OUR RESPONSE TO THE LOCAL COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE’S ARTICLE: “Group reaches out to former Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses” and “Witnesses for Jesus Take Bible Literally”
On Friday, June 5th, 2009, the Colorado Springs Gazette posted an article about our ministry under the “Life” and “Religion” sections of their online website and printed it in the local paper of Monday, June 8, 2009.
The online article can be read at:
- Group reaches out to former Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses
We feel the article was approximately 75% accurate in portraying our ministry, but below is our response to the article:
Hi, I am Christy Darlington and I am the one who was quoted in this article by the Gazette as representing the Witnesses for Jesus Inc ministry. First of all, I would like to say that I appreciated the opportunity to share our ministry with the Gazette. I am also reasonably pleased that the reporter (Mark Barna) accurately quoted me with all but one misquote at the end of the article which I would like to clarify along with the partial misrepresentation of our ministry and the beliefs/practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses given in the article noted in my response below:
Barna quotes me as saying: “I didn’t like how they looked at the Bible differently,” Darlington said. “They don’t teach that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven.”
This is not accurate. What I said was. “They hold to a different view of the Bible than we do. We advocate the simple teaching that Jesus is the only way to God as He claimed at John 14:6, while they teach that one must add to the work of Jesus Christ to get to God and gain the highest level of eternal life.”
It is true that Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons will agree with us that “Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven,” (or as JWs would say, “only way to Paradise on Earth”) but where we disagree is where they add additional things to the gospel and also define Jesus differently than most Evangelical/Protestant Christians do.
For example, while most Evangelical/Protestant and even Catholic Christians believe that Jesus Christ is God Almighty, the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach Jesus is Michael the Archangel and claim that one must be faithful in service within “Jehovah’s organization,” with door-to-door prosletyzing being part of that service in order to prove a life that is acceptable to Jehovah so that one doesn’t get “destroyed” at Armageddon. Mormons, on the other hand believe Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer and all mandkind and add temple worthiness and eternal marriage to the gospel in order to gain the fulness of “exaltation” of eternal life in the higest kingdom of heaven – the “Celestial Kingdom.”
Another aspect of the article that was not accurate was the PR quote from the Jehovah’s Witnesses that claims that they do not hold to a “shunning” policy. This is a new tactic in this religion that covers-up years of “shunning” between family members who formerly leave and the direct statements in their literature that promotes this practice. See our article on this that provides all of the documentation for this policy from official Watchtower literature:
Finally, I was pleased to see that the article accurately quotes me as saying: “We are not out to bash the Mormon Church and Jehovah’s Witnesses… Our focus is to get people to see the difference (between those faiths and evangelical Christianity) and make their own choice.”
This is SO true! We are not about “mocking” or making fun of these people that we care so deeply about and many of us still have friends and relatives in these religions—though the shunning policy of the Jehovah’s Witnesses has made it hard for those of us in our ministry who formally left the Watchtower after being baptized to be able to talk to them.
But I do take issue with the emotionally charged and inflammatory words used in the article that states that we “mock” Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons and “rail against” their doctrines. While it is true that we discuss differences and gently criticize by pointing to documented evidence in their literature where these religions cover-up facts in their history and hide things from investigators and potential converts, we work hard to avoid “mocking,” “railing against” or making fun of those who embrace the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. Nor do we endorse people or groups who publicly belittle Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses by calling them names or yelling at them at their public events.
Response from Christy Darlington – June 6, 2009
Witnesses for Jesus, Inc.