The Watchtower vs. Robin Phillips on John 18:36

(quoting the Watchtower Tract and Bible Society)

True worshipers are no part of the world. When on trial before the Roman ruler Pilate, Jesus said: “My kingdom is no part of this world.” (John 18:36) No matter what country they live in, Jesus’ true followers are subjects of his heavenly Kingdom and thus maintain strict neutrality in the world’s political affairs.

(quoting Robin Phillips)

Under the influence of Gnostic myth # 2, as well as various eschatologies which teach a lack of organic continuity between what happens during this age and the future renewal, many Christians have colluded with the Gnostic notion that what happens in this world is unimportant to God…Having misinterpreted the Greek of Jesus’ words in John 18:36, many evangelicals have been given the perfect excuse for rushing like lemmings off the cliff of Orthodoxy into the swirling currents of Gnosticism, where they have been drowned in the idea that God’s Kingdom is anything but the rule of Christ on the earth.

My two cents

English: Picture of Joseph F. Rutherford from ...
English: Picture of Joseph F. Rutherford from the 1911 Bible Students Convention Souvenir Booklet. At the time this picture was taken, Rutherford was serving as chief legal counsel for Pastor Charles Taze Russell. Rutherford became President of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in 1917 and later renamed the movement Jehovah’s Witnesses. Rutherford died in 1942. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes when I get visits from Jehovhah’s Witnesses, they’ll give me their magazines to read. One recurring topic in their articles is their desire to be apolitical, and their association of that position with true Christianity. This strikes me as novel and unusual, given the long historical association of Christians within the political realm.

I think of the Spanish and British Empires when they did their colonial expansion thing in past centuries. When they settled in new areas, I couldn’t imagine any of the leaders appealing to a legal vacuum, followed by a head-in-the-sand approach to instituting civil law.

My sidebar link to another of Robin Phillips’ articles goes further—Jehovah’s Witnesses are not theological heavyweights.

Quote sources

  1. Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. (2005). Worship that God Approves. Available: http://www.watchtower.org/e/bh/article_15.htm. Last accessed 2nd Jul 2012.
  2. Phillips, R. (2010). 8 Gnostic Myths You May Have Imbibed. Available: http://robinphillips.blogspot.com.au/2010/06/gnostic-myths-you-may-have-imbibed.html. Last accessed 2nd Jul 2012.
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