We had a great night at axis on Wednesday. Something I'm really learning to appreciate more and more are the conversations I have with kids either before or after axis. Some are brief. Some are "surfacy." And, others are really deep. I had a combination of all of those types of conversations this past Wednesday night. It's honestly something I pray about every Wednesday. I ask God to allow me to have at least one, good, meaningful conversation with a student. God has been answering those prayers every Wednesday and I am so thankful for it.
We also did something similiar to Letterman's "Stupid People Tricks" and we had kids come up and show us some of their "special" talents. We had anything from seeing kids who were double jointed to two kids coming up and just slapping each other. It was really funny!
We continued our What They Believe series on this night by taking a closer look at what Jehovah's Witnesses believe. Here's a brief synopsis of what we talked about:
- JW's believe that there is only one God; they do not believe in the Trinity and would say that it's a teaching of the devil. WE believe that within the nature of the one God there are 3 separate but equal Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This is called the Trinity or the Tri-Unity of God. (Matthew 28:19, Luke 1:35, 2 Corinthians 13:14)
- JW's believe that Jesus is the archangel Michael and that He is the first creation of God, came to earth as a man (and then became known as Jesus), died, and was raised as a ghost/spirit who later appeared in 1914 to the leaders of the JW organization. WE believe that Jesus is 100% man AND 100% God ... the second Person of the Trinity. (John 10:30 - 33, Philippians 2:5 - 11, Colossians 2:9)
- JW's are taught to refrain from independent thinking and to strictly adhear to the decisions, guidance, and scriptural understanding of the Watchtower Society. WE depend on the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we study the Bible and learn to obey God. We feel other peopel can help us in our quest to understand the Bible but ultimately rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction. (Acts 17:11, 1 John 2:26 - 27, 1 John 4:1 - 3)
- JW's believe that their translation of the bible (The New World Translation). The biggest criticism of their translation of the Bible is that the translation is biased and based on their theological beliefts. In other words, their beliefs dictated their Bible rather than the Bible dictating their beliefs. They also beliefe that their two publications (The Watchtower and Awake) are the soul way to find out the truth of what is in the Bible. WE believe the Bible is the final authority. It was given to us by God and we should use the Bible to determine our beliefs rather than vice versa. (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20 - 21)
JW's believe that you can earn your salvation because of Jesus' death on a stake (not a cross). The way you earn it is to follow the teachings of the Jehovah's Witnesses: Go to several classes a week that teach from their publications and go door to door. They also believe that only 144,000 people will actually make to heaven to rule with Jesus. The rest will live in paradise on earth, but ultimately you have to be a JW to be part of the 144,000 or to live in paradise on earth. Everyone else is simply destroyed. WE believfe that Jesus' death on the cross totally paid for all of humanity's sin and that salvation is a result of God's grace and is a free gift from Him. We do nothing to earn it. We simply accept it. (Romans 3:23 - 25, 10:9 - 10, Ephesians 2:8 - 9, Titus 3:3 - 7).
NEXT WEEK: A Student Led Night looking at various beliefs and comparing them to the truth of the Bible.