Christian Freedom


Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that:

  • Acquiring the “accurate knowledge” dispensed by the Watchtower organisation is essential to a Christian’s salvation [1]
  • In order to receive divine approval a Christian must willingly submit to the teachings and practices of the “faithful and discreet slave class” of Jehovah’s Witnesses [2]

Q1. What are true Christians free from?

Answer: Through Christ we are free from a) sin and death b) religious legalism c) intellectualism d) fear of man

a) Sin and death

John 8:31-36 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” … “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin … so if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Rom 6:14,22 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace…. but now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God

Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

b) Religious Legalism

Matt 23:4 “They package [God’s Law] in bundles of rules, loading you down like pack animals. They seem to take pleasure in watching you stagger under these loads, and wouldn’t think of lifting a finger to help” (Message Bible)

Matt 11:28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Message Bible)

Acts 13:39 By him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.

Gal 3:2-3 Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

Gal 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Col 2:20–22 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations –  “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used) – according to human precepts and teachings?

(Also, Rom 7:6; 14:14,17; 1 Cor 10:32; 2 Cor 11:3; Tit 1:15; Heb 4:10; 1 Pet 2:16; 1 John 5:3-5)

Cult Tactics and Mind Control – B.I.T.E. Model – 23 identifiers


A volunteer counsellor familiar with helping JWs can be contacted anonymously via email at

See also the books “Crisis of Conscience” and “In Search of Christian Freedom” by Ray Franz

c) Intellectualism

1 Cor 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.

1 Cor 2:2,13 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified…We impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

“We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus…” 1 Cor 2:13, Message Bible]

1 Timothy 6:20 O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge”, for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you.

d) Fear of men

Isa 2:22 Quit scraping and fawning over mere humans, so full of themselves, so full of hot air! Can’t you see there’s nothing to them? (Message Bible)

Isa 51:12 Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, of the son of man who is made like grass

John 9:22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.

1 Cor 7:23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.

Gal 1:10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Gal 2:4-5 False brothers … slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery – to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.

Q2. What are true Christians free to do?

Answer: Free from selfishness to love others; respecting those with a weaker conscience

1 Cor 8:12 Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.

Gal 5:13-14 Freedom means that we become so completely free of self-indulgence that we become servants of one another, expressing love in all we do. For love completes the laws of God (Passion Translation)

1 Pet 2:16-17 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honour everyone. Love the brotherhood.

(Also, 1 Cor 10:23-24)


  • Christian life, empowered by the Holy Spirit, is fundamentally free and simple
  • A Christian is not subject to the bondage of men who would enslave him


  1. Watchtower 2013 Jul 15th p 20; Watchtower 1964 Jul 15th p 435
  2. Watchtower 2001 Aug 1st p 14


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