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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Walter Martin's 'Kingdom of the Cults' "Amount[s] to Bad Scholarship, Distortions, and Outright Lies”

(On occasion, opposers of Jehovah's Witnesses ask us whether we have read, "Kingdom of the Cults" by Walter Martin. Below is an answer provided by BAR_ANERGES to a question at Yahoo Answers concerning how Walter Martin's book is, in fact, "bad scholarship" and is "hate literature" and how even his former colleagues and those who themselves are vehemently opposed to Jehovah’s Witnesses are describing him as having never been more than a "sham" as well as "dishonest".)

Witnesses choose to not read "hate literature". Any honest person would dislike books by authors who twist the facts and purposely misrepresent what other religions really teach.

Walter Martin made a name for himself by attacking those religions he considered a "cult" as well as individuals and groups within his own religious affiliation. While his books are presented as being an “honest” examination they actually are “hate literature.”

And like all prejudicial information it is only effective on those who are ignorant of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

I read Walter Martin's primary book years ago when I was searching all religions, and I double checked to see if what he claimed was true. What I found is that he misrepresented and twisted the facts about most of what he refers to.

In his writings Martin resorts to ad hominem arguments, character assassination, and illogical reasoning. He displays a profound lack of knowledge of biblical languages, and even misuses Trinitarian scholars’ writings. Several of the arguments and verses he uses to promote his beliefs have been rejected by his own colleagues as incorrect and dishonest. Walter Martin's method was to dogmatically assert his authoritative views as if they were gospel truth in order to cover up his lack of scholarship.

Walter Martin’s accusations have been directly responded to and disproved by the Witnesses’ literature for over 50 years. And now even his former colleagues and those who themselves are vehemently opposed to Jehovah’s Witnesses are describing him as having never been more than a "sham" as well as "dishonest"! Two such works are M. James Penton’s “The Late Walter Martin's Sham Scholarship and False Orthodoxy”; The Christian Quest, and "They Lie in Wait to Deceive" by Robert and Rosemary Brown.

Penton sums up Walter Martin’s writings by saying:

“Martin's Works Incompatible with Christianity. What is clearly evident, then, is that besides being hate literature, Martin's works are filled with bad theology from almost everyone's standpoint . . . Bearing false witness against others-regardless of their moral qualities or teachings is simply inexcusable from a Christian standpoint. Thus Martin's books need to be shown for what they are. Furthermore, their nature needs to be brought to the attention of those who market them. As has been pointed out above, they too have an obligation to see that the public is not fed with what amount to bad scholarship, distortions, and outright lies.”

"That Martin's scholarship is bad can be proven by a careful examination…In those works he indulges in ad hominem arguments, character assassination, and demonstrably unsound reasoning...and they continue to have a major impact on a large number of uninformed readers...criticism should be fair and scholarly. Unfortunately, Martin's works are neither, and the public needs to be warned that they are not to be regarded as such....Hence, those publishers, whose Owners claim to be Christians, need to be reminded that they have an obligation not to engage in what amounts to the promotion of unsound scholarship and commercialized hate peddling.”

These words by an enemy of JWs cannot be dismissed as the biased opinions of Jehovah’s Witnesses themselves!

A friend wrote: “Jehovah's Witnesses have been exposing these works of Martin's for many decades and they now stand fully vindicated! Vindicated by no other than Walter Martin's former Trinitarian colleagues.”

Literature whose sole purpose is to discredit any group is highly dubious. I would never use anything Walter Martin wrote even to question Mormons or Adventists since so much of it is blatant misinformation and misrepresentation. I do read books which seem to give scholarly or Scriptural criticism or defenses. But, first and primarily, if I want to know what someone believes, I examine what THEY PERSONALLY teach, not what someone else *says* they teach (or even what they taught a hundred years ago). Then I compare it with Scripture, using standard rules of exegesis (grammar, definitions, context, word usage, etc.).

Is it reasonable to ask a Palestinian about Jews? Would it be reasonable to ask a neo-Nazi about blacks? Those who rely on such biased information only shows that they need to build their fragile self assurance because they know they cannot disprove what Witnesses really believe.

If anyone wants an unbiased, truthful knowledge of JW's they will ask Witnesses themselves instead of relying on such hate literature. We should be like the Jewish Leaders in Rome concerning Paul: "We desire to hear from *YOU* what your views are; for with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against."- Acts 28:22. True Christians have always been misrepresented!

Also see:

Are Jehovah's Witnesses Prohibited From Reading Non-Witness Literature? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

What Should Be the Attitude Toward Opposers Who Encourage Jehovah's Witnesses to Read Apostate Material? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Jehovah's Witnesses are NOT a Cult - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Are Jehovah’s Witnesses a Cult? (JW.ORG)

Are Jehovah's Witnesses Really a Cult? - Showing How This Label is Incorrect (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Are Jehovah's Witnesses a Sect or a Cult? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)


Defend Jehovah's Witnesses