Report on Religious Field Research
December 7th , 2011
Religious understanding is a touchy subject. Many people are ignorant by choice to the principles, teachings, and interpretations of other religions because they feel as though the religion that they were raised in is the one true and correct religion and understanding. Personally, the religion that I have the most interest in learning about is the Jehovah’s Witness religion. I have a lot of question that are rooted in the understanding of my religion and the inconsistencies that I feel the Jehovah Witnesses as a whole possess. Needless to say, I learned quite a bit from my sit down and acute immersion in the ...view middle of the document...
” When I asked Wyendi and her grandmother this question they both let out a quick and quiet chuckle and almost simultaneously answered my question with a question which was, “Why do you?” I politely replied that I saw no reason not to celebrate the holidays or my birthday because I understood the meaning behind each and was grateful to God for allowing me to see another year and another birthday. I was comfortable and confident in my answer to them and they kindly advised me that they did not participate in religious holidays such as Christmas or Easter because these dates were pagan dates and had not religious meaning and that as Christians they are supposed to separate themselves from worldly practices and live as close the His word and law as possible. They further explained that they did not celebrate birthdays for the same reason.
The next question that I asked then dealt with the reason why they called him Jehovah and no other name…why did they not call his God or Savior. Wyendi took the reins on this question and explained to me that his name is Jehovah (based on a passage in the book of Psalms) and that the other names he is called by are his titles. I took offense to this sentiment because the presented the answer to me in a way that made me feel like they were chastising and correctly in my understanding of his name and all titles associated with Him. I gently explained to them that in Hebrew is name is actually Yaweh and that the translation over the years has been translated into many different languages and by many different scholars but as long as He can understand our heart and our understanding that he is out Father and Savior he will answer any named that we call him by ( as long as it is not Blasphemous).
Next, I asked them about their Meetings and how they were conducted. More specifically I asked them why they called them meetings and not worship services, or the like, and they said that it was their conscious attempt to separate themselves from the world and stand out. They also said that they called them meeting because in the Bible, back during Jesus’ time, the did not have worship services…they had meetings. This question nudged me into my question about the title that they gave their religious centers, Kingdom Halls, and why they called them by that name. Wyendi’s grandmother advised me that it is called the Kingdom Hall because they are all Witnesses to his kingdom and glory and that their place of worship was the hall where the true believers and those who understand his word can gather to lift his name. I left the answer at that because based on my religion and what I was raised in, along with my understanding of the scripture ( “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there in the midst I will be), I know for myself that I believe that his anointed and followers can worship anywhere as long as they have the holy spirit in them.
Needless to say, by this point of the conversation, my understanding of...