Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ride to a Jehovah's Witnesses Service on Sunday night

Templors --

Our first event of the spring is suddenly upon us -- we were invited by the Jehovah's Witnesses to attend a service on Sunday night, 9pm.

Meet at Pasture Ted's house at 7:30 for snacks, or 8:00 to ride.

None of the Temple people I've spoken to know much about the JWs, but the faith received one negative review by a former adherent on the Temple's Facebook page. If one bad review isn't enough to get you curious, try a few google searches and you may find more reviews.

Details --

* Meet at 60 NE Tillamook, 7:30 to socialize, we'll leave here at 8:15 pm.
* Sunday April 16.
* Ride to Kingdom Hall at 3333 N Willamette Blvd (near Rosa Parks and Greeley).
* Service begins at 9.
* We'll make informal arrangements before we enter the building as to when we'll leave -- secret waves of the hand like "it's 10:30 and this is going on for-EV-er -- I'm ready to go to the bar." or "Hey I'm really digging this, let's stay until it's all oooover"
* Optional -- go to Florida Room bar on Killingsworth and Commercial (435 N Killingsworth). At the Florida Room we can sit on a church pew and drink beer, and look across the street at the Chapel Pub (which is pretty to look at but the food kinda sucks).

Yours in The Faith,
Pasture Ted

More on the Jehovahs Witness Faith --


Pasture Ted's account --

I learned most of what I know by reading a book called "The American Religion" by a professor named Harold Bloom. He theorizes that all religions that were founded in America were "post-Christian" because they believe that each individual can communicate with and develop a relationship with God. This is, apparently, different from the Old-World-founded religions.

It's been a long time since I read the book, but he gives remarkably tidy histories of all the large-scale religions founded in the U.S. -- Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, Jehovahs Witnesses, Pentacostals, and a few others. So that's the sort of "family" of religions in which the JWs fall.

The other stuff I know first-hand is:

* Their worship facilities are spartan, and have no windows.

* They like to give out newsprint brochures with interesting, colorful artwork. The artwork gave it a distinct feel, and in my opinion did not produce an air of "legitimacy" to the faith (the faith I grew up in had glossy, modern tracts with photos rather than drawings). The one I received the other day (see image) has a distinctly different style of graphics (photos) and wasn't printed on newsprint. At this point this is merely a point of interest, I'm no longer more impressed with glossy stuff than newsprint stuff.

* I've talked to the JW missionaries once, a couple years ago. I tried to get them to realize that the major tenant of the Old Testament (first half of the Bible) is basically a history of deity-mandated genocide. I probed at them for a while to determine if they would personally commit genocide if the deity in whom they believed required it of them. After they both eventually said they would, I told them that I wasn't really interested in knowing much more from them.


Various accounts --

* Leif, a Temple Adherent here in Portland, posted a negative review of the faith on the Temple Facebook page. Leif writes --
I was raised JW, mostly... The death anniversary would be more ceremonial (probably the most ceremonial thing they have - I always felt jipped in that regard), while the talk is... a talk. Full of plain earnest rhetoric. And as gorey as the Old Testament is, they're not going to talk about taking action on world problems. They may cite those current issues as signs that the end times are at hand, however.

* This page appears to be a JW-published Q & A about the faith.
such as
"Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to associate with non-Witnesses including family. Exceptions are made if the non-Witness family member is living in the same household." (hey, at least they're open about it)
"They totally deny the existence of the traditional Christian view of Hell. Satan is regarded as having created the concept of Hellfire in order to turn people against God."
"Jesus crucified on a stake not a cross"

* Jehovah's Witness Recovery site -- where people post things that are not necessarily faith-promoting, such as "How did you de-program?"

Other comments, encounters, snippets of info, anyone?


  1. As a curious high-schooler I went to a JW service with a friend.

    Their buildings are so boring inside--they look like convention center rooms or office spaces or something. They eschew any kind of religious icons or anything that might remind you of a church.

    Their services are boring, too. They don't have any kind of live music during the hymns, they play a CD! And all the hymns seem to be about how persecuted they are. I don't remember the sermon, mostly because I got a bad stomachache during the service.

    This service is the only "celebration" they do. At all. They don't do birthdays or Christmas or any of the secular holidays. Just this one.

    And from former JW coworkers: Supposedly there's that tiny group of people that get to go to heaven, right? Somehow those people know they're in that number, and they're the only ones allowed to take communion, which they only do during this service.

    1914/2015 ....