CHRISTENDOM
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INTRODUCTION

In the Jehovah's Witness world, "Christendom" encompasses all who claim to be Christian, but don't truly adhere to the Christianity of the Bible; this is in contrast to true Christianity, which is what they refer to as "Christian":

Mankind's Search For God (1990 ) p.235, footnote
By “Christendom” we refer to the realm of sectarian activity dominated by religions that claim to be Christian. “Christianity” refers to the original form of worship and access to God taught by Jesus Christ.
[emphasis theirs]
See also:Awake! April 22 (1996) p.19 top; Jehovah's Witness -- Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, 1993, p.38

The only true Christians recognized by Jehovah's Witnesses are themselves:

Reasoning From the Scriptures (1989 ) p.203 Subheading "Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe The Their Religion Is the Only Right One?"
The Bible does not agree with the modern view that there are many acceptable ways to worship God. Ephesians 4:5 says there is “one Lord, one faith.” Jesus stated: “Narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are the ones finding it. . . . Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will.”—Matt. 7:13, 14, 21; see also 1 Corinthians 1:10.
Repeatedly the Scriptures refer to the body of true Christian teachings as “the truth,” and Christianity is spoken of as “the way of the truth.” (1 Tim. 3:15; 2 John 1; 2 Pet. 2:2) Because Jehovah’s Witnesses base all of their beliefs, their standards for conduct, and organizational procedures on the Bible, their faith in the Bible itself as God’s Word gives them the conviction that what they have is indeed the truth. So their position is not egotistical but demonstrates their confidence that the Bible is the right standard against which to measure one’s religion. They are not self-centered but are eager to share their beliefs with others.

See also: Awake! April, 2007, p.27 Subheading "True Christianity Today"; Come Be My Follower, 2007, p.102 para.10

Jehovah's Witnesses believe they have been specifically recognized by God:

The Watchtower, February 15,2005, p.17, topic scripture and p.22 para.19
“‘You are my witnesses,’ is the utterance of Jehovah.”—ISAIAH 43:10... Take a moment to contemplate the many benefits and advantages we enjoy because we are true Christians. We have the privilege of being personally recognized by Jehovah.The prophet Malachi said: “Those in fear of Jehovah spoke with one another, each one with his companion, and Jehovah kept paying attention and listening. And a book of remembrance began to be written up before him for those in fear of Jehovah and for those thinking upon his name.” (Malachi 3:16) We can be viewed by God as his friends. (James 2:23) Our lives are adorned by a clear sense of purpose, by deep meaning, and by wholesome, productive goals. And we have been given the hope of an eternal future.—Psalm 37:9.

Jehovah's Witnesses -- Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, 1993, p.156 subheading "A New Name"
...we joyfully embrace and take the name which the mouth of the Lord God has named, and we desire to be known as and called by the name, to wit, Jehovah’s witnesses

Therefore, when the Watchtower Society's literature refers to "Christians" they usually mean only the Jehovah's Witnesses.


CHRISTENDOM

In the Jehovah's Witness world, Christendom (which includes all Christian denominations who aren't Jehovah's Witnesses) is viewed as apostate Christianity (The Watchtower, Nov. 1 (2005) p.24 para.12; Awake!, July 8 (2001) p.15 subheading "Rome of the Apostolic Period; The Watchtower, Feb. 1 (1999) p.11 para.8; The Watchtower, Dec.1 (1989) p.14 para.17 etc. ). All Christian groups outside of the Jehovah's Witnesses are blanketed with the same label of "Christendom" regardless of doctrine or behaviour, and are equally looked upon with utter disdain; if one group in Christendom did something wrong, then they view it as all of Christendom being guilty of that wrong, they don't differentiate amongst the denominations:

Bearing Thorough Witness About God's Kingdom, 2009, p.172 para.21
Like Paul, Christian elders today are self-sacrificing. In contrast with the clergy of Christendom, who fleece their flocks, those who are entrusted with the responsibility to “shepherd the congregation of God” perform their duties unselfishly

Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy, 1999, , p.272 para.4
The ones “acting wickedly against the covenant” can only be the leaders of Christendom, who claim to be Christian but by their actions profane the very name of Christianity

See also: Bearing Thorough Witness About God's Kingdom, 2009, p.136 para.14; The Watchtower, June 1, 2009, p.13; Reasoning From The Scriptures, 1989, p.52 para.2

And, if one denomination of Christendom believes a certain teaching, they often treat it as though all of Christendom adheres to all the same teaching:

Lasting Peace and Happiness -- How To Find Them, brochure, 2009, p.27 para.7
On the matter of Christian neutrality, Protestants do not differ from Catholics. They remain a part of the world.

The Watchtower, May 15, 2000, p.8
...historian Wells realized that there is a huge gap between the teachings of Jesus as presented in the Gospels and those of Christendom. He wrote: “There is no evidence that the apostles of Jesus ever heard of the Trinity—at any rate from him. . . . Nor did [Jesus] say a word about the worship of his mother Mary, in the guise of Isis, the Queen of heaven. All that is most characteristically Christian in worship and usage, he ignored.” Therefore, one cannot judge the value of the Gospels on the basis of the teachings of Christendom.

The Watchtower, August 1, 1996, p.3
Around the world and in many religions and cultures, people believe that man has an undying soul within him, a conscious spirit that continues to live after the body dies. The belief is all but universal in Christendom’s thousands of religions and sects.

See also: What Is the Purpose of Life brochure, 1993, p.18 para.9; The Watchtower, August 15, 1989, p.30 second paragraph; Awake! Oct. 8, 1984, p.9 first full paragraph

The teachings in Christendom are regarded as worthless:

The Watchtower, April 15, 2008, p.6 para.17
Another example of valueless words is found among the religious leaders of Christendom. These claim to speak in God’s name, but most of their utterances are not based on the Scriptures, and what they say is basically worthless.

Christendom's clergy is viewed as the collective "man of lawlessness" mentioned at 2 Thessalonians 2:3:

The Watchtower, June 15, 2008, p.8 para.6
The Bible pointed to the rise of Christendom’s clergy, describing them collectively as “the man of lawlessness” and “the son of destruction . . . whom the Lord Jesus will do away with . . . and bring to nothing by the manifestation of his presence.”—2 Thess. 2:3, 6-8.
[ellipses theirs]
See also: Examining the Scriptures, March 30, 2010; Should You Believe in the Trinity, brochure, 1989, p.12 first paragraph

Christendom is regarded as a significant part of "Babylon the Great -- the World Empire of False Religion":

Isaiah's Prophecy (2000) p.54 para.14
It is “the ten horns” of that symbolic wild beast that will destroy Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion, of which Christendom is a significant part.

See also: The Watchtower, Sept.15, 1997, p.13 para.16

And is regarded as a harlot:

The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah (1971 ) p.260 para.59
Because Christendom’s sects made religion easy for such worldlings, and because they could join her as church members and at the same time continue to be a part of this selfish, idolatrous, bloodstained world, all these elements of human society let themselves be herded into harlot-like Christendom.

See also: Isaiah's Prophecy -- Light For All Mankind, book 1, 2000, p.153 para.20; The Watchtower, Feb.15, 2009, p.4 subheading "The Triumphant King Rules; The Watchtower, Oct 1, 1995, p.6 subheading "The Future of Religion"

Their harsh feelings towards Christendom is what motivates them to go door to door; it is their way of trying to save you from the clutches of Christendom:

The Watchtower, Feb.1 (2007) p.23 para.7
What a contrast we see between the spiritual prosperity of God’s people and the religious confusion of Babylon the Great! As a result, many who are disillusioned or disgusted with false religion are turning to true worship. They are sheeplike ones who “do not want to share with [Babylon the Great] in her sins” or “receive part of her plagues.” Jehovah and his servants invite all such ones into the true Christian congregation

See also: The Watchtower, October 15, 2008 p.11 para.16; The Watchtower, April 1, 2007, p.25 par.15

 

CONCLUDING COMMENTS

Although the Jehovah's Witness view of other Christian denominations seems a bit arrogant, it helps to remember that there are other denominations who also hold similar views: For example, the Christadelphians, a predominantly British sect (roughly 55,000 members worldwide), believes that theirs is the only true religion. Meanwhile, the various branches of the Armstrong-based churches (roughly 2 million worldwide) believes that they are the only true religion. And then we have the Iglesia Ni Cristo (roughly 8 million worldwide), a predominantly Filipino sect whose members believe that theirs is the only true religion. Then we have the Latter Day Saints, (a.k.a. Mormons, roughly 12 million worldwide) who believe it is only their religion which is true – in fact, that is their motivation for going door to door to preach their message. The largest group is the Roman Catholic church (Roughly 1 Billion worldwide), whose members also believe that their denomination is the only true religion as well.

Clearly, this point of view is not unique to the Jehovah's Witnesses.