As part of examining the Watchtower Organization I’d like to touch on a couple of controversial topics that have implications for society. These include blood transfusions and holidays.
Blood transfusions: According to the Watchtower Society, a Jehovah’s Witness must refuse blood transfusions in all circumstances – even when doctors say death is inevitable without such a transfusion. Also the Society requires parents to see to it children never receive them. They believe a transfusion is the same as “eating blood,” which the Bible prohibits. Watchtower theology teaches that a proper view toward blood is critical to a right relationship with Jehovah. Their scriptural support can be found in Genesis 9:4 (NIV) “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.”
The Watchtower Society says that if according to the Bible a person is not to eat blood, then they should not have a blood transfusion. The way they reason is to say if a person is to stop drinking alcohol through his mouth, it would then be wrong if it is fed to him intravenously. The same goes for a person who is prohibited from drinking blood. The whole issue is whether or not a blood transfusion is in fact eating blood.
Intravenous feeding, supplying life supporting nourishment, is different than a blood transfusion. The word “feeding” immediately tells us there are differences. Blood transfusions are not given as food; in fact the body does not receive it as food. It has nothing to do with eating, which is literally taking food through the mouth and chewing it up and digesting it. Blood transfusions in no way qualify as eating blood. To make the case that intravenous feeding, liquid nourishment is the same as a blood transfusion is deceptive.
In a conversation on this topic you might also want to point out that thousands of Jehovah Witnesses have died because they put their confidence in previously distorted Watchtower passages on health issues. Over the years infants have died in front of Jehovah’s Witness parents who followed the teachings of the church. The following are some examples of so called Biblical teachings that in the past governed the actions of their adherents.
In 1931 the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization would not allow vaccinations because it was a direct violation of the covenant God made with Noah. For twenty years no child or adult of a Jehovah’s Witness could have a vaccination. However, the society dropped the prohibition and since that time children have been vaccinated. I wonder how many Jehovah’s Witness children died as a result of the 20 years of vaccine prohibition.
In November 15, 1967 Watchtower Magazine said that organ transplants amounted to cannibalism and were not appropriate for Christians. Organ transplants were forbidden for the next 13 years. During that time many Jehovah’s Witnesses suffered and died from this decision. Then in March 15, 1980 The Watchtower Magazine said that organ transplants were not necessarily cannibalistic and began allowing them.
Ask the Jehovah Witness, with this track record of prohibiting vaccinations and organ transplants and then years later allowing them, how long will it be before they change their mind on blood transfusions? How many more lives will be lost before they change?
Holidays: Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate Christmas, birthdays, Easter, or any holiday they consider non-Biblical. They say if it wasn’t celebrated in the Bible, then we shouldn’t celebrate it today. They try to make the case that Christendom (that is what they call Evangelical Christians) worships those holidays above Jehovah by making them such an important day. They would claim Jehovah’s Witnesses are a more pure religion worshiping only Jehovah. Yet, they do celebrate anniversaries. Where in the Bible does it teach we should celebrate anniversaries?
This idea to celebrate is equal to worship is absurd. I am certain the typical Jehovah Witness celebrates milestones in their family all the time and yet, doesn’t consider those practices as worshipping. Celebrating does not lead to worship. Evangelical Christians worship the one true God and His Son Jesus Christ. Worship is to serve God with our entire being. Celebrating neither qualifies as worship nor prohibits the ongoing practice of full devotion to God.
In addition to blood and holidays, many Jehovah’s Witness will want to discuss additional side issues such as war (they are pacifists), end times, and other topics. Their emphasis on holidays and blood is a red herring, a way to distract the discussion from the truth of their beliefs. I do my best to change the subject, as these topics move us from what are the important issues; such as who is Jesus and salvation. My suggestion during a discussion is to major in the majors and change topics to Jesus as soon as you can. Holidays and blood transfusions are just areas where they exhibit pride, trying to show their religion is better than yours; don’t get trapped trying to compete.