I’ve read some past Watchtower magazine articles in an attempt to verify the Jehovah’s Witness teaching about what it means to be born again. I’ve found their teaching on this is truly inadequate. In discussions with Jehovah’s Witnesses, I’ve tried to explain the biblical meaning of born again in many ways. During our conversations, none of my questions regarding the shortcomings of their teaching have been answered.
I was excited when I discovered the April 1 Watchtower cover story was about being born again. I hoped that maybe the writers would attempt to fill in some of the gaps in the teaching. Unfortunately, this article is nothing more than a rehash of articles I’ve already read.
These are some of the questions that remain unanswered concerning the teaching:
- The non-144,000 JWs are not born again. 1 John 5:1 says that everyone who believes Jesus is the Messiah is born again. How can JWs not be born again, yet profess to believe that Jesus is the Messiah?
- The non-144,000 JWs are not considered children of God. I agree that unless you are born again, you are not a child of God. I don’t think the average JW knows that the Watchtower teaches that he or she isn’t a child of God. If they’re not children of God, whose children are they? I believe they remain children of the devil.
- If being born again means having been raised from spiritual death to spiritual life (Ephesians 2:1), and most JWs aren’t spiritually alive, they must still be spiritually dead. Does that not concern them?
- Jesus said that one will not see the kingdom of God unless he or she is born again (John 3:3). Wouldn’t the paradise earth that most JWs aspire to be considered part of the kingdom of God? They won’t even see paradise earth without being born again.
Every time I’ve tried to discuss this with a Jehovah’s Witness, he or she attempts to change the subject to why he or she is satisfied with paradise earth, and why only the 144,000 are born again. Those are interesting topics to discuss, but I’ve tried to keep the conversation on the topic at hand: If you’re not born again, what are you?
In the Bible, some Jews claimed to be children of God, because they were children of Abraham (John 8:41). Jesus corrected their thinking, telling them that they were in fact children of the devil (John 8:44).
The reality is that for Jehovah’s Witnesses (and everyone else who is not born again), there are only two choices: Either you are reborn as a child of God, or you remain a child of the devil.