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New Pew Research on JW Statistics


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http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/26/a-closer-look-at-jehovahs-witnesses-living-in-the-u-s/

 

Just want to get some comments on this. When I read stuff like this, tend to wonder who are they polling.

 

One statistic stated that only half of Jehovah's Witnesses believe in Heaven while 7 percent believe in Hell? I've never known an active Witness who didn't believe in heaven. Yet, they claim only half do. That's one in two people at the KH's we attend. And then it claims 7 percent believe in traditional Hell.

 

That's also nearly impossible to believe  as well. I wonder if they're polling former JWs or people who were simply claiming to be JWs because they were raised by Witness parents. Some of the other things I can agree with, but I think these two stats are inaccurate.

 

Thoughts?

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  1. Anonymous1 hour ago
  2. This is very interesting, but I must say somewhat misleading. I am a Witness, and if you asked me if I believe in heaven, I’d have a hard time giving you a ‘yes or no’ answer to that. Yes, I believe that heaven exists, but usually that question means ‘do you believe you are going to heaven’ and the answer to that is no. It’s like asking a vegetarian, “Do you like burgers?” Well, some may say yes, but that doesn’t mean their burgers are made of meat.
  3. The problem with this survey is that it frames questions about our faith in the context of other faiths. Believing in heaven or hell, or having a political affiliation, these aren’t relevant to us.
  4. Reply
  5. ?s=36&d=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pewresearch.org

    Anonymous2 hours ago

    The PEW Reports are always interesting. But some readers may wonder, for example, why there is not total consensus on questions like hell or evolution. The results give the impression that Jehovah’s Witnesses are divided in these issues. Actually, it is a question of definitions.

    Hell, as traditionally taught in many mainstream religions, is a place of eternal torment by a vengeful father, who tortures us fore… Read morever for past wrongs. Jehovah’s Witnesses understand, however, that the words translated as “hell” are originally “sheol” (Hebrew) or “hades” (Greek) and refer to the common grave, which we all go to when we die. Man “returns to the dust” at death, as Adam and Eve did. God does not torture us. So technically, whereas we could say we believe in hell (the grave), we do not believe it as a place of torture. Good people are resurrected from the grave. The wicked are not.
    The same is true of evolution. Do you believe in evolution? Well, how do you define it? Some will think macro and others will think micro evolution. In each case the answer will differ but the respondents have the same understanding.

    This is always the problem with polls if the person asking the questions does not have a thorough understanding of the options and simply asks closed (yes/no) questions. This seems to be the case in this report.

    The Bible is clear on its teachings and there is no disagreement among Jehovah’s Witnesses, as the results might suggest. We think in harmony because the Bible is harmonious.

    I hope this clarifies what might appear to be discrepancies to a skeptical reader. Some of the report, however, is helpful. The last paragraph explains why there are some other issues that appear to indicate disharmony in our thinking. We are simply apolitical and prefer not to take sides on politically sensitive issues. Everyone uses his own common sense in deciding where to draw the line. Thanks again for the opportunity to comment.

    Reply

Edited by minister159
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16 minutes ago, Bob said:

And then it claims 7 percent believe in traditional Hell.

For one, while half of Jehovah’s Witnesses say they believe in heaven, very few (7%) say they believe in hell, the traditional image of which is challenged by the denomination’s teaching.

 

It doesn't say that those that responded to the question believe in a traditional hell, it says they believe in hell, and the traditional image of hell is challenged. I like the link to JW.org.

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10 minutes ago, minister159 said:
  1. Anonymous1 hour ago
  2. This is very interesting, but I must say somewhat misleading. I am a Witness, and if you asked me if I believe in heaven, I’d have a hard time giving you a ‘yes or no’ answer to that. Yes, I believe that heaven exists, but usually that question means ‘do you believe you are going to heaven’ and the answer to that is no. It’s like asking a vegetarian, “Do you like burgers?” Well, some may say yes, but that doesn’t mean their burgers are made of meat.
  3. The problem with this survey is that it frames questions about our faith in the context of other faiths. Believing in heaven or hell, or having a political affiliation, these aren’t relevant to us.
  4. Reply
  5. ?s=36&d=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pewresearch.org

    Anonymous2 hours ago

    The PEW Reports are always interesting. But some readers may wonder, for example, why there is not total consensus on questions like hell or evolution. The results give the impression that Jehovah’s Witnesses are divided in these issues. Actually, it is a question of definitions.

    Hell, as traditionally taught in many mainstream religions, is a place of eternal torment by a vengeful father, who tortures us fore… Read morever for past wrongs. Jehovah’s Witnesses understand, however, that the words translated as “hell” are originally “sheol” (Hebrew) or “hades” (Greek) and refer to the common grave, which we all go to when we die. Man “returns to the dust” at death, as Adam and Eve did. God does not torture us. So technically, whereas we could say we believe in hell (the grave), we do not believe it as a place of torture. Good people are resurrected from the grave. The wicked are not.
    The same is true of evolution. Do you believe in evolution? Well, how do you define it? Some will think macro and others will think micro evolution. In each case the answer will differ but the respondents have the same understanding.

    This is always the problem with polls if the person asking the questions does not have a thorough understanding of the options and simply asks closed (yes/no) questions. This seems to be the case in this report.

    The Bible is clear on its teachings and there is no disagreement among Jehovah’s Witnesses, as the results might suggest. We think in harmony because the Bible is harmonious.

    I hope this clarifies what might appear to be discrepancies to a skeptical reader. Some of the report, however, is helpful. The last paragraph explains why there are some other issues that appear to indicate disharmony in our thinking. We are simply apolitical and prefer not to take sides on politically sensitive issues. Everyone uses his own common sense in deciding where to draw the line. Thanks again for the opportunity to comment.

    Reply

 

Thank you for post that. I do agree that this would indicate disharmony where I simply believe that it doesn't exists, as pointed out by the commenter.

 

This is why I posted this thread, to get views I didn't think about.

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14 minutes ago, Tortuga said:

For one, while half of Jehovah’s Witnesses say they believe in heaven, very few (7%) say they believe in hell, the traditional image of which is challenged by the denomination’s teaching.

 

It doesn't say that those that responded to the question believe in a traditional hell, it says they believe in hell, and the traditional image of hell is challenged. I like the link to JW.org.

No, it was saying they believed in the Hell, the traditional image that we challenge. In other words, 7 percent believe in the traditional hell.


Edited by Bob
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I have a relative who once attended the Memorial in the early 1980s, and since then has regularly attended various churches but never even set foot in a Kingdom Hall, jet she continually refers to herself as a JW. If she was included in this blind survey, she would have likely been among those who believe in hell, have political preferences, etc.

 

The Pew Research Center did not seek out JWs specifically, they had a nationwide telephone campaign asking people to self-identify with their beliefs and professed religion. Such polls generally give a good indication of responses within a given geographical area, but respondents giving wrong answers means that specific correlations have a degree of inaccuracy.

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1 hour ago, Bob said:

No, it was saying they believed in the Hell, the traditional image that we challenge. In other words, 7 percent believe in the traditional hell.

 

I read it differently than you do, if i had taken the survey I would have given the wrong answer...:)

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3 hours ago, Stavro said:

I have a relative who once attended the Memorial in the early 1980s, and since then has regularly attended various churches but never even set foot in a Kingdom Hall, jet she continually refers to herself as a JW. If she was included in this blind survey, she would have likely been among those who believe in hell, have political preferences, etc.

 

The Pew Research Center did not seek out JWs specifically, they had a nationwide telephone campaign asking people to self-identify with their beliefs and professed religion. Such polls generally give a good indication of responses within a given geographical area, but respondents giving wrong answers means that specific correlations have a degree of inaccuracy.

Evidently, some apostates are already using this as evidence of internal discord. So a phone poll of random people who are claiming to be JWs is irrefutable evidence that we are not in agreement? Like you said, they didn't poll JWs specifically.

 

Talking about grasping at straws...

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The other thing we have to realise ... and my brain's fuzzy today so if i've missed this my apologies. Is the statistics that they are using won't be the same statistics that have been gathered within the congregations.

 

Many many claim in the country's statistics to be Jehovah's Witnesses, whether it be a study, someone who is inactive being brought up as a Jehovah's Witness or just a random guess because they don't know what they are. These statistics are also what is used to determine the mental health of Jehovah's Witnesses.

 

I have been in contact with many over the years who are NOT baptized Jehovah's Witnesses but yet tick that box when asked.  I have many on the messageboard here in NZ who says if they have to choose a religion they would choose us - so there are many variables. We KNOW too that Satan will use the media to extort and lie ... as long as we KNOW the brothers and sisters we associate with believe in a heaven then there is no problem. (Mixed with the question asked in a different slant as above  it is easy to have confusing stats).

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