and tell me what you think about what is said of the two groups(the little flock and other sheep,aka the Jews and Gentiles) in those.
Now for the Christians..they base their Godman theory on what they call the "hypostatic union" which they claim is expressed in a literal few texts like Colossians 2:9 where it says Christ had God's fullness and hence they say he was "fully God" which somehow inexplicably leads to "the second person of a triune substance."This argument is weak given that Christians may be "filled up to all the fullness of God."(Ephesians 3:19)Christ has the fullness because God was in him reconciling the world unto him self (2 Corinthians 5:19),by means of His spirit,(John 3:34)working fully through him!(Acts 2:22)Another one of the few they use to support this "hypostatic union" is Philippians 2:6 and 7 where Christ ,although he existed in God's form emptied himself and took the form of a slave.First of all,"form" is synonymous with "image" and can't prove anything but that Jesus ISN'T the same God his father is because he was rather that one's image and "form."Have YOU ever heard of someone in another's image who also partakes of the "substance" of the one they're the image OF?
Zeisler noted in "Pauline Christianity":Christ,like Adam,was the image of God,but unlike Adam did not regard equality with God a matter of grabbing(a prize to be snatched).Unlike Adam,he voluntarily accepted servanthood and mortality.
Yes,Philippians is distingushing the Last Adam from the first Adam(who was also made in God's image) in that Christ obeyed and humbled himself under God unlike the first who rebelled and thought he might become "like God."Clearly,God sent his son, and that is the one who humbled himself unto death,a FULLY FLESH man,able to be tempted and able to die.True God is NOT the Last Adam.The one True God made Lord(Acts 2:36) and firstborn(Psalm 89:27) is the Last Adam.One of 2 "natures" of God's Son is not the Last Adam.The ENTIRETY of God's beloved Son was the Last Adam.That firstborn beloved Son of God did not harbor another nature on top of his flesh one,though he did have God's spirit fully working through him without measure so that he could reveal God's personality and will to us fully.The bible says those who don't confess Christ came in the flesh(it doesn't say in the flesh and also another nature on top of it!) are antichrists.So to confess Christ came in the flesh with no further natures added to that would be the appropriate confession.Any other confession is to be condemned.(as inference,manmade)
4th similarity:Often enough,they both think THEIR version of the "good news" excludes any other possibility of what the "good news" might also encompass.Either that or they think THEIR "good news" is somehow superior to others'.
For example,Christians sometimes think the good news is the death and resurrection of the Christ and seem to get all defensive when JW's say that the good news is the kingdom of God and the restoration of the earth to Paradisaic conditions.JW's seem to get defensive when Christians say the good news is the death and resurrection of Christ and the freedom we can find in him.BOTH are correct..so why not just admit that proclaiming the kingdom of God and Christ's resurrection and freedom BOTH are wonderful Christian things to declare!Don't get me wrong.I am not advocating JW's advancement of 1914 and an eternal separation of Christians OR the Christian advancement that Jesus was alive while he was supposed to be dead and the resurrection of nothing but a "body" devoid of Christ as "good news."(see my video "Did Jesus really die for trinitarians for more information.)I'm simply saying that the genuine death and resurrection of our Lord and the restoration of the earth with a rule from the heavens over it are all "good news!"These should be proclaimed by all who call themselves Christian because they are all called good news in the bible!All through his ministry Jesus preached the kingdom,which didn't transfer from the earthly hope the OT Jews were promised to a flying away to heaven for Christians.It was the SAME Kingdom promised the Jews that the Christians will also see.(Acts 1:6)All through the book of Acts the disciples preached the death and resurrection as good news.Embrace it all.
5th similarity:They both seem to oft times think that IF in their religious institution or organization or tradition there is some sound truth that that somehow means men who taught them these truths must have everything right.All or nothing.
When I was a Jehovah's Witness,I thought since they knew basic fundamental truths about the soul's ability to die,the wicked actually perishing as opposed to be preserved alive in flames for all of eternity,Jesus's father being the only true God ..etc..and that since they seemed to basically be some of the only ones who actually knew this,that these men must have special knowledge I should embrace.That's where deception kicked in and I started believing what they said about OTHER things that WEREN'T true because they knew so many basic truths that the world seemed to not understand.I get the feeling that orthodox Christians,when they listen to compelling sermons from people like Paul Washer and the like,in which there is MUCH truth,that they are compelled emotionally and even intellectually to believe everything people like Paul Washer say.Because Paul Washer preaches a lot of truth.Unfortunately,a little leaven can ferment the whole lump.And there is leaven in both the WT organization and in orthodox Christianity that remains unrecognized by those who profess to be of these faiths because listening to sometimes charismatic or even humble,meek teachers and preachers can be a deceiving,even if only partially deceiving,business.The whole world is lying in Satan's power and is under his deception..not just the WT society.Examine all things.
6th similarity:They have both let men who have gathered together in Ecumenical councils or in closed secretive quarters in a publishing building in NYC determine their statements of faith instead of,again,listening to what the Lord and his God who made that one our Lord(Acts 2:36)actually say in succint and irrefutable BIBLICAL statements that SHOULD be our faith statements.
For example,a JW should be able to say and believe what Jesus taught in his unqualified declarations like those found in :
John 6:53 Accordingly Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to you, Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 He that feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I shall resurrect him at the last day;(Jesus gave no hint that he was only talking a few privileged ones in the WT society as opposed to every Christian who would read his powerful words)
1 Timothy 2:5: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus,(no reason men should be able to qualify and nullify this for JW's..ALSO no reason trinitarians should believe the mediator existed in the same "being" as the ONE GOD(Deut 6:4) who he is distinguished from in this text,again)
Now the Nicene Creed confesses that Christ is "True God from True God" in direct and alarming violation of John 17:3 where Jesus says his father is the only True God.I will oft hear certain trinitarians use Early Church fathers' writings as evidence for what is true even though the ones they cite in general were philosophically and Platonically schooled and certainly didn't believe exactly the same as modern day trinitarians.Even the Nicene Creed is ambiguous in its declaration of what the holy spirit might be!God warned us of men's traditions and philosophies.Apostasy was ALREADY present in the first century.Would it be far fetched to say those from a Greek culture might naturally impose their Hellenistic thought onto the Hebrew texts with time?Tradition is powerful.Tradition can blind.It doesn't always cater to the facts.
What I would recommend would be to take succint explicit texts that tell us who God and Christ are like John 17:3,1 Corinthians 8:5,6,1 Timothy 2:5,John 20:17,Ephesians 1:3(etc.!)..instead of building an elaborate system of inference to proclaim something that is never explicitly declared anywhere in all of scripture.I would also recommend not using terminology like "substance" and "triune" to define God when scripture doesn't if you're "sola scriptura." Again,cite the texts that explain who God and Christ are as your creed.Why aren't they good enough?I saw one video on youtube called "The Jesus creed" where many texts were given that were about Jesus,with positively NONE defining a triune God.Because there aren't any.
Going into this thought a little more...the
7th similarity is that they both have doctrines based upon elaborate theological systems of interpretation and INFERENCE that cannot be gathered from any explicit statement in scripture but rather only from preconceived impositions upon many texts they use together to invent a concept they think is sound in spite of it not being succintly taught or defined in scripture,oft times using unbiblical language to define their doctrines that are foreign to scripture,except through this system of severe and unwarranted, sometimes even blatantly philosophical, imposed terminology & bold inference.
To better articulate what I'm talking about here,listen to Patrick Navas,author of "Divine truth or human tradition:A Reconsideration of the Roman Catholic-Protestant Doctrine of the Trinity in Light of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures" on a radio debate Six screens of the Watchtower set up between him and Brian Garcia,aka "newagegamer" on youtube.(link below for debate)
To quote him:
"I did associate with the Witnesses to some extent but never joined the organization.One of the major reasons that prevented me from committing myself to that community even though I felt there was a lot of good there..I never became persuaded that what they teach about the doctrine of 1914,which is a very complicated interpretational formula that's arrived at in a very similar way that trinitarians basically approach the subject of the trinity.The point that I'm making is that in a similar sense what the witnesses are basically saying is you have to believe that Jesus has been invisibly present since the year 1914 which they arrive at through this extremely complicated interpretive formula,and they connect a wide variety of verses and statements interpreted in a certain way that all gives in their minds credence to this belief..and it's something that they consider essential and that in fact you can believe all the things that the bible says but if you don't agree with them on this particular formula relating to chronology in their minds you can't really be accepted as a true Christian.You're disqualified from true Christian status in their thinking.In a very similar way,the trinitarians are basically saying "look you cannnot be accepted as a true Christian"..you're disqualified for not accepting something that ISN'T EVER discussed or even mentioned in the scripture but is a "doctrinal formula" that is basically something that is arrived at through a very complex process of inference and interpretation.It's not something that's straightforward in the scriptures.If it was,then people who believed the scriptures would never..there'd be no reason to question it.And that's why I don't question doctrines like Jesus is the Messiah or that God raised him from the dead or that God is love..simply because those teachings are directly and clearly articulated whereas the doctrine of the trinity is just simply not in that category of things that the scripture deliberately presents to us.In a similar way,I don't accept the trinitarian conclusion.Neither do I accept the 1914 doctrine of the Witnesses.What I've seen in my studies..the practice of basically saying you must accept a doctrinal formula in order to be saved is just a difficult & in my opinion IMMODEST thing to do when the scripture already tells us explicitly what we have to believe to come to a true,a good relationship with God."
Amen Patrick.Well said.