Beware of extra books in the house o'God, ye heathen. If you find yourself in a reportedly Christian meeting and a Bible alone won't do, well, you better brace yourself for some spiritual chicanery.
And don't look for devil horns and bared fangs, my sheeple. Nay, little flock. They come for you smiling and dressed in nice suits.
Your slick-haired messiah met them during a recent visit to the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses Orange Grove/Irvine, where he took in a congregational Bible study among 100 of the faithful, and saw some teaching and training tips that you fundies would do well to emulate, lest you lose the battle to what many of you consider a theological cult.
The Kingdom Hall sits off Pioneer Way in Tustin. Picture the Irvine Company meeting with a Wells Fargo branch manager to discuss interior/exterior design, and you pretty much have what the building looks like. There are no crosses. They believe Jesus Christ was plopped on a stake, and the "pagan symbol" of the cross was merely an evangelistic tool that some early Christians used to make it easier for the lost to receive the faith. With me so far, ye heathen?
Wasn't in attendance
The OCeeker's footfall graced the grounds of the Kingdom Hall after a satisfying smoke and a listen to some Hank Williams III. Nothing gets a man in the mood for worship like "Candidate For Suicide."
A brief history of heresy
Charles Taze Russell founded Zion's Watchtower and Tract Society in 1884. Those religious magazines ye heathen find on a public potty or else offered to you by kind folks on a Saturday morning? They come from the New York-based Watchtower. After a group known as the Dawn Bible Students split from the organization in 1931, church members started calling themselves Jehovah's Witnesses.
It was Russell--a Pittsburgh-born former Presbyterian who learned at the feet of Adventist Charles Miller, a man who predicted the end of the world would occur in 1843--who commanded his followers to study his teachings only, lest they find themselves in spiritual darkness. He said the Battle of Armageddon began in 1874 and would end in 1914.
Modern-day Russellites deny core doctrines of Christianity, such as the deity of Christ and that he rose from the dead in his physical body. They also read from their church-published New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures and its revised New Testament, which was crapped out in 1950 to hoodwink the pew-sitters into thinking Jesus never claimed to be God.
Check out this nifty translation of John 1:1. First, from the OCeeker's New King Jimmy: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Now, the J-Dubs' New World Translation: "In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god."
Catch that, my disciples? Drop an article before the word "God", and Jesus gets demoted from the Almighty in the flesh to a garden-variety deity. That's what happens when you believe God created Jesus as the archangel Michael.
Now, the OCeeker is plumb-tuckered from teaching ye heathen, so for homework, get your Google on, and look up Jehovah's Witnesses and pyramids, vaccinations and birthday parties.
Kindness in the Kingdom Hall
Jehovah's Witnesses are the warmest bunch of believers the OCeeker has encountered in all his seeking days. You know something, oh congregants of the evangelical kind who ignore your visitors and gather in familiar clusters? The OCeeker was greeted by no less than a dozen J-Dubs, and one man, named after the disciple whom Jesus loved, offered to sit next to your rabbi and help him understand the service.
The congregation was a balanced mix of crackers, Mexis, Asians and soul-brethren. Many women were hot as hell, seeing as how there is always something sexy about a conservatively dressed, good-lookin' gal. And the OCeeker loves 'em black, white, even PuertoRican or Haitian. They were all suited and booted, and the OCeeker stood out like a sore thumb among them. The disciple whom Jesus loved opened a song book, and he and the OCeeker sang praises side-by-side. Imagine Yves Saint Laurent standing next to Larry the Cable Guy in the house of the holy.
Being as it was Bible study night and all, the service was mostly a didactic proceeding filled with Scripture readings and teachings from a variety of church members who took the pulpit, or else spoke from the pews when a game show-esque usher delivered a microphone to them. It was a cool turn from the glory-hogging ways of today's preachers. Two neat things stood out to the OCeeker: everyone was called on by name, showing that the church is a close-knit group that knows its members well, and children were allowed to participate. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the training up of l'il heretics.
We read from a Bible study booklet focused on the Acts of the Apostles, specifically looking at how St. Paul ministered to believers and faced tribulations while preaching to angry mobs in Jerusalem.
One sister in the congregation said the lesson she learned is that when a member of the church is going through trouble such as sickness, "we want to offer our time and help them and try to give some words of encouragement."
While earth-shattering insights weren't shared, it was encouraging to know that an OrangeCounty congregation is paying attention to what is being taught.
Then it was time for skits, which really were brief demonstrations of how to mindfuck the unsuspecting into accepting the religion. One involved a woman demonstrating how to help a struggling Bible student understand how to apply the Scriptures to her life. Another, put on by two men, showed the congregation how to handle hostile people at the doorstep when they go witnessing. A final sketch saw a woman getting church magazines into the hands of a pagan.
The nearly two-hour service included a hymn that is appropriately titled "Make the Truth Your Own".
Upon a final prayer, the disciple whom Jesus loved offered to visit Chateau de Seeker for a Bible study. Didn't happen. But your pious scribe gladly accepted Bible study material and a couple of magazines.
The OCeeker gave the service three out of five false prophets. The Jehovah's Witnesses rightly teach everything they get wrong.
The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses Orange Grove/Irvine meets at 2850 Pioneer Way, Tustin. For service times, call (714) 573-2092
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