Monday, December 12, 2016

Jehovah's Witnesses in Israel

Haaretz has recently published an article discussing Jehovah's Witnesses in Israel. It presents them in a neutral manner.

Both Armstrongism and the Jehovah's Witnesses are offshoots of the Millerite Adventists of the 1830s and 1840s.

It alludes to their practice of shunning ex-members.
A gathering of three or more elders has the authority to expel an errant believer from the community, a custom that recalls the Hasidic movement. This is rarely done, however, according to [a Jehovah's Witness elder]. “My rough estimate is that we’re talking about 0.5 percent to 0.8 percent of the believers a year,” he says.
In other words ex-members are shunned. It is sad to see that terrible practice occurring there as well.

In the course of the article it is mentioned that Jehovah's Witnesses are forbidden from celebrating birthdays.
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that birthday celebrations have pagan roots – and the Bible condemns sorcery, fortune-telling, spiritism and the like. They believe it is not by chance that neither the Hebrew Bible nor the New Testament have a single mention of one servant of God who celebrated a birthday. After all, the birthdays of two people who did not serve God are mentioned negatively in the Bible.
HWA and his imitators used precisely the same argument to ban birthdays. HWA plagiarized this idea from the Jehovah's Witnesses. HWA would make this argument and yet Jews celebrate birthdays.

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