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Hum 130 - World Religions Report

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World Religions Report

Gregory Roots



Religion is a communal system for which people beliefs focus on a system of thought, unseen being, person, or object, that is considered to be supernatural, sacred, divine, or of the highest truth. Religions teach morals, values and all local communities become defined by the religious beliefs that one embraces.

Christian based religions focus on one Supreme Being as creator and ruler of all existence. This monotheistic view is also embraced by the Jehovah Witness religion. Followers of the Jehovah Witness community are committed and devoted to spreading the word of God. Jehovah Witnesses are directed by elders and base their beliefs on the old and new testaments of the Bible. Jehovah Witnesses are mainly devoted to studying the bible, and living their life in accordance to God's will, as well as ministering to others. They are best known for their ministering door-to-door and distributing their literature such as The Watchtower. The Jehovah Witness religion was founded by Charles Taze Russell he was considered a charismatic leader. Russell cited contributions by Advent Christian Church pastor George W. Stetson[ By the time he was 20, Russell had left both the "Presbyterianism and Congregationalism because he could not reconcile the idea of an eternal hell with God's mercy. He had drifted into skepticism when a chance encounter with some followers of the Adventist movement begun by William Miller introduced him to the idea that the Bible could be used to predict God's plan of salvation.

I interviewed a Jehovah Witness by the name of Crystal Redmond, we discussed her personal way's of life as a Jehovah's Witness and her personal views of the religion. Ms. Redmond advised me that she was a third generation Jehovah Witness she is 20 years old and she lives in Atlanta, GA. Crystal explains that when a person becomes a part of the religion they are required to begin a rigorous study plan and fellowship to prepare them for the role of sharing the gospel. They also have to answer a multi-part questionnaire led by the elders to test their bible knowledge before being baptized.

As a Jehovah Witness, Crystal is very devoted and committed to her religion, and the bible greatly shapes her daily life, and has been a great support behind important decisions in her life and her family. The thing she liked most about her religion is their central theme on the bible which is "there is a beginning and end for which we are commissioned to preach the word door to door, sharing the truth". One acquires knowledge and wisdom through studying and learns to apply this information in their everyday lives. It is an ongoing effort for Crystal to practice her faith and she strongly believes that one should not be judgmental of others, and she also believes that Jehovah Witnesses have found the truth. As a follower of Jesus Christ, Crystal strives to be Like Christ and she believes that the good news has to be preached to the world before the end will come in order for the next chapter to be fulfilled. The next chapter that the Jehovah Witnesses believe will take place is that Jesus will be resurrected. They also believe that not all people will go to heaven, whether righteous or unrighteous, and people will not burn in Hell forever. Similar to the Christian and Judaism religions, Jehovah Witnesses believe in the second coming of Christ. But the difference Christian's and Jehovah Witnesses is the apocalyptic view of the how the world will end. Crystal states that recent earthquakes, recession, and terrorist attacks such as, 9/11 are current signs and signals for the second coming. She claims these signs are indication that the world will be coming soon. God will resurrect the righteous and unrighteous when he deems it is time. Listening to Crystal talk about her religion and beliefs made it obvious that practicing her faith is an extremely important part of her life. She tells me that it is not about the religion, but it is about making a conscientious decision and effort to live by the bible and to show a commitment to God. According to Crystal, Jehovah Witnesses enforces strict discipline and holds individuals accountable for their actions.

Rather than identifying a person, such as a mentor, guide or spiritual teacher, as in the Hindu religion does, Crystal responded that God is the most influential in her life and Jesus is who she aspires to be like. Her spiritual guidance comes from reading the bible and the association with their religions network, which is called Watchtower. The watchtower is a magazine published twice monthly and the purpose of the magazine is to honor Jehovah God, the Supreme Ruler of the universe. Just as watchtowers in ancient times enabled a person to observe developments from afar, so this magazine shows us the significance of world events in the light of Bible prophecies. It comforts people with the good news that God's Kingdom, which is a real government in heaven, will soon bring an end to all wickedness and transform the earth into a paradise. It promotes faith in Jesus Christ, who died so that we might gain everlasting life and who is now ruling as King of God's Kingdom. This magazine has been published by Jehovah's Witnesses continuously since 1879 and is nonpolitical. It adheres to the Bible as its authority. According to the Watch Tower website members are expected to stay in tune with the publications released through watch tower. Many of the articles published on the website put current events and issues in the context of how they would relate to the Bible to provide individuals



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