Questions to ask if you're thinking of joining the Jehovah's Witnesses
If you are considering becoming one of Jehovah's Witnesses, you owe it to yourself to learn as much as possible. Becoming one of Jehovah's Witnesses is a huge commitment, with effects that will last for the rest of your life (even if you later decide to leave). It affects your view of everything: politics, who you have as friends, your sex life (even between husband and wife), education, employment, whose funeral or wedding you will attend, the music you listen to, the books you read, and so on. It affects your family, friends, children, and even how you relate to strangers. Once you are a Witness, it is very difficult to leave. If you do leave, you may be cut off from all Witness friends and family.
There is a tract published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society entitled "Who Are Jehovah's Witnesses?" In the tract it recommends that you go to the source with this question rather than to their detractors. I think that's sensible, so please research this first set of questions in Watchtower publications or by asking the elders in your congregation. If you cannot get satisfactory answers you can write directly to the Society.
1. What was the fulfillment of the pouring out of the seven great plagues in Revelation?
2. Was it ever true that a woman could be disfellowshipped for having been raped?
3. What two questions are asked of baptismal candidates just prior to baptism?
4. Which verse in the Bible shows that we are required to become members of an organization in order to be "saved"?
5. If blood transfusion is the same as eating blood, how can blood transfusion be a sin in light of Mark 7:18 and 1 Corinthians 8:8?
6. Is the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses infallible? If not, can I openly critique their publications with impunity?
After I am baptized as a Jehovah's Witness:
7. Can I keep associating with all my friends who are not Jehovah's Witnesses?
8. Can I read anything I want?
9. Can I attend the wedding or funeral of a friend who is not a Jehovah's Witness at their church?
10. What happens if I decide I don't like going out in service? Do I have to? What happens if I don't?
11. If at any time I come to disagree with something the Watchtower may publish in the future, would I be free to make up my own mind on the issue? Would there be any repercussions?
12. What does "being marked" mean? How does a person get "marked"? How is a "marked" person treated by the congregation?
13. What if I make a friend who is a Jehovah's Witness and they get disfellowshipped or decide to leave? Do I have to shun my friend?
14. What if I have a child who becomes disfellowshipped, do I have to shun my child once they leave home?
Questions to ask yourself:
1. Were the answers to all of the above questions what I expected and hoped for? Did the answers make sense and have the ring of truth, or did they sound like desperate rationalizations?
2. What do I hope to gain by becoming a Jehovah's Witness?
3. Is it likely that I will in fact gain these things in light of the millions who have left this organization in disgust?
4. Have I sought out a "second opinion" (as I would if it were my physical health that was involved)?
5. What were the things Jesus disliked about the Pharisees?
6. Are there any similarities between these things Jesus disliked about the Pharisees and the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses?
Some suggested answers