Charles Taze Russell
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A prominent Pennsylvanian minister, Charles Taze Russell began his career as a respected businessman. Through his spiritual journey, Russell changed the course of modern religion by developing a new view of Christianity and the Bible. His impact is still felt today, with the religious sect he created growing at incredible rates.
As just a teenager, Russell struggled with the religious teachings he grew up learning.
- He had difficulty with the traditional Christian concept of hell as a permanent punishment.
- He also struggled with the idea of pre-destination, the belief that all people are decided for either heaven or hell at birth, regardless of their actions throughout their lives.
Because of these difficulties in his faith, Russell pursued other ideas.
Wendell's Influence on Russell
Russell met religious advocate Jonas Wendell, who encouraged Russell to focus on only the scriptures. This was a revelation for Russell, who began informal bible study groups with other religious people. Russell started the Zion's Watchtower, a journal that focused on learnings from the bible. Russell's journal and personal mission caused several religious sects to develop, most notably the group known today as Jehovah's Witnesses.
Russell's Jehovah's Witnesses
The Jehovah's Witnesses' membership grows today about 5% a year, one of the largest increases for a religious group in the world. They continue to follow Russell's initial teachings that break from other forms of Christianity, such as believing in one god instead of the holy trinity and the belief that there is no hell. Jehovah's Witnesses continue Russell's work of evangelism, continually bringing in new members to what they believe is the true path of god and faith.
Russell's religious struggle caused him to break with the ideology of traditional Christianity. Due to his beliefs in Christ's resurrection and the requirement for all followers to become evangelicals, Russell began his own religion. From his beliefs has begun one of the fastest and most fervent religious sects.