IN THIS SECOND INSTALMENT of our series comparing Scientology and Jehovah’s Witnesses, we delve into the core beliefs of these two distinct religious movements. Both have their unique perspectives and in this article, we are going to examine their key doctrines surrounding God, Jesus, the Bible, Salvation, Heaven, and Hell.
God: Scientology’s concept of God is abstract and multifaceted. The Church of Scientology does not have a specific, universally accepted notion of God. Instead, members are encouraged to discover their own understanding of a Supreme Being as they progress through the levels of spiritual enlightenment, known as Operating Thetan levels.
In contrast, Jehovah’s Witnesses have a clearly defined monotheistic belief in one God, Jehovah. They emphasize a personal relationship with God and believe in worshipping and serving only Him.
Jesus: Scientology does not regard Jesus Christ in the same way as traditional Christian religions. While some Scientologists acknowledge Jesus as a wise spiritual teacher, he is not central to their beliefs. Scientology focuses more on the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the religion.
Jehovah’s Witnesses, on the other hand, view Jesus Christ as God’s son and the Savior of humanity. They believe in his sacrificial death for the redemption of sins and his role in God’s plan for salvation. Unlike most Christian churches, they reject the concept of the Trinity, affirming that God and Jesus are separate entities.
Bible: Scientologists do not consider the Bible as their central religious text. Instead, their scriptures are primarily the works of L. Ron Hubbard, including Dianetics and various Scientology publications. While some Scientologists may read the Bible, it is not a focal point of their faith.
Jehovah’s Witnesses consider the Bible to be the inspired and infallible word of God. For the most part, they believe in a literal interpretation of the scriptures and use their own translation, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, which is heavily biased to support their unique doctrinal beliefs.
Salvation: Scientology’s concept of salvation is rooted in the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment and self-improvement. According to Scientology beliefs, individuals can attain salvation (or spiritual freedom) by following the practices and teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, ultimately achieving a state of higher consciousness and self-realization.
On the other hand, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that salvation is only attainable through faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to God’s commandments as outlined in the Bible. They emphasize evangelism and believe in the prospect of eternal life on a paradise Earth for the faithful followers.
Heaven: Scientologists do not have a traditional concept of heaven as found in many other religious traditions. Instead, they focus on the concept of spiritual freedom and advancement, which can be achieved through Scientology practices. There is no specific heavenly realm in Scientology teachings.
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in a literal heaven, which is the dwelling place of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ. They teach that a limited number of faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses (144,000) will be chosen to rule with Jesus in heaven, while the majority of believers will enjoy eternal life on a paradise Earth.
Hell: Scientology does not have a specific concept of hell in the traditional sense. They do believe in the existence of spiritual “trap zones” where negative experiences can occur, but these are not equivalent to the concept of eternal damnation found in many religious traditions.
Similarly, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in the traditional Christian notion of hell as a place of eternal torment. They teach that the wicked will be annihilated at Armageddon, ceasing to exist after death with no hope of a resurrection, rather than suffering in eternal punishment.
In summary, while both Scientology and Jehovah’s Witnesses have unique and distinctive beliefs, their interpretations of God, Jesus, the Bible, Salvation, Heaven, and Hell differ significantly.