Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Friendly Encounter With a Jehovah's Witness

While walking my dog this morning, for the second time. First time, I was on the cell phone and totally forgot the reason I was out there...but I digress...a friendly woman approached me. Wait, let me backtrack. A few minutes prior to her approaching me, I heard a woman lecturing two homeless men on the park bench. She was asking them if they prayed regularly, do they know Jesus, etc. I got a little annoyed with her because these two guys are down on their luck and I'm sure they could use some food or a kind word instead of someone preaching to them about God.

The lady walks up to me and makes small talk about my dog. Then she pulls out a little pamphlet which I decline politely telling her I am a Catholic, a devout Catholic.

We started a conversation back and forth about certain Catholic and JW beliefs. I guess she listened to my side because I told her I was familiar with JW teachings and beliefs as one of my second cousins is an elder in the Watchtower.

She even pulled out her little Bible and read John 3:16 and she was surprised I was familiar with the verse...frankly so was I. I usually forget scripture quotes when I am nervous or excited. She was reading from New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures which according to Wikipedia is a new and literal translation of the Scripture by the JWs. At the time I told her the JW bible was translated by the JWs themselves and so not accurate.

She mentioned that Jehovah's name is quoted in the Bible as the supreme name. I told her that God's name isn't Jehovah but a misinterpretation of Yahweh, a name so holy that the Jews could not even utter it out loud.

I asked her if she had ever looked into becoming a Catholic. She said she had trouble with the Catholic church because we worship statues of Mary. I asked her if she had photographs of her family in her home. She responded yes of course she did. I told her that is the way we thought of our statues of Mary and the saints. I told her we only worshiped God and Jesus. She was really taken aback by my comment of worshiping Jesus. And she quoted me a couple of Bible citations.

I asked her how the JWs saw Jesus and she replied as their ransom. He gave Himself up for us. But that God was our supreme God. I then tried to explain to her the mystery of the Holy Trinity but I could tell she wasn't listening.

I asked her if they believed that Jesus' Mother Mary was a perpetual virgin. She said they did believe that but after Jesus' birth, she had other children. I explained that this was wrong and then proceeded with the cousins vs. siblings terminology at the time of Jesus. She started flipping through her bible trying to find a passage that would refute what I was telling her. She even apologized for not being able to find it at the moment. I also wished I had carried a Holy Bible with me.

All in all, it was an interesting discussion.

The scripture quotes she gave me to look up are:

With regard to Jehovah's name: Psalm 83:18
Catholic New American Bible: "Let them be shamed and put to rout forever; let them be confounded and perish
JW: "That people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth."

and Proverbs 18:10
Catholic New American Bible: The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the just man runs to it and is safe.
JW: The name of Jehovah is a strong tower. Into it the righteous runs and is given protection.

On Scripture being sacred: 2 Timothy 3:16
Catholic NAB: 'All Scripture is inspired of God and is useful for teaching--for reproof, correction, and training in holiness.
JW: All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness,

That Jesus should not be worshiped as God: Revelation 4:11
Catholic NAB: "O Lord our God, you are worthy to receive glory and honor and power! For you have created all things; by your will th ey came to be and were made!"
JW: You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.”


Mimi said...

My Dh's mother left the Catholic faith for the JW faith when Dh was five, and then left the JW faith when Dh was 12, and my poor Dh was (and is) really religiously confused and ultimately rejected it all.

You were far kinder than I would have been, I really have a hard time with their theology and tend to cut off conversation.

Micki said...

Knowing that I don't have the gift of words.....I just say, "yes, I'm saved. I'm Catholic." Then I gently close the door. Simple and says what I feel.

catholicandgop said...

Way to go. I usually just take the pamphlet and close the door and blame it all on the dogs. ;)

EC Gefroh said...

I'm sorry to hear that Mimi. The reason I was patient with the woman was in part because I really feel the higher ups in that organization have brainwashed their members.

Micki, I'll have to remember that for the future.

Thanks Sunny. BTW, that is exactly what my mom does :-)

Mimi said...

I really feel the higher ups in that organization have brainwashed their members.

I agree wholeheartedly with this, Esther.

xxxxxx said...

Esther, you did good...keeping your cool!!!
I find myself flustered in those situations as well. I did get in a situation like that once and it's just so funny, they are so impressed that A CATHOLIC knows Scripture! That really throws them for a loop. Sometimes they can't even recover from it!

I have a Scripture cheat sheet. I just wish it was foldable. There is also a pocket catholic apologist. Forget the name and its been in my puse so long the cover fell off. So I am ready for anything!

EC Gefroh said...

I need to get one of those Diana.