What is a sect and a cult? Are Jehovah's Witnesses a sect, a cult, a religion, Christians?

Jehovahs Witnesses are known worldwide for their witnessing work about the good news of the Kingdom of God about Jesus Christ and Jehovah God (According to the Bible Jehovah is the name of God). This website has some information about Jehovah’s Witnesses. On this page you are right if you have the following question about Jehovahs Witnesses:

Is the religion of Jehovahs Witnesses a sect, a cult, a religion, true followers of Jesus Christ? To give a good answer to this question, we should know exactly: what is a sect? This is interesting, because opposers of Jehovah's Witnesses may claim, that Jehovah's Witnesses are a sect or a cult. But is this true?

What is a sect?

Sect can mean a group that has broken away from a religion, which is established. This is how some define the word sect. But there is also another application to the word sect: a group that follows a particular human teacher or human leader. The term sect is usually used with a negative undertone.

Are Jehovah's Witnesses a sect?

For an answer to the question if Jehovah's Witnesses are a sect, we have to search through the history of Jehovah's Witnesses. History shows that Jehovah's Witnesses has not broken away from an established religion. Instead Jehovah's Witnesses include persons from many, many religions and churches. From the very beginning till today Jehovah's Witnesses are people which study the Bible. And then follow the teachings of the Bible. Coming out of all (many or most…) people, tribes, languages and religions as well as religious backgrounds.

The first meaning of the word sect does not apply to Jehovah's Witnesses

The first Meaning of the Word Sect "a group that has broken away from a religion, which is established" does not apply to Jehovahs Witnesses. This we can clearly see from the history of Jehovah's Witnesses. On the other hand is a group that has broken away from an established religion (for example) the Protestant church or Protestant movement. In the beginning the Protestant movement (Protestant church) has broken away from the Catholic Church.

Applies the second meaning of the word sect to Jehovah's Witnesses?

The second application to the term sect is a group that follows a particular human teacher or human leader. Does this apply to Jehovah's Witnesses? To give an answer to this question we have to examine the structure of Jehovah's Witnesses very closely. When we carefully examine the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses we can see, that Jehovah's Witnesses do not look to any human as their leader, but rather to Almighty God Jehovah (God's name is according to the Bible Jehovah) and his Christ, Jesus (Christ means translated in English Anointed). The structure of Jehovah's Witnesses is like that of the first Christians in the first century. The first Christians in the first century had a governing body, but no particular human leader (The Bible, Acts chapter 15). The leader of the first Christians in the first century was Jesus Christ (The Bible, Colossians 1:18). Exactly this structure we can find in the Religion of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

What can we find in the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses?

In the congregations of the Witnesses of Jehovah there are elders, like in the first century in the Christian congregations. But the Witnesses of Jehovah follow only what is written in the Bible. When we visit a gathering of a congregation of the Jehovah's Witnesses, we can see that the whole talk is based on the Bible. The Bible is often quoted. And the regular Visitors (Witnesses of Jehovah) in the congregations have normally also their own Bible. Many read in the Bible the quoted Scriptures. Even the young ones read in the Bible. And sometimes (very) young ones (in reality quite often) give amazing comments. It can be really impressive to see, that also the young people have an active share. You can see young people which open the Bible by themselves and find Scriptures, which most people don't know where. It seems that every teaching is closely based on the Bible. The Witnesses of Jehovah have the Bible even as something like a trademark, when they go to the people in their public ministry. From house to house (like the first Christians in the first century).

Many other religions hit the second definition of a sect

In many religions it is easy to find a particular human leader. Think for example the Catholic church. Is the Pope in the Catholic church a particular human leader? This is the case, when the pope teaches something clearly different from the Bible. And the Catholic church follow this teaching of the Pope. The (most) priests follow in such cases the teachings of the Pope. And the Catholic church is not the only religion with a particular human leader. The new apostolic Church has for example also a human leader. Called an apostle. And what is with all the religions, which has a prophet as human leader and teacher? Always when a religion follow the teachings of a human leader more than the teachings of what is accepted as God's word, the religion has a human leader. Something very different from the Jehovah's Witnesses. Which base all their teachings obviously and clearly on what they accept as God's word (the Bible).

What is a cult?

Before the answer to the question if Jehovah's Witnesses are a cult, here is first the answer to the question: "What is it cult?": A cult is a religion that emphasizes devotion according to prescribed ritual or that is called unorthodox. Often cult members live in groups apart from the rest of society. And many cults have a living human leader, which the members of the cult follow. Maybe now you have the question: "What means Orthodox?"

What is the meaning of Orthodox?

Orthodox comes from the Greek words orthos and doxa. Orthos means right, straight or true. Doxa means belief or opinion and is related to the word dokein. Which means to think. In the Bible we can find the following: "All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work " (2. Timothy 3:16-17). According to this all Scriptures of the Bible is inspired of God. Because of that the Bible is often called God's word. And the word of God or the Bible should be the answer for what is Orthodox and what is not Orthodox. For every religion, which believe that the Bible is the word of God.

Are Jehovah's Witnesses a cult?

A careful search through the history of Jehovah's Witnesses shows clearly, that the Witnesses of Jehovah strictly adhere to the Bible. Their buildings (called Kingdom Halls) and the gatherings of the Witnesses of Jehovah does not emphasize devotion to any prescribed ritual. If you are used to the rituals in many churches and go for the first time to a gathering of Witnesses of Jehovah you will find something very different. During the regular gatherings there are no rituals. Just singing, praying and talks based on the Bible and biblical Litrature. Sometimes with the possibility to give comments. The Gatherings are very encouraging. And you will find very strict adherence to the Bible. You don't find in the Kingdom Halls of the Jehovah's Witnesses anything which is given devotion (according to a prescribed ritual). What you can often see in churches around the world. So Jehovah's Witnesses are Orthodox to the Bible and emphasize not any devotion according to prescribed rituals. And Jehovah's Witnesses don't follow a living human leader, like already mentioned on this page before.

Live Jehovah's Witnesses in groups apart from the rest of common society?

Jehovah's Witnesses don't isolate themselves from the rest of society. But work and live in the midst of other people.

Who are Jehovah's Witnesses? Does they come from all walks of life?

Jehovah's Witnesses are normal people from all walks of life. You can find in the Jehovah's Witnesses religion poor people and rich people. And all in between. Jehovah's Witnesses are people with different educational levels. You can find Jehovah's Witnesses with university education. With no school education at all. But normally also people with no school education at all (which cannot read) learn to read, from a free (with no cost at all) program of Jehovah's Witnesses. And you can find in the Religion of Jehovah's Witnesses educational levels in between. Maybe your lawyer, architect, doctor, nurse… is a Witness of Jehovah. Or the person which brings the newspaper, cleans your home or office (if you get this services) is a Witness of Jehovah. Or the police officer or the Judge you next time may have to do with (if it happens at all) is a Witness of Jehovah. But no Jehovah's Witness is in the military and go to war. Because of the commandment of the Bible, that we should not murder (The Bible, Exodus 20:13). And the commandment of Jesus Christ, that we should love our religious brothers (The Bible, breast John 13:34-35: "I am giving YOU a new commandment, that YOU love one another; just as I have loved YOU, that YOU also love one another. 35 By this all will know that YOU are my disciples, if YOU have love among yourselves.” John 15:17 “These things I command YOU, that YOU love one another.")

In the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses we can find very young people and very old people. And all in between. It seems, that Jehovah's Witnesses are not only coming out of every (or many or most…?) Religions, people's, tribes and languages; but also out of all walks of life.

How does the European Court of Human Rights judge the question: are Jehovah's Witnesses a sect or a religion?

The European Court of Human Rights has recognized Jehovah's Witnesses as a religion, not a sect.

Are Jehovah's Witnesses true Christians?

For sure Jehovah's Witnesses are a religion. Not a sect. And not a cult. But are Jehovah's Witnesses true Christians? Really followers of Jesus Christ? Many people think so. Because Jehovah's Witnesses don't have a human leader. But Jesus Christ is the leader of Jehovah's Witnesses. And like Jesus Christ Jehovah's Witnesses go and preach the good news of the kingdom. Jehovah's Witnesses are even known worldwide for that preaching and teaching God's word, the Bible. Like Jesus Christ and the first Christians. Jehovah's Witnesses get to know God's word the Bible. And nobody can become a witness of Jehovah, if he or she don't want to apply God's word in his life. Then he can be baptized and become a member of Jehovah's Witnesses. If somebody is baptized and become a member of Jehovah's Witnesses, he really wants to follow Jesus Christ. Of course nobody is perfect like Jesus Christ. And Jehovah's Witnesses also not. But it is the fact, that Jehovah's Witnesses are known worldwide for their love to other Witnesses of Jehovah and people altogether. Love, proofed by facts and deeds, is the distinctive feature of true Christians. In this regard, Jehovah's Witnesses proof, all around the world, that Jehovah's Witnesses are true Christians. Like no other religion worldwide. This is for example proofed worldwide in many wars or after calamities. And in the preaching and teaching the good news of God's kingdom worldwide, for free.

Page Description: Answer after careful examination of Jehovah's Witnesses: are the Witnesses of Jehovah a sect or cult?

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If not otherwise mentioned, Bible quotations are from the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures

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