5 of 22 people found the following review helpful
An "answer" refuted -,
This review is from: The Catholic Answer to the Jehovah's Witnesses: A Challenge Accepted (Paperback)
"The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees; incense, lamps, and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums; holydays and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessings on the fields; sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure, the ring in marriage, turning to the East, images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant, and the Kyrie Eleison [the song "Lord, Have Mercy"], are all of pagan origin..." What??? Who would write such heresy? Surely those Jehovah's witnesses have gone too far this time. This quote is from "Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine" written by CARDINAL John Henry Newman.
This is where the hypocrisy of this book and others of its ilk come to the fore. The facts are that almost everything Jehovah's witnesses teach Catholics regarding the pagan origin of church teachings can be substantiated by the reference works of the Catholic Church. The problem is these reference works are not available to or are unknown to the average Catholic; not unlike the circumstances regarding the Bible itself for hundreds of years. All the witnesses need do is point these out and allow an individual's conscience to do the rest.
The author is right about one thing - there is an appalling lack of knowledge on the part of most Catholics regarding the Bible as well as the teachings of their church. In most cases, the individual believer is not to be faulted for this. The systemic design of the Church is one that does not encourage inquiry, nor is the backing of the Bible as the ultimate authority sought in the teaching of Church doctrine. When this is pointed out, and the person realizes for the first time in their lives that "they have been paying out money for what is not bread" (Isaiah 55:2) then the emotional reaction the author cites in the beginning of the book is understandable.
One final thing that can not be left unanswered is the accusation that Jehovah's witnesses are trained to view non-witness relatives as, in the words of the author, "evil and run by the Devil". I have been one of Jehovah's witnesses for over 20 years. Recently my sister converted to Catholicism. However, our family ties remain, and for that matter are closer now than in the past. Do I agree with my sister or the teachings of her religion? Of course not, nor shall I. Will this change my love for her? Never. Do not be taken in by what someone with an agenda says, find out what Jehovah's witnesses themselves teach. You may not agree, but you will be better for the experience.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 21, 2007 2:19:12 AM PST
Rodney L. Bias says:
What an amazing example of "the pot calling the kettle black!" Of course, many Watchtower criticisms of Roman Catholicism are entirely valid. Not having read "The Catholic Answer to the Jehovah's Witnesses," I can't comment on any criticisms that author may have made. However, R. G. May (the "reviewer") certainly showed quite an emotional reaction to whatever the author said. Perhaps this is a subconscious recognition of the vast similarities between Roman Catholicism and Watchtowerism -- even in areas May mentions.
Watchtower teaching is in constant flux. JW are never really sure from day to day what the latest "truth" is, nor what they will be teaching tomorrow. Many of us alive today remember when the world was -- according to the Watchtower -- going to end in 1975. "Stay alive 'til 75" was a phrase many JW used.
Not long ago JW were telling us that some of the adults alive in 1914 would live to see the end of the world. Those folks would now be 110 years old now! I suppose a few might be alive ... but very few. Once upon a time JW boldly proclaimed to any and all that "Millions Now Living Will Never Die" because they will live to see the resurrection in 1925. (Originally the Watchtower predicted the world would end in 1881!)
When such teachings can be substantiated by the reference works of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, one wonders why JW are so unaware of them. The problem is these reference works are not available to or are unknown to the average JW. The systemic design of the Watchtower is one that does not encourage inquiry, nor is the backing of the Bible as the ultimate authority sought. Like the Roman Catholics who rely on "the Vicar of Christ" -- the Pope -- to tell them what the Bible teaches, JW must believe (or pretend to believe) what "the Faithful and Discreet Slave" -- "Christ's Vicar" -- tells them the Bible teaches. When this is pointed out, and the person realizes for the first time in their lives that "they have been paying out money for what is not bread" (Isaiah 55:2) then an emotional reaction is understandable.
One final thing: Why be "paying out money for what is not bread" (Watchtower publications) when you could be taking in the unadulterated Word of God for free?
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2007 11:52:35 AM PDT
R. G. May says:
Rodney: As I say to all my commenters, thank you for at least taking the time to review my comments and post your thoughts. That takes time and effort on your part which is appreciated. I must assume that your comments are at least a bit "tounge-in-cheek" due to your full screen name. If I am correct, you are raising basically the same point in two different forms - namely is the "faithful and discreet slave" mentioned at Matt 24:45-47 connected to Jehovah's witnesses and do they serve as a mouthpiece for God and/or Christ? The answer to the first part of that question from Jehovah's witnesses point of view obviously must be yes. Otherwise, they would be looking for another person or group of people who would fit the description. The answer to the second part revolves around the slaves work, namely to provide food at the proper time. Just as with any slave, they are not the originator of the food, merely the server of such, the master of the house being the ultimate provider. Therefore the authority of that slave class does not supercede that of the Master or of the word that the Master has provided. Has this slave made mistakes. Obviously the scriptural answer is yes. This was seen in the thought circulating among the first-century Christians that John would not die. Of course things did not work out that way which undoubtedly led to disappointment among the Christians of that day. We would expect that the same imperfect me would make similar mistakes in the entire history of the Christian congregation, which history bears out to be the case. Regarding the allegation of failed expectations being unknown to Jehovah's witnesses, I am shocked at such a departure from logic. Obviously Jehovah's witnesses, in obedience to Christ's command, go forth to preach to all types of people. It is not uncommon for the very same arguments you have mentioned to come up. I have encountered them personally many times and have researched the very articles you reference. I find there nothing but a group of people wishing for the end to come, as did their first-century counterparts. No evil or malicious intent, just someone saying as did the apostle John "Amen, come Lord Jesus".
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