How Many Ex Nba Players Are Jehovah
Danny Granger, Dewayne Dedmon and Darren Collison are the three NBA players who are the followers of Jehovah’s Witness.

How many ex NBA are Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Ex-NBA players are Jehovahs witnesses – Sports Brief – Ex-NBA players are Jehovahs witnesses – Sports Brief Which current and ex-NBA players are Jehovahs Witnesses? The National Basketball Association has three Jehovahs Witnesses among its active and former players. Former Indiana Pacers teammates Danny Granger Darren Collison and Dewayne Dedmon (currently of the Miami Heat). Continue reading.

Are there any Jehovah Witnesses in the NBA?

Current Players – Several current NBA players follow the Jehovah’s Witness faith, such as Jonathan Isaac, Trey Burke, and Jahlil Okafor. These players place their faith before their professional careers. Jehovah’s Witnesses have ethical guidelines that apply to home and court.

Which NBA player retired as a Jehovah’s Witness?

Darren Collison retired from the NBA in 2019 to become a Jehovah’s witness – Darren Collison played for numerous teams during his NBA career. He was in the NBA from 2009 till 2019. The New Orleans Hornets (now the New Orleans Pelicans ) drafted him as the number 21st pick at the 2009 NBA Draft. Darren Collison (Credit- Twitter & Forbes) Apart from those two teams, the American also played for the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, and the Los Angeles Lakers, He played for the LeBron James-led franchise last year on a 10-day contract.

Collison was able to average only 1.3 points and rebounds with 0.7 assists in his 3 games for the franchise. The Lakers then released him and Darren hasn’t returned to the NBA since then. He retired in 2019 and publicly announced that faith was one of the reasons why he was ending his NBA career. “While I still love basketball, I know there is something more important, which is my family and my faith.

I am one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and my faith means everything to me,” – now retiring Darren Collison told @TheUndefeated https://t.co/EYDLaDpadd #NBA — Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) June 29, 2019 According to ESPN, Collison said, “While I still love basketball, I know there is something more important, which is my family and my faith.

How many Jehovah’s Witnesses will go to heaven?

The “anointed” – Based on their understanding of scriptures such as Revelation 14:1-4, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that exactly 144,000 faithful Christians go to heaven to rule with Christ in the kingdom of God, They, with Jesus, will perform priestly duties that will bring faithful mankind to perfect health and “everlasting life”.

They believe that most of those are already in heaven, and that the “remnant” at Revelation 12:17 (KJV) refers to those remaining alive on earth who will be immediately resurrected to heaven when they die. The Witnesses understand Jesus’ words at John 3:3—”except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”—to apply to the 144,000 who are “born again” as “anointed” sons of God in heaven.

They teach that the New Testament, which they refer to as the Christian Greek Scriptures, is primarily directed to the 144,000, and by extension, to those associated with them. They believe that the terms “Israel of God” (Galatians 6:16), “little flock” (Luke 12:32), “New Jerusalem,” and “the bride, the Lamb’s wife ” (Revelation 21:2,9) in the New Testament also refer to the same group of “anointed” Christians.

Are any ex NBA stars Jehovah’s Witnesses?

The Faithful Few: Ex NBA Players Who Embraced Jehovah’s Witness Faith – In the highly competitive world of professional basketball, it’s not often we hear about players who prioritize their faith above their careers. However, several ex NBA players have made headlines for their devotion to the Jehovah’s Witness faith, demonstrating the profound impact of spirituality in their lives.

Is Jehovah the name of God?

Non-usage – The Douay Version of 1609 renders the phrase in Exodus 6:3 as “and my name Adonai”, and in its footnote says: “Adonai is not the name here vttered to Moyses but is redde in place of the vnknowen name”. The Challoner revision (1750) uses ADONAI with a note stating, “some moderns have framed the name Jehovah, unknown to all the ancients, whether Jews or Christians.” Various Messianic Jewish Bible translations use Adonai ( Complete Jewish Bible (1998), Tree of Life Version (2014) or Hashem ( Orthodox Jewish Bible (2002)).

  • The Scriptures (ISR) Version (1993, 1998, 2009)
  • Sacred Name King James Bible (2005).
  • HalleluYah Scriptures (2009, 2015).
  • Literal English Version (2014)

Most modern translations exclusively use Lord or L ORD, generally indicating that the corresponding Hebrew is Yahweh or YHWH (not JHVH ), and in some cases saying that this name is “traditionally” transliterated as Jehovah :

  • The Revised Standard Version (1952), an authorized revision of the American Standard Version of 1901, replaced all 6,823 usages of Jehovah in the 1901 text with “L ORD ” or “G OD “, depending on whether the Hebrew of the verse in question is read “Adonai” or “Elohim” in Jewish practice. A footnote on Exodus 3:15 says: “The word L ORD when spelled with capital letters, stands for the divine name, YHWH.” The preface states: “The word ‘Jehovah’ does not accurately represent any form of the name ever used in Hebrew”.
  • The New American Bible (1970, revised 1986, 1991). Its footnote to Genesis 4:25–26 says: “. men began to call God by his personal name, Yahweh, rendered as “the L ORD ” in this version of the Bible.”
  • The New American Standard Bible (1971, updated 1995), another revision of the 1901 American Standard Version, followed the example of the Revised Standard Version. Its footnotes to Exodus 3:14 and 6:3 state: “Related to the name of God, YHWH, rendered L ORD, which is derived from the verb HAYAH, to be”; “Heb YHWH, usually rendered L ORD “. In its preface it says: “It is known that for many years YHWH has been transliterated as Yahweh, however no complete certainty attaches to this pronunciation.”
  • The Bible in Today’s English ( Good News Bible ), published by the American Bible Society (1976). Its preface states: “the distinctive Hebrew name for God (usually transliterated Jehovah or Yahweh) is in this translation represented by ‘The Lord’.” A footnote to Exodus 3:14 states: “I am sounds like the Hebrew name Yahweh traditionally transliterated as Jehovah.”
  • The New International Version (1978, revised 2011). Footnote to Exodus 3:15, “The Hebrew for L ORD sounds like and may be related to the Hebrew for I AM in verse 14.”
  • The New King James Version (1982), though based on the King James Version, replaces JEHOVAH wherever it appears in the Authorized King James Version with “L ORD “, and adds a note: “Hebrew YHWH, traditionally Jehovah”, except at Psalms 68:4, Isaiah 12:2, Isaiah 26:4 and Isaiah 38:11 where the tetragrammaton is rendered “Yah”.
  • The God’s Word Translation (1985).
  • The New Revised Standard Version (1990), a revision of the Revised Standard Version uses “LORD” and “GOD” exclusively.
  • The New Century Version (1987, revised 1991).
  • The New International Reader’s Version (1995).
  • The Contemporary English Version or CEV (also known as Bible for Today’s Family) (1995).
  • The English Standard Version (2001). Footnote to Exodus 3:15, “The word L ORD, when spelled with capital letters, stands for the divine name, YHWH, which is here connected with the verb hayah, ‘to be’.”
  • The Common English Bible (2011).
  • The Modern English Version (2014).

A few translations use titles such as The Eternal :

  • Moffatt, New Translation (1922)
  • The Voice (2012)

Some translations use both Yahweh and L ORD :

  • The Bible, An American Translation (1939) by J.M. Powis Smith and Edgar J. Goodspeed. Generally uses “L ORD ” but uses Yahweh and/or “Yah” exactly where Jehovah appears in the King James Version except in Psalms 83:18, “Yahweh” also appears in Exodus 3:15.
  • The Amplified Bible (1965, revised 1987) generally uses Lord, but translates Exodus 6:3 as: “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by My name the Lord I did not make Myself known to them,”
  • The New Living Translation (1996), produced by Tyndale House Publishers as a successor to the Living Bible, generally uses L ORD, but uses Yahweh in Exodus 3:15 and 6:3,
  • The Holman Christian Standard Bible (2004, revised 2008) mainly uses L ORD, but in its second edition increased the number of times it uses Yahweh from 78 to 495 (in 451 verses).

Some translate the Tetragrammaton exclusively as Yahweh :

  • Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible (1902) retains “Yahweh” throughout the Old Testament.
  • The Jerusalem Bible (1966).
  • The New Jerusalem Bible (1985).
  • The Christian Community Bible (1988) is a translation of the Christian Bible in the English language originally produced in the Philippines and uses “Yahweh”.
  • The World English Bible (1997) is based on the 1901 American Standard Version, but uses “Yahweh” instead of “Jehovah”.
  • Hebraic Roots Bible (2009, 2012)
  • The Lexham English Bible (2011) uses “Yahweh” in the Old Testament.
  • Names of God Bible (2011, 2014), edited by Ann Spangler and published by Baker Publishing Group, The core text of the 2011 edition uses the God’s Word translation, The core text of the 2014 edition uses the King James Version, and includes Jehovah next to Yahweh where “LORD Jehovah” appears in the source text. The print edition of both versions have divine names printed in brown and includes a commentary. Both editions use “Yahweh” in the Old Testament.
  • The Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition (1981) is a Sacred Name Bible which uses the name “Yahweh” in both the Old and New Testaments (Chamberlin p.51-3). It was produced by the Assemblies of Yahweh elder, the late Jacob O. Meyer, based on the American Standard Version of 1901.

How many Jehovah’s Witnesses are Disfellowshipped yearly?

Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses break silence on shunning: ‘My mother treats me like I’m dead’ Amber Sawyer was just 8 years old when it happened. She was watching cartoons on the living room floor of her Mississippi home when she heard the bang. She went to investigate and found her 21-year-old sister, Donna, dead in her bed.

She had shot herself in the heart with their father’s hunting rifle weeks after being excommunicated by their church for getting engaged to a non-Jehovah’s Witness. For Sawyer — who sat on the bedroom floor near her sister’s body for hours that day, waiting for her mother to come home from her door-to-door missionary work — it was the beginning of a long, painful journey that would one day tear her family apart.

Years later, Sawyer got excommunicated, too, after seeking a divorce from an abusive husband. She ended up leaving the husband — and the faith. Her family cut all ties. “Jehovah’s Witness kids grow up knowing that if they ever mess up, their parents will leave them — and that’s scary,” Sawyer, now 38, said in a recent interview from her home in Pascagoula, Miss.

  1. The shunning is supposed to make us miss them so much that we’ll come back.
  2. It didn’t work.” Sawyer and many others like her are now denouncing the church’s shunning practices in the wake of a recent murder-suicide in Keego Harbor that killed a family of four ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses who were ostracized after leaving the faith.

The deaths sparked outrage among scores of ex-JWs nationwide who took to Facebook, online forums, blogs and YouTube, arguing the tragedy highlights a pervasive yet rarely-publicized problem within the church: Shunning is pushing the most vulnerable people over the edge, they say, and tearing families apart.

Read more: In the Michigan case, a distraught mother shot and killed her husband, her two grown children and herself in their Keego Harbor home, shocking the small and quiet Oakland County community. The shooter was Lauren Stuart, a part-time model and personal trainer who struggled with depression and spent much of her time working on her house, her friends say.

She and her husband, Daniel Stuart, 47, left the JW faith more than a decade ago over doctrinal and social issues. Among them was their desire to send their kids to college, which many ex-JWs say is frowned upon by the church and viewed as spiritually dangerous.

“University and college campuses are notorious for bad behavior​ — drug and alcohol abuse, immorality, cheating, hazing, and the list goes on,” a 2005 article in the Watchtower, the church’s official publication, stated. But the Stuarts sent both their kids to college: Steven, 27, excelled in computers, just like his father, who was a data solutions architect for the University of Michigan Medical School.

Bethany, 24, thrived in art and graphic design. After the parents left the faith, the Stuarts were ostracized by the Kingdom Hall — the churches where Jehovah’s Witnesses worship — community in Union Lake and their families, friends said. Lauren Stuart, whose mother died of cancer when she was 12, struggled with mental illness that went untreated; isolation and fears that the end was near, said friends and officials familiar with the case.

  1. One friend who requested anonymity said she believes the killing was the result of depression, not religion.
  2. This is a tragedy that has to do with a disease.
  3. Depression is so prevalent, and when it goes untreated this is what happens,” the friend said.
  4. She needed medical help.” Longtime family friend Joyce Taylor believes depression, shunning and religion-based doomsday fears all played a role.

She said that about six weeks before the killings, Lauren started getting religiously preoccupied and telling her “‘It’s the end times, I know it is.'” Weeks later, Taylor saw her friend again. Lauren had a vacant look in her eyes. She was emotionally distressed.

A week later, with her home decorated for Valentine’s Day, Lauren Stuart killed her family. She left behind a suicide note. “She said in the suicide note that she felt that by killing them it was the only way to save them,” recalled Taylor, who said police let her read the letter. “She said she’s sorry that she has to do this, but it was the only way to save them all.” Taylor, a former Jehovah’s Witness herself who left the faith in 1986, explained: “Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that if you die on this side of Armageddon, you’ll be resurrected in paradise.” In Lauren Stuart’s case, Taylor believes her friend never deprogrammed after leaving the church — a state she describes as “physically out, but mentally in.” She believes that Lauren’s indoctrinated doomsday fears never left her, and that the shunning helped push her over the edge.

Had she not been excommunicated by her tight-knit community that was once her entire support system — left with no one to share her fears with — Lauren Stuart may not have done what she did, Taylor believes. “People do things when they are desperate,” Taylor said.

  1. And that was an extreme, desperate act.” Shunning “can lead to great trauma among people because the Jehovah’s Witnesses are a very tight-knit community,” said Mathew Schmalz, a religious studies associate professor at the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.
  2. If you’re separated out, you’re really left to your own devices in ways that are very challenging and very painful,” Schmalz said.

“Once you leave a group that’s been your whole life — letting that go is a kind of death.” Police have not yet disclosed details about the death of the Stuart family besides calling it a murder-suicide. The tragedy has emboldened many once-quiet ex-JWs to speak up.

Many say they suffered quietly on their own for years until they discovered an online community full of isolated, ostracized people like themselves — people who had lost someone to suicide or attempted suicide themselves because their families, friends and church community had written them off for making mistakes, for being human.

The church calls it being “disfellowshipped.” Members can return if they repent, change the behavior and prove themselves worthy of being reinstated. But unless or until that happens, members are encouraged to avoid the sinners, especially those who leave the faith.

Mothers go years, even decades, without talking to their children. Siblings write off siblings. Friends shun friends. An estimated 70,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses are disfellowshipped every year — roughly 1% of the church’s total population, according to data published by the Watchtower. Their names are published at local Kingdom Halls.

Of those, two-thirds never return. Within a faith representing 8.4 million people worldwide, however, many members believe the religion is pure, good and loving. Those who are speaking against it, current members argue, are disgruntled and angry people who have an ax to grind because they were disfellowshipped.

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Or, they are lost souls who have misinterpreted the meaning and love behind the faith. Members say they believe the shunning accusations are exaggerated and that the suicides are often more about mental illness than ostracism. The departed disagree. In the world of ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses, they maintain, the shunned are considered dead to their families, just like the suicide victims.

These are their stories:

Do Jehovah Witness believe in God?

What Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe? – Witnesses believe in one God, not the Trinity. Like most Christians, they believe that Jesus Christ died for humankind’s sins, and was resurrected after his crucifixion. One of the key elements of the Jehovah’s Witness faith is their belief that the end of the world is coming soon.

  1. Witnesses believe that we have been in the end times since 1914 and that theirs is the only branch of the Christian faith that can offer salvation.
  2. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate Christmas, birthdays, or any holidays with a pagan origin.
  3. They are also prohibited from entering into what they consider unclean practices such as receiving blood transfusions, and entering military service is prohibited.

Members believe that only Jehovah’s Witnesses will be saved at the end of the world, and of those, only a limited number of the most faithful. Witnesses believe in Heaven, but do not believe in Hell.

How many Jehovah’s Witnesses are in the world?

Factbox: Jehovah’s Witnesses: some facts about their history and community in Germany BERLIN, March 10 (Reuters) – Here are some facts about the Jehovah’s Witnesses and their community in Germany, shaken by a at a Jehovah’s Witness hall in Hamburg on Thursday.

  1. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are an international Christian denomination that was founded in the United States in around 1870.
  2. They have around 8.7 million active followers in 239 countries worldwide, according to the denomination’s website.
  3. The first German branch was founded in 1902 in Elberfeld in west Germany – before the “Watch Tower Society” was renamed Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The denomination was not granted legal recognition however until 2005, in the city of Berlin. Since 2017, they have been recognized as a public corporation everywhere in Germany. – Jehovah’s Witnesses have struggled to have their beliefs and practices accepted in some parts of the world.

  • The group has faced court proceedings in several countries, mostly over its pacifism and rejection of blood transfusions.
  • Floral tributes are laid outside a building housing a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, where a deadly shooting took place, in Hamburg, northern Germany, March 10, 2023.
  • REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer – Russia banned the group in 2017.

The has depicted the Jehovah’s Witnesses as a dangerous foreign sect, allegations the group denies. – There are 175,558 members in Germany, meaning about 1 in 500 Germans are Jehovah’s Witnesses, according to the denomination’s website, which was updated in January.

In total there are 2,003 congregations and 884 places of worship, called Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses. – Jehovah’s Witnesses were persecuted in Nazi Germany for their refusal to swear allegiance to the Nazi regime or join the military. Thousands were sent to prisons or concentration camps. – The denomination was also banned in former communist East Germany in 1950 which like most Communist-run countries was in general hostile to religion.

– There have been several attempted attacks against Jehovah’s Witnesses in various countries in recent years. In 2009, an 82-year-old man tried to shoot Jehovah’s Witnesses in a Kingdom Hall in Bielefeld, Germany, in revenge for his daughter joining them in 1967.

How many Jehovah Witnesses are in the US?

Membership activity – For 2022, about 1.5 billion hours of preaching were reported and nearly 145,600 new members were baptized. Nearly 5.7 million home Bible studies with Jehovah’s Witnesses were reported, including Bible studies conducted by Witness parents with their children.

Jehovah’s Witnesses’ official statistics only count as members those who submit reports for preaching activity, usually resulting in lower membership numbers than those found by external surveys. For example, Jehovah’s Witnesses report approximately 1.2 million active publishers in the United States, whereas the Pew Research Center reported that Jehovah’s Witnesses make up 0.8% of the US population (approximately 2.5 million).

Their official statistics indicate membership according to various territories—which they refer to as “lands”—many of which are not independent countries. According to official statistics, about 19.7 million people worldwide attended Jehovah’s Witnesses’ 2022 observance of the Memorial of Christ’s death (also termed the Lord’s Evening Meal ).

What religion are Jehovah Witnesses?

Religious beliefs and practices – Jehovah’s Witnesses identify as Christians, but their beliefs are different from other Christians in some ways. For instance, they teach that Jesus is the son of God but is not part of a Trinity. By traditional measures of religious commitment, Jehovah’s Witnesses are one of the most highly religious major U.S.

Religious groups. Nine-in-ten Jehovah’s Witnesses (90%) say religion is very important in their lives, while similar shares say they believe in God with absolute certainty (90%) and that the Bible is the word of God (94%). Our survey found at least two other interesting ways in which Jehovah’s Witnesses stand out in their beliefs.

For one, while half of Jehovah’s Witnesses say they believe in heaven, very few (7%) say they believe in hell, the traditional image of which is challenged by the denomination’s teaching, The share of all U.S. Christians who believe in hell is 10 times larger (70%).

And most Jehovah’s Witnesses (83%) say their religion is the one true faith leading to eternal life; only about three-in-ten U.S. Christians (29%) believe this about their own religious faith. Compared with U.S. Christians overall, Jehovah’s Witnesses are especially likely to say they attend religious services at least once a week (85%, compared with 47% of all U.S.

Christians), pray daily (90% of Jehovah’s Witnesses vs.68% of all U.S. Christians) and – perhaps not surprisingly – share their faith with others at least once a week (76% vs.26%). They also are more likely than U.S. Christians overall to participate in prayer or scripture study groups and to read scripture at least weekly, among other religious behaviors,

Who are the 144,000 Jehovah’s Witness?

Jehovah’s Witnesses – Main article: believe that exactly 144,000 faithful Christians from of 33 AD until the present day will be resurrected to heaven as immortal spirit beings to spend eternity with God and Christ. They believe that these people are “anointed” by God to become part of the spiritual “Israel of God”.

They believe the 144,000 (which they consider to be synonymous with the “little flock” of ) will serve with Christ as king-priests for a, while all other people accepted by God (the “other sheep” of, composed of “the great crowd” of and the resurrected “righteous and the unrighteous” ones of ), will be given an opportunity to live forever in a restored on earth.

Individual Witnesses indicate their claim of being “anointed” by partaking of the bread and wine at the annual, More than 21,000 Witnesses worldwide—an increase of over 12,000 since 1995 —claim to be of the anointed “remnant” of the 144,000. The members of the who exercise teaching authority over Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide claim to be among the anointed 144,000, and also consider themselves as a group to be the of and,

Will only 144,000 go to heaven?

The Big Test To Select 144,000 Candidates For Heaven Tuesday, 25th July 2023 • ‘Some Churches Have More Than 500,000 Persons, It Means They Will Not Go To Heaven’ ‘144,000 Are The Chosen Class Of Christians’ (Brother Godwin Ifeacho, Chairman, Executive Board, God’s Kingdom Society, GKS, Warri, Delta State) GOD’S kingdom is the universal empire or government of righteousness and peace, covering both heaven and earth, to be inhabited by spirit persons and human beings under the control of Jehovah, the Almighty God.

  1. It is called the Kingdom of heaven because the power and authority comes from heaven, the dwelling place of God.
  2. The Kingdom is to be fully established, not only in heaven, but also on this earth.
  3. While majority of the human race that will receive the grace of life shall be made to inhabit the earth in God’s Kingdom, only a few Christians of a distinguished class (the apostles) will be in heaven.

Many people do not know that the Kingdom of God will also come to this earth. The Lord’s Prayer says: “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” And Jesus said: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5) He did not say the meek shall inherit heaven but the earth, in confirmation of the psalm of David which reads: “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” (Psalm 37: 9-11.

  1. See also Proverbs.11:31) Neither Enoch nor Elijah, nor any of the holy men and women of old, before Christ, would be going to heaven.
  2. They would be princes and governors on this earth.
  3. Job 19: 25-27; Isaiah 32:1; Matthew 11:11) St.
  4. Peter even says David is still in the grave.
  5. Acts 2:29-34) Hence, Jesus Christ said: “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” (John 3:13) These men would be resurrected after the devil and his hosts are killed and the Kingdom of God is fully established on earth.

Moreover, God has promised to make new, not only the heavens, but also the earth, according to Isaiah 65: 17; Revelation 21:1.2; 2 Peter 3: 13, etc. Both the New Heavens and the New Earth- THE WORLD WITHOUT END – will be filled with inhabitants who will be practising righteousness according to God’s purpose and arrangement.

The Bible says, “The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.” (Psalms 115:16). The statement of our Lord Jesus Christ to wit, “And I say unto you that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 8:11) needs to be juxtaposed with the rendition in Luke 13:28,29, which says, “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.” The patriarchs and other holy men of God would be on earth as rulers. That is why the unjust would be able to see them.

  • Who are the 144,000? These are the chosen few; the class of Christians known as apostles, saints, the church of the first born,” and so on.
  • The 12 apostles whom Christ chose were the foundation members of this class of Christians whom he also referred to as the “Little Flock” in Luke 12:32.
  • The apostles should be distinguished from the rest of Christians whom Christ called the “other sheep” in John 10:16.

The saints are chosen and anointed with the Holy Spirit from different parts of the world to be teachers and leaders through whom those of the “other sheep” are gathered to Christ. They are not taught by men. (John 15: I5,16; 17:18-21; 1 John 2: 27; Hebrews 12: 22-24) As soon as they receive the ordination through the Holy Spirit, they give up all secular work and devote their lives fully and wholly to the preaching of the gospel.

  1. And one of the marks by which they can be identified is the preaching of the truth as contained in the Bible without adulteration.
  2. Romans 8: 29, 30; 10: 13-15; 1 Corinthians 7: 20-24; Galatians 1: 11-17; 1 John 2: 27).
  3. The anointed Christians are predestinated and called by God Himself to be Christ’s servants.

(Romans 8:29,30) No one can make himself or another person an apostle or saint. (Hebrews 5: 4; James.1: 18; Matthew 20: 20-23) They are all men; there is no woman among them. (1 John 2:27; Ecclesiastes 7:27, 28) It is only those of the class of the ‘Little Flock’ that Jesus promised to take to heaven to reign with him as kings and priests in Mount Zion, the capital of his kingdom.

(John 14:1-3; Luke 22:28-30) The number of the anointed Christians who constitute the cabinet of Jesus Christ was revealed to St. John as the 144,000, and they are said to be chosen from among the people of God on earth, symbolised by the 12 tribes of Israel. (Revelation 7:1-4) St. John further said: “And I lookeda Lamb (that is, Christ, John 1: 29) stood on the mount Sion (the capital of God’s Kingdom in heaven), and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads (that is they had the accurate knowledge of God).

These are they, which were not defiled with women (meaning false religious organisations), for they are virgins (being pure spiritually). These are they, which follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.

  1. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” (Revelation 14: 1-5) Jesus Christ promised that it is in this age, called the last days, that he would take the apostles to heaven.
  2. John 14:1-3; Matthew 24:7,8; Luke 22:28-30) This promise has fulfilled on many of them since the signs of the times, especially the First World War of 1914-1918, shows that Christ has come again in spirit.

He is enthroned as King in heaven from where he is carrying on the work of restoration, according to the divine promises of God. Before the saints are taken to heaven, they must be changed to spirits, to be like Christ who was resurrected a Spirit. (1 Peter 3: 18, 22; Philippians 3: 20, 21; 1 Corinthians 15: 48-53; 2 Corinthians 5: 1-5) The remaining ones of the saints or apostles, called the remnant, would be chosen in this age, to preach the truth to peoples of the world, thereby setting up God’s Kingdom organisations in various parts of the world.

  1. Matthew 24:14, 31) But unlike those chosen before Christ’s second presence, the apostles chosen in this age would not remain in the grave.
  2. For, as soon as they die, they are changed into spirits and taken to heaven.
  3. However, some, who remain until the final end, when the devil will be destroyed would not die, but would pass from life to life.

(1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). ‘Teaching Is Heresy’ (Rev. Francis Ejiroghene Waive, General Overseer, Fresh Anointing Missionary Ministries Inc/Senior Pastor, Church Of The Anointing) THE over emphasised teaching on the 144,000 by a particular sect and their allies is heresy.

Heresy is when falsehood is propagated with the colouring of truth. Even when truth is over emphasised, it becomes heresy. There is a need for balance in everything, interpreting scripture with scripture: ‘for at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.’ A fundamental principle of Biblical interpretation is not to take one scripture and formulate a doctrine out of it.

Otherwise many weird things will be taught using a single Bible verse. Other than Revelation Chapters Seven and 14, nowhere else in the Bible mentions this infamous 144,000. One wonders why they didn’t pick the three witnesses or the 24 elders also mentioned in the book of Revelation and declare same as the only number to inherit God’s Kingdom.

  • Moreover, the book of Revelation is clear and precise on who these 144,000 are and the period of their access to heaven.
  • First, these are Jews (12,000 from each of the 12 tribes) who eventually accept Jesus of Nazareth as the true Messiah and Christ.
  • And this happens in the middle of the Great Tribulation, which the Bible teaches will occur at the end of the present age.
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It is well known that most Jews reject Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. Their acceptance of Jesus as the Christ is the first thing that marks the 144,000 out. Secondly, the Bible gives specific characteristics of these Jews; they have not defiled themselves with women and their tongue is pure from evil speaking or lies.

  1. In the middle of the discussion on the 144,000, the scriptures talk about the 24 elders in heaven who are not part of the 144,000.
  2. Then immediately after the verses that discuss the 144,000, verse nine of Revelation Chapter Seven says, “after these thing, I looked and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues standing before the throne and before the lamb clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying with a loud voice saying, salvation to our God who sits on the throne and to the lamb”.

With this and many other Bible passages, one wonders why people do not read the scriptures in context. Children of God who precede the soon Second Coming of Christ in death are in a place of rest otherwise called Abraham’s bosom. This is just as the wicked dead are reserved in a place of torment until that great and dreadful Day of Judgment when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed.

  1. But we which are alive shall not prevent them, which are asleep.
  2. For the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we, which are alive shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with him’ (1 Thess 4:15-17) ‘Doctrine Is Misreading Of The Bible’ (Rev. Fr.
  3. Ojaje Idoko, Director of Pastoral Affairs Department, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Abuja) THERE are definitely misconceptions about the use of specific figures and numbers in the Holy Bible.

The numbers seven and 12 are many times misused and misunderstood. These misconceptions come from the fact of misreading of the Bible and lack of understanding of the will of God the Father and His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ for the world. Let us get the word of Christ, which says, “It is not the will of my Father that anyone should perish.” (Matt.18:14) The misreading of Revelation Chapter Seven is the cause of this misconception.

Revelation 7:4 says, “I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, 144,000 from every tribe of Israel.” Verses 5-8 relate that they were sealed, 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel, giving the total number of 144,000 persons. However, from Revelation 7:9ff, John the visioner saw another great multitude, IMPOSSIBLE TO COUNT, from every nation, race, people and tongue.

They stood before the throne and before the lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne and from the Lamb’. The Bible does not say in any part that it is only the 144,000 that will go to heaven.

The revelation to John supports Matthew 8:11, which says that many will come from every corner of the earth to sit with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The number 144,000 that were sealed or chosen are not pre-chosen. The number 12 itself is symbolic. Remember the use of the number in the Bible as it relates to Israel.

They are 12 children of Jacob, 12 tribes of Israel, there are 12 foundation stones in the temple in Jerusalem. Jesus Christ chose 12 Apostles and we shall seat on the thrones to judge the 12 tribes of Israel. The new city of Jerusalem also has 12 gates.

It is not surprising that the same number of 12 tribes of Israel is multiplied by the 12,000 persons from each tribe to get the figure 144,000. What Jesus would want us to do is the answer he gave when someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He replied, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate.

For many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be able to.” (Luke 13:23-24) If the 144,000 and some persons have been chosen, how then is He encouraging us all to strive to enter through the narrow gate? Salvation has always been open to all living human beings and it remains so.

  • God has not changed and He will not change His plan, which is to save all.
  • Those who have slept in faith are at peace waiting for the final judgment when we shall see “a new heaven and new earth.
  • The former heaven and the former earth had passed away and the sea was no more.” (Rev.21:1) Revelation 20:12-13 says, “I saw the dead, the great and lowly, standing before the throne, and the scrolls were opened.

Then another scroll was opened, the book of life. The dead were judged according to their deeds Those who slept in death rose and the sea gave up its dead; and then Death and Hades gave up their dead.” The saints who have slept in peace are enjoying the presence of God our Father and will not experience the second death.

They are at peace with God. ‘No Man Can Determine Who Goes To Heaven Or Hell’ (Arc. Taofeek Olawunmi Agbaje, President Jama-at-ul Islamiyya of Nigeria And Overseas) WE don’t have such in the Quran; what we have specifically mentioned is that everybody will be judged on the Day of Judgment. At the end of this exercise, there are just only two places where people will spend eternity: it’s either you find yourself in hell or in heaven, which is paradise.

And on the Judgment Day, after the pronouncement, everybody will know where he/she belongs. Everything about the earth will totally collapse: the moon, the sun, and the mountains will be like a pack of wood. So, nobody is ruling anything, once it is destroyed.

We believe that when the last day comes, everything about the earth is finished. There will be no living soul on the earth. Rather, we would have those going to hell or those heading for paradise. That is why we always preach that one needs to do good because both hell and heaven are everlasting. If there is any other choice, like the way you are putting it, about any other world, some people would say, ‘may be I will be back to the world again.

I might be the one they will retain in the world’. There is nothing like that. We don’t have a specific number of people Almighty God has purposed to spend eternity with Him. We cannot imagine how paradise will look like or even think about the population it will accommodate.

Nobody knows. Do we even know the population that Almighty God has created that will go to heaven? At the moment, no human being knows the extent of what God Almighty has created. Just recently, they discovered a new planet. That means we cannot comprehend the knowledge and power of Almighty God. His creation is so wide.

He just gave us the little of what He wants us to know. That goes to confirm what both the Quran and the Bible say about false prophets; that when they come they will tell you so many things. How did they know? Are they going to be with the Almighty God, judging the people? Human beings cannot judge who goes to heaven or who goes to hell.

The people we esteem so highly today, who are at the top, who we say are holy, might go to hell. So, it’s only the Almighty God who knows who is going to heaven or hell. Talking about the saints and where they are, now, the Almighty Allah did not show or tell us where the saints who have died are. What He just mentioned in the Quran and in the Bible is that on that last day, He will wake everybody up to face the judgment.

The concept of Islam is that the day one dies, his or her judgment starts. Muslims believe that the moment one dies, right there in the grave, his/her judgment starts. If you are a good person, you will know where you are going. If you are a terrible person, you will get a sign of where you are going.

All the saints that have died and are still dying, where are their souls? Almighty Allah knows where He put them till the last day. ‘Church Founders Alone Are More Than 144,000′ (His Grace, The Most Rev. (Dr.) Solomon Gbadebo Abimbola Primate, The First African Church Mission) WHEN you look at the majority of church founders, they are even more than that number they are talking about.

Majority of those preaching this heresy are heads of churches. That means they have condemned themselves already, and they are not going to heaven. There is nothing like that in the Bible. I have not come across something like that in the Bible, which I believe every other person is reading as well.

It’s like when they talk about 40 in the Bible and say that 40 does not really mean 40. That is why we always advise ourselves whenever we meet that the way some people are interpreting the Bible is causing problem for their members. That is why you see churches everywhere. Some people just wake one morning and the next thing they open a church, without any training.

Nothing whatsoever! The little idea or experience they have is what they are using to teach their members. People don’t read the Bible and interpret it accordingly. That is the problem. To them, 144,000 people are those that are called by grace. To them, these are the only people of grace that will go to heaven.

And yet the Bible says: ‘turn away from your sins and you will be saved’. If the Bible is talking about how you are going to be saved, that means people are turning what the Bible is saying to mean something else. I don’t believe what they are saying concerning 144,000. When you look at the number in Revelation, you cannot quantify it with the present number of Christians we have in the world today.

So, their interpretation is not what the Bible is saying. The kingdom that Jesus is referring to is the kingdom of God; of course, those who will be with Him in eternity. If the world today turns away from their wicked ways and turn to God and are born again then everybody will go to heaven.

The issue of 144,000 does not arise at all. To me, I don’t believe in heresy. Today, churches outnumber this figure. Some have more than 500,000 persons. It means they will not go to heaven, according to that teaching. If you are born again before death comes, and you have repented of your sins, you will go to heaven.

Even if you have been doing evil before, that moment you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour you are going to heaven. Nothing will stop you. So, I don’t believe in that number. All the saints that have died are with Christ in heaven. He said, ‘So shall we be forever.’ So, those who have died in the Lord are in heaven.

There is a portion in the Bible, which says, ‘We all are going to die. Even those that are dead will be the first to be raised and those of us who are still living are going to meet them over there’ The teaching is a fallacy. ‘Number Merely Symbolic’ (Rev. Nelson Iluno, Anglican Diocese of Nnewi, Anambra State) Matthew 8:11 contains Jesus’ amazing response to the faith of the centurion who requested the healing of his sick servant from Jesus.

In praising the centurion, Jesus tweaked the ethnic attitudes of the Jews. For Jesus to approve a Gentile with greater faith than any of the Jews seems scandalous and very offensive to the Jews. Jesus said, “Many will come from the east and the west.” This centurion was a forerunner of those Gentiles who would later believe in Jesus and receive salvation.

Salvation is the central theme of the Holy Scriptures. The Gentile Christians are numbered among the redeemed of God. The book of Revelation (7:1-17) describes two redeemed communities. The first (vv.1-8) numbers 144,000 and is drawn from the 12 tribes of Israel by representation of 12 persons from each tribe.

The second (vv.9-17) is a huge unnumbered multitude drawn from all nations, language, and tribes or the great international community. At first sight, they seem to be two distinct groups (numbered and unnumbered: Israel and the Gentiles). But on closer inspection, it becomes clear that both are pictures of the same redeemed community of God: one true, holy and universal church, although viewed from different perspectives.

  1. The first community are called “the servants of our God” (v.3), who are sealed on their foreheads to indicate that they belong to him.
  2. The number 144, 000 has a special meaning in the Bible; it means completeness.
  3. The number “seven” has the same special meaning (Rev.5:6).
  4. The 144,000 are symbolic; they are representatives of the 12 tribes of Israel.

It does not mean that only 144,000 Israelites will be saved. The second community is international and countless. They are described as “theywashed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (v.14). Follow Us : The Big Test To Select 144,000 Candidates For Heaven

Are there any famous Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Marques Houston recently sharing the news of his baptism to complete his conversion to the Jehovah’s Witness faith surprised a few of his fans and got the Internet buzzing about celebrities and religion. As it turns out, Marques isn’t the only Black celebrity who is currently or has previously been involved with the Jehova’s Witness faith. 01 Jill Scott Songstress Jill Scott was raised in the Jehovah’s Witness faith but has stated in recent years that she no longer practices the religion. Getty Images 02 The Wayans Family One of two family units on our list, the Wayans were also raised in the Jehovah’s Witness faith. Getty Images 03 Terrence Howard “Empire” star Terrence Howard has expressed interest in joining the Jehovah’s Witness faith and his current wife is also raising their children in the faith. Getty Images 04 Notorious B.I.G. Rapper The Notorious B.I.G., aka Christopher Wallace, was raised in the Jehovah’s Witness faith by his mother Voletta Wallace, who is still active in the religion today. Getty Images 05 Sherri Shepherd Actress and television host Sherri Shepherd was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness but no longer practices the faith. Getty Images 06 Serena Williams Tennis champion Serena Williams was raised in the Jehovah’s Witness faith and continues to practice many of her beliefs stemming from the religion today. Getty Images 07 The Jackson family The Jackson family was raised in the Jehovah’s Witness faith, but several of the family members, including sister Janet, no longer practice the religion. Getty Images 08 Marc John Jeffries Marc John Jefferies, who you’ll recognize from films like “Losing Isaiah,” “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” and “Notorious,” was raised in the Jehova’s Witness faith as a child. Getty Images 09 Venus Williams Like sister Serena, Venus was also raised in the Jehovah’s Witness faith by their parents. Getty Images 10 Naomi Campbell Supermodel Naomi Campbell was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness but no longer practices the faith. Getty Images 11 Marques Houston R&B singer and actor Marques Houston just recently completed his conversion into the Jehovah’s Witness faith and has been actively celebrating his involvement with the religion on social media. Getty Images 12 Ja Rule Rapper Ja Rule was raised in the Jehovah’s Witness faith but later left the religion after his mother was disfellowshipped. Getty Images 13 Prince Prince was a practicing Jehovah’s Witness for years after converting to the religion in 2003. Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards

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Can Jehovah Witnesses play professional sports?

This was published 8 years ago Jehovah’s Witnesses do play professional sport, but body contact and ruthless competitiveness are questionable, according to a senior elder. Alex Rance’s devotion to the Jehovah’s Witness faith has been cited as a reason – though not the only one – why the Richmond defender is considering his football future at the age of just 25. Alex Rance has begun to confide thoughts of retirement to teammates. Credit: Getty Images The Age on Wednesday reported that while he is considered unlikely to walk away from the game, he was feeling drawn to a different life. There was no indication he wanted to take up religious service full-time.

  1. Graeme Martin, a senior elder at Jehovah’s Witnesses headquarters in Australia, said it was up to the individual to consider how their sport fitted in with what they read in the bible.
  2. He said the organisation was not against all competition, but it discouraged competition that stirred up negative feelings such as vanity, greed and violence.

“The competitiveness, win-at-all-costs no matter what the consequence for other players is questionable, but we don’t dictate what a person chooses to do,” Martin said. There was no clear line on whether a sport was too violent or competitive, he said, so it was impossible to say whether AFL was acceptable.

  • We’re not going to make these arbitrary rules,” Martin said.
  • Adults are making career choices, it’s really up to them.” There are examples of practising Jehovah’s Witnesses making a huge impression in the world of sport.
  • Tennis champions Serena and Venus Williams were raised Jehovah’s Witnesses and remain active in the faith – their mother Oracene converted in 1984, just as her daughters began to play.

The pair had even been spreading the word since they became famous, according to sister Isha, in a New York Times story in 2012. In Billy Bragg’s God’s Footballer, the folk singer told the true story of promising British soccer player Peter Knowles, who in 1969 gave away the game to devote his time to his Jehovah’s Witness faith.

  • Martin said the priorities of promising Jehovah’s Witness sportspeople sometimes changed as their faith deepened, and that prompted them to take a different path.
  • Many adherents to the faith, particularly single people or couples without children, devoted themselves to missionary service full-time, then pursued part-time paid work to make ends meet.

“A lot are fully leading towards a sporting or professional career, then they study the bible and it changes their viewpoint on what the future holds,” he said. The type of person who had been previously fully committed to one thing – the sport of their choice – was unlikely to then pursue religious service in a piecemeal way.

  1. A number of Australians have stepped back from professional sport in recent years in favour of religious service.
  2. Will Hopoate took two years out from his promising rugby league career to complete a mission for the Mormon faith, returning to join the Parramatta Eels last year.
  3. Fellow NRL player Lagi Setu spent his two-year Mormon mission in England, and now plays for the Sydney Roosters.

Richmond half-back Bachar Houli, a practising Muslim, makes some small adjustments to make sure he can fulfil his religious duties. He alters his work-out program slightly during Ramadan, training with the team for the main session then squeezing the extra sessions into a shorter timeframe, forgoing a break.

How many NBA players are Mormon?

Under 0.245% of all NBA players self identify as members of the Mormon church.

How many Jehovah Witnesses are in the UK?

CARING FOR THE JEHOVAH WITNESS PATIENT. There are about 132,000 baptised adult Jehovah Witnesses in the UK. Most of them belong to a local congregation of about 100 people. There are no salaried ministers but each congregation has lay Elders who have pastoral and spiritual responsibility and authority.

How many Jehovah’s Witnesses are there in Turkey?

Jehovah’s Witnesses have been in Turkey for about 100 years. There are now approximately 4,000 active Witnesses in Turkey and more than 7,000 people who attend their meetings for worship.

When did Jehovah Witness start?

How did the Jehovah’s Witnesses begin? – Jehovah’s Witnesses started in 1870 when Charles Taze Russell led Bible studies in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Jehovah’s Witnesses movement came out of the Bible Student movement, also founded by Russell. When he started to dispute some traditional Christian views, the Jehovah’s Witnesses were born.

What is a Jehovah Witness simple?

Jehovah’s Witnesses are members of a religious movement that is related to Adventism. Witnesses believe that they are living in the last days of life on Earth. They look forward to the establishment of God’s kingdom on Earth, and they believe that will happen soon.

Can Jehovah Witnesses play professional sports?

This was published 8 years ago Jehovah’s Witnesses do play professional sport, but body contact and ruthless competitiveness are questionable, according to a senior elder. Alex Rance’s devotion to the Jehovah’s Witness faith has been cited as a reason – though not the only one – why the Richmond defender is considering his football future at the age of just 25. Alex Rance has begun to confide thoughts of retirement to teammates. Credit: Getty Images The Age on Wednesday reported that while he is considered unlikely to walk away from the game, he was feeling drawn to a different life. There was no indication he wanted to take up religious service full-time.

  1. Graeme Martin, a senior elder at Jehovah’s Witnesses headquarters in Australia, said it was up to the individual to consider how their sport fitted in with what they read in the bible.
  2. He said the organisation was not against all competition, but it discouraged competition that stirred up negative feelings such as vanity, greed and violence.

“The competitiveness, win-at-all-costs no matter what the consequence for other players is questionable, but we don’t dictate what a person chooses to do,” Martin said. There was no clear line on whether a sport was too violent or competitive, he said, so it was impossible to say whether AFL was acceptable.

  • We’re not going to make these arbitrary rules,” Martin said.
  • Adults are making career choices, it’s really up to them.” There are examples of practising Jehovah’s Witnesses making a huge impression in the world of sport.
  • Tennis champions Serena and Venus Williams were raised Jehovah’s Witnesses and remain active in the faith – their mother Oracene converted in 1984, just as her daughters began to play.

The pair had even been spreading the word since they became famous, according to sister Isha, in a New York Times story in 2012. In Billy Bragg’s God’s Footballer, the folk singer told the true story of promising British soccer player Peter Knowles, who in 1969 gave away the game to devote his time to his Jehovah’s Witness faith.

  • Martin said the priorities of promising Jehovah’s Witness sportspeople sometimes changed as their faith deepened, and that prompted them to take a different path.
  • Many adherents to the faith, particularly single people or couples without children, devoted themselves to missionary service full-time, then pursued part-time paid work to make ends meet.

“A lot are fully leading towards a sporting or professional career, then they study the bible and it changes their viewpoint on what the future holds,” he said. The type of person who had been previously fully committed to one thing – the sport of their choice – was unlikely to then pursue religious service in a piecemeal way.

A number of Australians have stepped back from professional sport in recent years in favour of religious service. Will Hopoate took two years out from his promising rugby league career to complete a mission for the Mormon faith, returning to join the Parramatta Eels last year. Fellow NRL player Lagi Setu spent his two-year Mormon mission in England, and now plays for the Sydney Roosters.

Richmond half-back Bachar Houli, a practising Muslim, makes some small adjustments to make sure he can fulfil his religious duties. He alters his work-out program slightly during Ramadan, training with the team for the main session then squeezing the extra sessions into a shorter timeframe, forgoing a break.

How many NBA players are Mormon?

Under 0.245% of all NBA players self identify as members of the Mormon church.

How many Jehovah’s Witnesses are Disfellowshipped yearly?

Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses break silence on shunning: ‘My mother treats me like I’m dead’ Amber Sawyer was just 8 years old when it happened. She was watching cartoons on the living room floor of her Mississippi home when she heard the bang. She went to investigate and found her 21-year-old sister, Donna, dead in her bed.

She had shot herself in the heart with their father’s hunting rifle weeks after being excommunicated by their church for getting engaged to a non-Jehovah’s Witness. For Sawyer — who sat on the bedroom floor near her sister’s body for hours that day, waiting for her mother to come home from her door-to-door missionary work — it was the beginning of a long, painful journey that would one day tear her family apart.

Years later, Sawyer got excommunicated, too, after seeking a divorce from an abusive husband. She ended up leaving the husband — and the faith. Her family cut all ties. “Jehovah’s Witness kids grow up knowing that if they ever mess up, their parents will leave them — and that’s scary,” Sawyer, now 38, said in a recent interview from her home in Pascagoula, Miss.

  1. The shunning is supposed to make us miss them so much that we’ll come back.
  2. It didn’t work.” Sawyer and many others like her are now denouncing the church’s shunning practices in the wake of a recent murder-suicide in Keego Harbor that killed a family of four ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses who were ostracized after leaving the faith.

The deaths sparked outrage among scores of ex-JWs nationwide who took to Facebook, online forums, blogs and YouTube, arguing the tragedy highlights a pervasive yet rarely-publicized problem within the church: Shunning is pushing the most vulnerable people over the edge, they say, and tearing families apart.

Read more: In the Michigan case, a distraught mother shot and killed her husband, her two grown children and herself in their Keego Harbor home, shocking the small and quiet Oakland County community. The shooter was Lauren Stuart, a part-time model and personal trainer who struggled with depression and spent much of her time working on her house, her friends say.

She and her husband, Daniel Stuart, 47, left the JW faith more than a decade ago over doctrinal and social issues. Among them was their desire to send their kids to college, which many ex-JWs say is frowned upon by the church and viewed as spiritually dangerous.

  1. University and college campuses are notorious for bad behavior​ — drug and alcohol abuse, immorality, cheating, hazing, and the list goes on,” a 2005 article in the Watchtower, the church’s official publication, stated.
  2. But the Stuarts sent both their kids to college: Steven, 27, excelled in computers, just like his father, who was a data solutions architect for the University of Michigan Medical School.

Bethany, 24, thrived in art and graphic design. After the parents left the faith, the Stuarts were ostracized by the Kingdom Hall — the churches where Jehovah’s Witnesses worship — community in Union Lake and their families, friends said. Lauren Stuart, whose mother died of cancer when she was 12, struggled with mental illness that went untreated; isolation and fears that the end was near, said friends and officials familiar with the case.

  • One friend who requested anonymity said she believes the killing was the result of depression, not religion.
  • This is a tragedy that has to do with a disease.
  • Depression is so prevalent, and when it goes untreated this is what happens,” the friend said.
  • She needed medical help.” Longtime family friend Joyce Taylor believes depression, shunning and religion-based doomsday fears all played a role.

She said that about six weeks before the killings, Lauren started getting religiously preoccupied and telling her “‘It’s the end times, I know it is.'” Weeks later, Taylor saw her friend again. Lauren had a vacant look in her eyes. She was emotionally distressed.

A week later, with her home decorated for Valentine’s Day, Lauren Stuart killed her family. She left behind a suicide note. “She said in the suicide note that she felt that by killing them it was the only way to save them,” recalled Taylor, who said police let her read the letter. “She said she’s sorry that she has to do this, but it was the only way to save them all.” Taylor, a former Jehovah’s Witness herself who left the faith in 1986, explained: “Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that if you die on this side of Armageddon, you’ll be resurrected in paradise.” In Lauren Stuart’s case, Taylor believes her friend never deprogrammed after leaving the church — a state she describes as “physically out, but mentally in.” She believes that Lauren’s indoctrinated doomsday fears never left her, and that the shunning helped push her over the edge.

Stars Who Are Jehovah’s Witnesses

Had she not been excommunicated by her tight-knit community that was once her entire support system — left with no one to share her fears with — Lauren Stuart may not have done what she did, Taylor believes. “People do things when they are desperate,” Taylor said.

  1. And that was an extreme, desperate act.” Shunning “can lead to great trauma among people because the Jehovah’s Witnesses are a very tight-knit community,” said Mathew Schmalz, a religious studies associate professor at the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.
  2. If you’re separated out, you’re really left to your own devices in ways that are very challenging and very painful,” Schmalz said.

“Once you leave a group that’s been your whole life — letting that go is a kind of death.” Police have not yet disclosed details about the death of the Stuart family besides calling it a murder-suicide. The tragedy has emboldened many once-quiet ex-JWs to speak up.

Many say they suffered quietly on their own for years until they discovered an online community full of isolated, ostracized people like themselves — people who had lost someone to suicide or attempted suicide themselves because their families, friends and church community had written them off for making mistakes, for being human.

The church calls it being “disfellowshipped.” Members can return if they repent, change the behavior and prove themselves worthy of being reinstated. But unless or until that happens, members are encouraged to avoid the sinners, especially those who leave the faith.

  1. Mothers go years, even decades, without talking to their children.
  2. Siblings write off siblings.
  3. Friends shun friends.
  4. An estimated 70,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses are disfellowshipped every year — roughly 1% of the church’s total population, according to data published by the Watchtower.
  5. Their names are published at local Kingdom Halls.

Of those, two-thirds never return. Within a faith representing 8.4 million people worldwide, however, many members believe the religion is pure, good and loving. Those who are speaking against it, current members argue, are disgruntled and angry people who have an ax to grind because they were disfellowshipped.

  • Or, they are lost souls who have misinterpreted the meaning and love behind the faith.
  • Members say they believe the shunning accusations are exaggerated and that the suicides are often more about mental illness than ostracism.
  • The departed disagree.
  • In the world of ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses, they maintain, the shunned are considered dead to their families, just like the suicide victims.

These are their stories:

How many Jehovah Witnesses are in the US?

Membership activity – For 2022, about 1.5 billion hours of preaching were reported and nearly 145,600 new members were baptized. Nearly 5.7 million home Bible studies with Jehovah’s Witnesses were reported, including Bible studies conducted by Witness parents with their children.

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses’ official statistics only count as members those who submit reports for preaching activity, usually resulting in lower membership numbers than those found by external surveys.
  • For example, Jehovah’s Witnesses report approximately 1.2 million active publishers in the United States, whereas the Pew Research Center reported that Jehovah’s Witnesses make up 0.8% of the US population (approximately 2.5 million).

Their official statistics indicate membership according to various territories—which they refer to as “lands”—many of which are not independent countries. According to official statistics, about 19.7 million people worldwide attended Jehovah’s Witnesses’ 2022 observance of the Memorial of Christ’s death (also termed the Lord’s Evening Meal ).