.:DATING AND MARRYING A JEHOVAH’S WITNESS: Should I convert to the Jehovah’s Witness religion to continue dating my Jehovah’s Witness girlfriend? What should we expect if I don’t convert and she leaves her religion for me?
“I am in love with a lady who was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and I want to marry her, but I do not want her to be disfellowshipped and lose her family due to our relationship. I am mostly concerned about her losing her parents. I want to know if we can still date if I become a Jehovah’s Witness with the purpose of continuing our dating relationship or will that pose a problem? I want to be with her more than anything and that’s why I am asking for your help. If she is not a devout Jehovah’s Witness, can she walk away from this religion? Will she still have her parents if she leaves on her own or will that be worse then being disfellowshipped (excommunicated)? I am looking for a loophole. I know that is not the right thing to do, but she loves me and I love her. As for the articles I have read on your site, I have read them thoroughly and I like what you said in one of your articles: ‘…that a person who is truly in love with another person should be able to put their relationship with that person before any commitment to a human organization (such as the Watchtower Society).’ I see nothing wrong with our relationship being that she doesn’t claim the Jehovah’s Witness religion but her parents do. Is it possible to go to an elder to ask for his blessing on our relationship?”
You and your girlfriend are in a tough situation. It is never easy to face differences in religious beliefs in any dating/marriage relationship especially when it involves family backgrounds, and the Jehovah’s Witness policy of “shunning” those who leave the religion compounds the complexities of your situation.
IF YOU BECOME A JEHOVAH’S WITNESS TO WIN HER…
You asked if you would be allowed to continue your dating relationship with this lady if you were to convert to this religion to please her Jehovah’s Witness parents. We don’t know where your personal religious beliefs stand in comparison to the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but if your only motivation in converting would be to continue your dating relationship, would that be an honest reason to convert, or would you be converting under a false pretense with ulterior motives? In other words, would you be looking into this religion with a goal of converting if you were not dating this Jehovah’s Witness lady at all?
The Jehovah’s Witness religion is not a religion that you can just loosely convert to. It requires full commitment of your time, energy, resources, and loyalty. If you are not willing to put the dictates of this organization and its leadership over your own personal life goals and agendas, you might as well forget the notion of becoming a Jehovah’s Witness. Partial loyalty is simply not acceptable in this religion. This is one of the reasons your girlfriend is being pressured by her Jehovah’s Witness parents to stop dating you and to only date someone who is a Jehovah’s Witness.
The simple fact that she is dating you puts her “spiritually” in a questionable light among her Jehovah’s Witness friends and relatives. They may have already begun to think of her as being “weak” in her faith because she is seeking a relationship with a “worldly” person. At any point in your relationship, the elders can intervene and command her to stop dating you. If she does not obey right away and cut her relationship off with you, she will be “disfellowshipped.”
If your motive for wanting to convert is simply to win the approval of her family and the Jehovah’s Witness leadership, it will not take long before the elders in her congregation will be able to detect your limited loyalty to the organization. Are you prepared to face the potential consequences for converting under false pretenses and the harassment you would face if you do not measure up to all the demands of this religion? Are you prepared to give the Watchtower your full loyalty and devotion and to force your future children into this system as well? The following are some of the sacrifices you and your family would have to make if you become a Jehovah’s Witness:
- LIMITED FREE TIME: You will be required to give up a lot of your free time in the evenings and weekends to prepare for and attend Jehovah’s Witness meetings, preach door-to-door and conduct Watchtower “bible studies” in the homes of potential converts. Are you prepared to force your children to preach door-to-door instead of playing with their friends on the weekends, to do their Watchtower homework in addition to school homework in the evenings, and to attend Watchtower meetings instead of extracurricular school activities (like music band and sports)?
- LIFE UNDER CONSTANT SURVEILLANCE: You will be required to report your monthly door-to-door time to the elders for evaluation and criticism if they think you could have done more. Are you prepared for the constant pressure to perform to their expectations?
- NO MORE HOLDAYS OR BIRTHDAYS: You will not be allowed to celebrate birthdays or holidays regardless of whether or not the holiday (such as Thanksgiving) has a pagan origin. Are you prepared to force your children to be excused from birthday and holiday celebrations at school? Are you prepared to for your children to be teased by other children for being different? What about your non-Jehovah’s Witness relatives? Are you prepared to turn down their holiday dinner invitations?
- NO MORE PATRIOTISM: You will not be allowed to vote, salute the flag or defend your nation against attacks by other nations. Are you prepared for your children to be teased at school because they can’t salute the flag?
- NO BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS: A 1999 Consumer Reports article estimated that blood transfusions save nearly 10,000 lives a day. 1. There are times when blood substitutes simply cannot work to save a life. Many Jehovah’s Witnesses have died because Watchtower policy does not allow blood transfusions. Are you prepared to let your children die rather than give them a needed blood transfusion.
- NO CRITICAL LITERATURE: You will not be allowed to question or doubt any of the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses nor will you be allowed to view critical websites or books. If a friend or relative leaves the Watchtower, you will be required to “shun” them by avoiding unnecessary communication with them, refusing to greet them or invite them to family gatherings. Are you prepared to operate in such a conditional way with the friends and relatives you meet in the organization?
Did you know that when Jehovah’s Witnesses baptize people today, they not only baptize in the name of the Father and the Son, but they baptize in the name of the “spirit-directed organization”? If this is not a red flag that in baptism, you are forced to give your complete loyalty to an “organization,” I don’t know what is! Are you prepared to follow and obey Watchtower doctrines and policies, without question?
“Avoid Independent Thinking… How is such independent thinking manifested? A common way is by questioning the counsel that is provided by God’s visible organization.” — The Watchtower, January 15, 1983, p. 22
If you have just begun to “study” with Jehovah’s Witnesses, you may not have yet come across some of these unbiblical Jehovah’s Witness doctrines that you will be required to accept as “the truth”:
- Only 144,000 are in the new covenant and have Jesus Christ as their Mediator. 2. This contradicts the Bible’s teachings at 2 Timothy 2:5 about Jesus being the Mediator for all people.
- Only 144,000 will be in Heaven, are adopted, born-again as spiritual sons of God. 3. This contradicts the Bible’s teaching at John 3:3; Romans 8:8-9, 16 and Galatians 5:4-6 that all must be “born again,” and spiritually “adopted” in order to see God’s Kingdom, to be led by God’s Holy Spirit and to “please” God. The ONLY Scriptures that mention a group of 144,000 people are Revelation 7 and 14. These describe this group as male Jews who are sealed on earth DURING the Great Tribulation that has yet to come. NEVER do these Scriptures say that these Jewish men are the ONLY ones in Heaven.
- Jesus is Michael the Archangel. 4. This contradicts Hebrews 1:5 that says that none of the angels have ever been called God’s Son in the way that Jesus is called God’s Son, and Jude 9 that says that Michael the Archangel could not rebuke Satan while Jesus was able to rebuke him (Mark 8:33).
IS COMPROMISING YOUR FAITH REALLY WORTH THE DAMAGE?
We could go on about the false teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses that you would be required to believe and TEACH if you decide to become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but we would like you to consider the following question: Is the reward of gaining your Jehovah’s Witness girlfriend really worth compromising the faith and devotion you have toward the true God of the Bible? If you don’t have any religious beliefs at this point in your life, have you considered the freedom from guilt and sin that Jesus Christ offers you and your girlfriend if you decide turn to Him alone for salvation and spiritual fulfillment? Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” —John 14:6 5. You don’t need to enslave yourself, your marriage, and your family to the dictates of a religious organization in order to have eternal life because Jesus said we are to go “through” Him alone for truth and life:
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free… So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”—John 8:32, 36
A few years ago, we counseled a Christian man who was in a position much like yours. 2 Corinthians 6:14 warns Christian believers: “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” Despite this warning, he went against our advice not to marry his non-devout Jehovah’s Witness girlfriend. A few months after they were married, the Jehovah’s Witness lady went back into the organization and the strain on the marriage became so great that her “Christian” husband converted to the Jehovah’s Witnesses just to bring some unity into the home. It did not work and within a year, he turned to drinking to numb the stress he was facing in his marriage. A year after that, they were divorced and the children torn apart in a custody battle. Compromising the truth is never worth the damage!
CAN YOUR GIRLFRIEND WALK AWAY WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES?
You asked if there is any possible way for your girlfriend to walk away from this religion without repercussions on her ability to communicate with her Jehovah’s Witness parents. If she was “baptized” there is NO honorable way out of this religion. Watchtower policy dictates that one who officially “disassociates” from Jehovah’s Witnesses is to be “shunned” by her family as if she were “disfellowshipped” for doing something wrong. Since the elders view baptism as a commitment to the Watchtower organization, if she tries to walk away, they will want a letter of “disassociation” from her or they will decide to “disfellowship” her for “apostasy” in dating a non-Jehovah’s Witness. So, the key for her ability to walk away without being shunned according to official Watchtower policy is based upon whether or not she was ever baptized into this religion. If she has not been baptized, she can walk away at any time and her parents would not be required by Watchtower policy to “shun” her. However, we know of cases where Jehovah’s Witness families decided to shun their un-baptized Jehovah’s Witness relatives anyway because they refused to return to the organization. So, there are no guarantees on whether or not your un-baptized Jehovah’s Witness girlfriend will be able to walk away without being shunned by her Jehovah’s Witness parents. It is best to be prepared in case it happens.
IF YOUR GIRLFRIEND IS WILLING TO WALK AWAY, BE PREPARED…
If your girlfriend decides to walk away from the organization, you need to be prepared to deal with the fact that her Jehovah’s Witness parents will likely challenge her at some point in your marriage to come back. They may even harass her by sending Jehovah’s Witnesses to the door or by calling periodically to entice her into attending meetings at the Kingdom Hall. If they succeed in getting her back involved in this religion, it will not be long before they will strongly advise her to get baptized and you will be faced with losing her heart to this religion. Therefore, you must realize that even if she is willing to “walk away” at this point in your relationship, this is no guarantee that she will stay away.
Watchtower mind control runs deep and all it takes is for some crisis to arise in your marriage or family and your girlfriend/wife will run back to the Jehovah’s Witness organization for shelter. Consider how many years she has been programmed with the fear that “Armageddon” (God’s battle to end wickedness) will break out on the earth at any moment. With rumors of wars in the world and a volatile economy, it would not take much for triggers of fear and guilt to arise in her heart. The Watchtower programs its followers to be ready for Armageddon by faithfully preaching the Kingdom message door-to-door and obeying all of its rules. So, deep down inside her heart, your Jehovah’s Witness girlfriend believes that if Armageddon comes and she is not faithfully obeying all of the rules of the Watchtower organization, Jehovah God will destroy her in a ruthless way. Is it any wonder that so many Jehovah’s Witness spouses return to the organization when a crisis occurs in their lives?
It is your duty to make sure that before you get married, your girlfriend has been properly deprogrammed against Watchtower fear and guilt tactics. This can only be done by her willingness to read anti-Jehovah’s Witness literature and websites that exposed the Watchtower Society for what it is. Until her beliefs about this organization being “God’s organization” have been properly dispelled, its authority in her life will continue to threaten your dating relationship and the health of your future marriage.
HOW TO DEPROGRAM YOUR JEHOVAH’S WITNESS GIRLFRIEND…
Now is the time to test your Jehovah’s Witness girlfriend’s commitment to your dating relationship. Challenge her by saying something like this:
“If Jehovah’s Witnesses really have ‘the truth,’ is there anything to fear in reading a Biblical examination of your religion from a non-Jehovah’s Witness perspective? If these books and articles are full of lies, don’t you think the truth will expose it? Consider what Proverbs 18:17 says: ‘The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him.’ How do you know your religion is ‘the truth’ if it can’t handle examination from the other side?”
If she really loves you and is committed to your relationship, she will be willing to read the following books and articles with you. If not, you need to walk away from this dating relationship before you both get hurt. Although the New World Translation Bible is biased to support Watchtower doctrines, encourage her to compare her translation with your Bible and the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures (Greek text of the New Testament Bible Scripture published by the Watchtower Society). It contains the English words underneath the Greek text so you can compare Bible accuracy. As you examine this literature together, your girlfriend will be shocked to learn the facts that the Watchtower is hiding from her:
- Read our website articles: “OUT OF THE WATCHTOWER—INTO WHAT?” and “DON’T LEAVE JEHOVAH… by Letting Some man-made organization come between you and the invisible God.”
Then, read Ron Rhodes’ book: Reasoning from the Scriptures with Jehovah’s Witnesses and our CHRISTIAN CONVERSATIONS WITH JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES—Answers to Questions Jehovah’s Witness Ask book. It contains photocopies from original Watchtower publications so that your girlfriend will be able to see that none of our claims about the Watchtower Society have been taken out of context.
Watch our JW Questions DVD: Answering Questions Your Jehovah’s Witness Friends Ask and have her read the online testimonies of Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses on our website. Once on our site, she will find many resources to help strengthen her new faith, including our Ex-Jehovah’s Witness Internet support group (meetup.com).
Lead her in the Sinner’s Prayer to receive Christ as her personal LORD and Savior as described in this article: “SALVATION – What is required to have eternal life?” (4witness.org)
For a true meaningful relationship, it is important that you both be on the same page in regard to your views of God and salvation. The resources listed above will aid you in accomplishing this task, but we also encourage you to read the Bible together verse-by-verse and to discuss what it means based upon the context. For more information on deprogramming a Jehovah’s Witness, see the following article:
ASKING AN ELDER TO BLESS YOUR MARRIAGE…
As far as your question on whether you can ask a Jehovah’s Witness elder for a blessing upon your marriage, you can just about dismiss this idea unless you decide to become a “baptized” Jehovah’s Witness. If your goal is to have a marriage free from the control of legalistic men and one that places the teachings of the Bible as supreme in your home, you will need to seek elsewhere for a blessing—preferably a Christian pastor who teaches the Bible verse-by-verse. Many Protestant Christian churches do this and many have pre-marital counseling classes that would be beneficial for you as well. The following article will give you important guidelines to follow in finding a healthy, Bible-based church:
HOW TO KNOW GOD’S WILL AND AVOID SATAN’S DECEPTIONS (4witness.org)
For more information on dating, marriage and family issues concerning Jehovah’s Witnesses see:
1. See Consumer Reports, September 1999, p. 63
2. See Worldwide Security Under the “Prince of Peace,” 1989, p. 10 and The Watchtower, August 15, 1989, pp. 30-31
3. See The Watchtower, February 1, 1998, p. 20; Insight on the Scriptures, vol. 2, pp. 998-999
4. See Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1989, p. 218
5. All Scriptures are quoted from the New American Standard Bible.
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