So far in this series, I have discussed the Jehovah’s Witness belief system focusing on problems in translation of their “bible”, flawed interpretation of core beliefs, and flawed interpretation of religious practices. Now I want to take a look at one of the essential doctrines of Christianity, and that is regarding the God-nature of Jesus Christ.
Before I get too deep into what I am going to present as evidence about who Jesus was, I want to give some props to another blogger who has done some pretty nice work in addressing the Jehovah’s Witness belief system. Hans (a.k.a. theistichedonist) has written some interesting stuff in his post Witnessing to the Witnesses. I believe that this is a reliable work and study into the beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and offers worthwhile perspective. Please check it out…
What I want to focus on specifically is the idea of who Jesus was. In his post Hans makes the argument that Jesus was the perfect Ransom and sacrifice for an imperfect world. I totally agree with this point of view. Jesus was the only perfect sacrifice. And because of the sin nature of man, the only way that Jesus could have been the perfect, sinless sacrifice is if He were God. It is impossible for a man who is only a man to even exist without sin. Romans 3:23 tells us that, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (ESV).
The Jehovah’s Witnesses argue that Jesus is the Messiah that was prophesied hundreds of years before His birth. They also believe the he is the Son of God, and that He lived in Heaven since the beginning. In fact they also believe that He is the “first-born of all creation” (Colossians 1:15), and this is one of the keys to what they believe. If Jesus (a heavenly being) was a created being, then He was part of God’s creation, and therefore not God. However, according to Christian doctrine, Jesus was not only the Son of God, but He is also God in the flesh.
The trinity is an essential Christian doctrine, and the Jehovah’s Witness believe that if Jesus were God, and God the Father were God (not to mention that the Holy Spirit is God too), then this represents a form of polytheism (worship of multiple gods). Since the idea of monotheism means that there is only one God, then it is not possible for there to be multiple gods. Therefore they claim that Jesus is the Messiah, and the “coming king”, but not God Himself.
While I don’t pretend to be as strong as I’d like to be on the theology of the Trinity, there are a couple of problems with this ideology that I see right away. First of all, the Gospel of John tells us that, “the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1, ESV). In this passage, the Apostle John was referring to Jesus when he used the term “Word” (logos). This is a very clear statement that not only was Jesus with God, but that He actually was God. This idea might be dismissed by the Jehovah’s Witnesses as not being possible, but one thing that I also do not pretend is that I am capable of understanding God in all of His fullness. However, John was driven by the Holy Spirit to make such a statement that Jesus was fully God.
In reference to the Trinity, James writes that, “God is one” (James 2:19, ESV). This was not the main point that he was trying to drive in this passage, but it is one of multiple references that refer to the unity of the God in all of His forms. Again, I do not pretend to understand the complete nature of God, but I must believe that it is possible for there to be various forms or aspects of God that come together to form one God. After all, in the beginning, God said, “let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26, ESV). If I believe that God created man with a body, soul, and spirit, then wouldn’t it be possible to think that God exists in those various forms? After all, after Jesus (God in the flesh) ascended into Heaven, he sent the Holy Spirit (God in the Spirit). I’m not trying to say that God the Father is the “soul” of God, because I don’t know if I have the Scriptural foundation to actually make that statement. What I am saying is that God has revealed Himself to us in various forms, and that it is possible for the various forms of God to all actually be fully the same, singular God.
I know that there is much more to this argument, and I am only skimming the surface. However, I did want to make sure that I addressed some of the issues that stick out in my mind about the differences in who Jesus was. This discussion can get quite complex, and confusing. One thing that I can say is that I also know that my human mind is limited, and that I cannot consider myself equal in knowledge and understanding to my Creator. I think that a human trying to understand the complexities and full nature of God is like an ant trying to figure out a human being and fully understanding our personalities and nature. That would be simply uncomprehendable. However, I do believe that there is more evidence in the Bible that supports the idea that Jesus is fully God, than there is that Jesus was merely a heavenly creation even if he is the Messiah.
If you have other thoughts or references that speak the nature of Jesus, then please feel free to share. But stay tuned to the final post in this series as I wrap up and discuss one of the final key elements regarding interacting with the Jehovah’s Witnesses…
Other posts in this series:
- Part 1 :: The Translation Problem (New World Translation)
- Part 2 :: Interpretation Flaws, Core Beliefs
- Part 3 :: Interpretation Flaws, Religious Practices
- Part 4 :: Interpretation Flaws, Diety of Jesus
- Part 5 :: Role of Christians with “Them”