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Featured Are JW a sect ?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Neuropteron, Jun 9, 2021 at 6:16 AM.

  1. Neuropteron

    Neuropteron Active Member

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    Are JW a sect ?

    A sect: "...a group separating themselves from others and following their own tenets.
    According to Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament.
    Some modern definitions are:
    1. A group of persons forming a cohesive, usually contentious minority within a larger group.
    2. A religious body, especially one that has separated from a larger denomination.

    This term was applied to the adherents of the two prominent branches of Judaism, the Pharisees and Sadducees.
    Ac 5:17;15:55;26:5.

    The Jews and others called the Christians a sect,"the sect of the Nazarenes, viewing as a break-off from Judaism.Ac 224:5,14;28:22.
    Although the Jews expected the Messiah. What they didn't expect and accept was that the Messiah would incorporate in his fold the nations and that he would replace the Mosaic law with a new religious arrangement (the New Testament).
    Instead of being a breack-off it was the foretold step towards bringing salvation to the whole world not only to Judaism.

    Jesus Christ expected his followers to be united in following his teachings, sects and divisions were viewed as belonging to the works of the flesh.

    Since JW are called a sect amongst the different factions of Christendom. The question is, can that claim be substantiated ?
    For this claim to be valid it should at least be demonstrated what religion JW have broken away from.

    JW on the other hand assert that they meticulously follow Jesus teaching and scrupulously adhere to the ways of first century disciples of Christ. If incorrect that claim should be quite easy to contradict.

    Do you have an opinion on this ?

    Notes: this is not a survey, a perceptive answer would be appriciated.
     
    #1 Neuropteron, Jun 9, 2021 at 6:16 AM
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021 at 4:58 PM
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  2. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Advaita Vedantin
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    I do. I have an opinion on just about everything, however unpopular or insufferable it may be.

    I think how others label JWs is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is how JWs label themselves. If your a JW, and you see yourself as part of a sect, then yes, JWs are a sect. If you are a JW and reject the idea that you are a part of a sect, then no, JWs are not a sect.

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena..." ~ Theodore Roosevelt
     
    #2 SalixIncendium, Jun 9, 2021 at 6:22 AM
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021 at 6:29 AM
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  3. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    Given your presented first definition, every single denomination of Christianity is a "sect".
     
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  4. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    American Protestantism and Adventism.

    Apparently, Charles Taze Russell himself broke away from Congregationalism, but then developed his own take on Millerite Adventist teachings.

    Early JWs (not that they were called JWs then) were mostly drawn from American Protestant churches.

    Edit: I think it's useful to remember that what became the JWs is just one product of the larger Third Great Awakening, which also produced Pentecostalism and Christian Science. The JWs/Bible Students/Watchtower society were just one part of a larger trend.
     
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  5. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    My view as a none religious commenter is that all but one of the close on 50,000 'branches' of Christianity are sects.
     
  6. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    Yes. The JWs are a minority sect that has arisen from Christendom and seeks to claim for itself the distinction of being the truest form of Christianity, a claim rejected by the rest of Christianity.
     
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  7. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    It happens a lot and has caused many civil (and not so civil) wars.
     
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  8. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Isn't Christianity a sect, Jesus having his own views on God in respect to himself despite his Jewish upbringing etc?

    Then people on RF say Paul and Jesus Christianity is different so maybe Paul's Christianity is a sect.

    Maybe you're wanting to say cult and not a sect? Not sure why either needs to have negative connotations.

    One definition of cult
    a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object

    I think this is pretty much Christianity itself,JW included.
     
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  9. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Beat me to it. Sect is hardly an insult. A better question is are they a cult. This is not as clear. There are many that do make that claim about other sects as well.

    Qualities & Characteristics of a Cult | Cult Research
     
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  10. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Yes, they are a sect of Christianity.
     
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  11. Marcion

    Marcion neo-humanistic tantric-yogi

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    You ask yourself this question because you are a religious person.
    This question of being in or out of the "correct" ideology is itself a sectarian attitide that is typical for religious people.
    If you cannot be bothered either way then you are a spiritual person, or an atheist.
     
  12. Hermit Philosopher

    Hermit Philosopher Selflessly here for you

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    Normally I’d agree (one’s own labelling of self - if anything - is what matters) but mate, no one thinks they’re in a Sekt when they’re in one.

    I have relations who are JWs (lovely ppl btw) and know ppl who used to be JW. I’d say, yes, they are a Sekt. Mainly because of how they treat those who choose to leave.


    Humbly
    Hermit
     
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  13. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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  14. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I generally view sect along the lines of the mathematical term set. In math we have sets and subsets. Subset would be the equivalent of sect. In math when talking of sets is done logically, all members of a a subset belong to the set, but not all members of the set are in the subset. So all JWs are Christians, but not all Christian are JWs.
     
  15. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    I think "contentious minority" is the simplest benchmark. Aren't JWs a contentious minorty? It's not nessessarily a bad thing.
     
  16. Left Coast

    Left Coast Circular File Complaint Analyst
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    Exactly. Not to mention Mormonism and Dispensationalism.

    This whole "my version of Christianity isn't a sect/denomination/whatever, that's all the other types of Christians" is just another version of the Christians who say, "Christianity isn't a religion, that's all the other religions."
     
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  17. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    The Mormons were the Second Great Awakening (first half of the 19th Century) and the JWs were in the Third Great Awakening (second half of the 19th Century), but yeah.

    ...though the JWs were influenced by the Millerites, which were from the Second Great Awakening.
     
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  18. Left Coast

    Left Coast Circular File Complaint Analyst
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    Ah yes you're right, mixed that up.
     
  19. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    Which is the "one" you speak of?
     
  20. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Whichever was first... Its name I don't know
     
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