Help with my Jehova's Witness Brother

Unfortunately, my brother has been sucked into the Jehova’s witness religion. I have been trying to reason with him but I’m afraid I might be too late. We have been e-mailing back and forth and I’m having a difficult time responding to his latest email which I will show here. Can somebody help me respond adequately??

Jesus being called a god does not contradict the teachings of the Bible that there is only one God. In the Bible, the term god is used to refer to mighty creatures. Psalm 8:5 reads: “You also proceeded to make him [man] a little less than godlike ones [Hebrew, ´elo·him’],” that is, angels. When Jesus was accused of claiming to be God, he said that “the Law uses the word gods of those to whom the word of God was addressed,” that is, human judges. (John 10:34, 35. Psalm 82:1-6) Even Satan is called “the god of this system of things” at 2 Corinthians 4:4.Jesus has a much higher position than angels, imperfect men, or Satan. If they are called “gods” (mighty ones), in the Bible, then Jesus can be called “a god” since, next to his Father, he’s the mightiest. The thing about three persons in one. You say each of them is God, whole and entire. Think about that one. What do you think about John 1:18? I mentioned it in the previous email. What about John 17:3? This is from the King James Version (neutral) John 17:3: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Notice two things about that verse: First, Jesus is calling his Father ‘the only true God’. Also, he is saying that eternal life is knowing God and Jesus. No mention of the third person. Wouldn’t it make sense to include all three here? That way a person gets to know God as a whole. There is one more thing, Jesus was tempted. Can God be tempted? No, but angels and humans could be tempted and rebel against God and did. The temptation of Jesus would make sense only if he was, not God, but a separate individual who had his own free will, one who could have been disloyal had he chosen to be, such as an angel or a human.On the other hand, is it possible that God could sin and be disloyal to himself? No it’s not possible. So if Jesus had been God, he could not have been tempted. James 1:13. Do you agree?Now, I could go down one by one and give my comments on what you wrote, but, citing verses and our point of view will neither prove nor disprove that Jesus is or isn’t God. We have to go a little further. We have to understand what’s involved, then we’ll understand who Jesus is. Tell me what you think of what happened in the Garden of Eden? What was God’s purpose for Adam and Eve? That’s important to know because that’s where it all started. Where would Adam and Eve be if they hadn’t sinned? What was Adam’s punishment for disobeying? God’s justice is involved in this. His justice says a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand (Ex. 21:23, 24). Bear with me on this and we’ll get back to the divinity of Jesus. I’ll stop here. We can’t make it too involved. I’ll be looking for answers on John 1:18, John 17:3, if God can be tempted, and answers to the last paragraph. Hope it’s not too much.

Jesus has a much higher position than angels, imperfect men, or Satan. If they are called “gods” (mighty ones), in the Bible, then Jesus can be called “a god” since, next to his Father, he’s the mightiest.

Typical jw arguement. He states that Jesus is NOT God and then attempts to “reason” (BIG word with the jws) that He CAN be called “a god” since He is greater than His brothers Michael, Satan, etc., “proveing” that Jesus is the chief “god”. This “reasoning” reduces Jesus to a CREATED being, which is, of course, what they believe.
Also, he points out various scripture where Jesus refers to His Father as greater than himself. This arguement is used by jws to back up their view that Jesus walked the earth as a man only. They refuse Jesus being fully God and fully man during His time on earth. Kind of negates the entire sacrifice and our redemption, doesn’t it?
The temptation of Jesus by Satan in the wilderness does NOT show that God cannot be tempted, therefore Jesus is not God, it, once again, shows that Jesus was fully God AND fully man. He was tempted because his humanity was weakened by thirst, hunger and heat. God experienced our humanity Himself.

How long has your brother been associating with these people? I associated with them for 1 and 1/2 years and for the 1st 10 months, I sounded like your brother. THEN I began to THINK.
Run, do not walk, to your closest Catholic bookstore. Buy “Beginning Apologetics #2, How To Answer Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons” by Father Frank Chacon & Jim Burnham. While you are there, look and ask for any other materials you can use to refute this @#%# with which these people have polluted your brother’s mind. Arm yourself with the Catechism, a Catholic Bible and, if you can find one in a library, a copy of their bible called The New World Translation from which they quote extensively. You will need all these “weapons” because you will be refuting his arguments point by point. ALSO, read the history of their “religion”.
You need to go into this battle for you brother fully armed. It will not be easy but The Holy Spirit will be with you. And no matter what, be charitable! The more people argued with me, at that time, the more I shut them out. Only argue scripture with him. At this point he probably won’t listen to anything else. I will be praying for you javier29.
This the longest post I’ve ever done! :o

I give a simple answer to that. I ask how many Gods the Jews believed in. They end up admitting one or saying the Jews are polytheistic. Then I ask how, if God says there is only one of Him, they say there are more.

I suggest Jason Everts book on the JW’s available from your friendly Catholic Answers folks.

First of all, thanks for the feedback and your prayers. In response to your question, my brother has been involved with the jw’s for a couple of years now.
Unfortunately, although raised Catholic myself, it is only since this past year that I have truly discovered that the Catholic Church is the true Church. There is something to be said about maturity.
My sense of urgency is not only my brother but now it seems that one of my sisters is falling for their false teachings (which I just found out on Thanksgiving).
I believe at this point that she is still confused and not sure what she believes.

So I’m basically hoping that by helping my brother see the truth it will also help my sister since that is where she is getting her information.

Any and all help is Appreciated.

God Bless
Javier

Ask your brother if the jws have informed him (and I’m sure they have) that their “new” date for the 2nd coming is now 2034 and how they’ve arrived at that. During their short history, they’ve set 1875, 1914, 1935 and 1975 as the relevent dates. When the world doesn’t end, they claim their “sheep” misunderstood, and that it’s a “sifting” process; i.e., sifting out the un-believers; “wheat from chaff”. So, their organization loses many followers and then they begin again, enticing the uninformed, searching and lost. Please read the history of the jws. It’s a real eye-opener!

Arm yourself with facts.

Get a copy of Where We Got the Bible by Henry Graham (available at Catholic Answers).

Original Christianity was not based on the Bible (which didn’t exist until 400 years later), but on the sum total of the teachings of the Catholic Church.

All sects are based upon their founder’s misinterpretation of the Scriptures – including the JWs. Ask your brother why he believes Charles Taze Russell got it right and others didn’t.

And ask him to show you the teachings of the JW’s in the first or second century. The first Christians were* Catholic*.

The Apostles did not teach JW beliefs. If the Apostles didn’t teach it, it’s not true Christianity.

The JW religion is warmed-over Arianism. They admit it. Learn about Arianism, which was condemned as a heresy by the Church in 325 A.D. at the Council of Nicea.

JW leaders have made predictions of the end of the world that didn’t happen. Your brother should be told about those.

Jason Evert’s book is good (from Catholic Answers). Would your sister read it? Perhaps your brother won’t, because JWs are not allowed even to read translations of the Bible other than the JW mistranslation.

Something for your brother (and sister) to think about: The (Protestant) RSV, in the “Preface to the Revised Standard Version,” says this: QUOTE The form “Jehovah” is of late medeival origin; it is a combination of the consonants of the Divine Name [YHVH] and the vowels attached to it by the Masoretes but belonging to an entirely different word . . . the word “Jehovah” does not accurately represent any form of the Name ever used in Hebrew. . . END QUOTE *The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, Revised Standard Version, page xiv. *

I think any RSV Bible would have this same preface.

Here are a couple of helpful websites:

catholic.com/library/History_of_the_Jehovah_Witnesesses.asp

envoymagazine.com/backissues/1.4/jul_augstory1.html

You’ve got a lot of work to do, but your brother’s (and perhaps your sister’s) salvation is at stake. It’ll be worth it. And you’ll learn a lot about the True Faith – Catholicism – in the process. May God be with you.

JMJ Jay

Katholikos,

Great post! :thumbsup:
My blood boils when I discuss the jws. (obvious, I’m sure) Too much baggage! Your’s was an informative, well thought out post. Thanks.

[quote=catsrus]Katholikos,

Great post! :thumbsup:
My blood boils when I discuss the jws. (obvious, I’m sure) Too much baggage! Your’s was an informative, well thought out post. Thanks.
[/quote]

Don’t blame you for your anger – you were scammed! All JWs are scammed.

Thanks for your kind words. :slight_smile: Jay

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Hello Javier!

You are in for a long haul.

Your brother may be lost for a time, entrust him to the Holy Spirit, pray for him every day with ferver. And always be civil and caring with him. He is in touch with you right now because he cares enough about you to save you from oblivian. His hope in converting you may be all that keeps him in touch with you.

When he becomes absolutely convinced that you cannot be saved he will write you off.

I am more concerned at this time for your sister, your other relatives and her friends.

Live an absolutely impeccable life (I know that’s impossible, just try) and be a good example of a Christian before all people. Pray daily for your brother specifically and for all people in danger, when you see him your care for him will show like starlight in your face.

That’s all you will be able to do, unless you are able to maintain a pleasent dialog. This dialog should cover all normal topics, not just religious matters.

My advice to you, consider these:

(1) Get involved in some active charitable endeavor, volunteer with some good Catholic cause, there are too many to list.

(2) Study the Bible, preferably with the parish, or do one of the formal programs like Little Rock. Most individuals who contact or are contacted by the JW’s for the first time are attracted in part by the “free” bible study, know your Bible enough to be conversant. You don’t have to memorize a lot of verses.

(3) Study the teachings of the Jehovah Witnesses, there is material everywhere. It is helpful if you know what will be taught by them before the “inquirer” has been exposed to it. Some of this stuff is so fantastic in concept the ordinary people will reject it if it is not presented “properly”", so JW’s are instructed in how and when to expose one to each new doctrine.

What I am trying to say is that in contrast the Catholic faith is an open book. Anyone interested can just spend 10 bucks and buy a Catholic Cathechism and learn all they want without pressure. They can formulate arguments and develop polemical materials with the stuff we ourselves will provide. We can take the heat, the JW’s use a different approach by making a broad evangelical approach and seeding "hints’ of their unique teachings throughout their material, you might not catch it right away. Later in class when they’ve got you, they come right out and reveal some of the more interesting (or apalling) doctrines.

{continued}

{continued from post #9}

A few things you will need to know:

Psychologicaly people are more drawn and committed to something they have invested in. If they have spend hard cash for a booklet it will be internalized quicker and more thoroughly than if they were just “given” the book for free. (Love is like that too, the more help you give a person and the more effort it takes the more you will grow to love that person.) It’s the “Bridge over the River Kwai” syndrome. The JW’s expect an enormous commitment of time and energy, many people just cannot bear the idea that all of the effort was a waste. It’s like a golden chain, one year, two years ten years go by…

Their teachings have some odd aspects that I will call gullibility tests, when you reach a certain point and they spring it on you you might balk, but if you accept it you are ready for the next series.

One is that Jesus was an incarnation of Saint Michael the Archangel, and like stated elsewhere he was merely a creature.

Another is that he did not die on a cross, but nailed to a stake. This teaching derives from a poor translation of the Greek, but they treated it as “New light” and removed all usage of the cross symbolism from their organization.

Another (this is one of the first to be taught inquirers, it is a Marketing tool) is that one is encouraged to desire an everlasting human existance on an eternal earth. What you are not told is that the Truly Saved are the 144,000 who have a “Heavenly Hope”. most of these spots have already been assigned. They will rule the Earth (and all of us who join with them) with Jesus the Important Man from heaven.

Catholics, atheists, and all others will be annihilated, there is no hell.

In my opinion the best response to give a JW when they come to the door is that you have a heavenly hope. When they ask why just say “because I am a baptised Catholic/Orthodox Christian, I love my God and I seek His Face”.

Michael (not an angel)

[quote=javier_29]First of all, thanks for the feedback and your prayers. In response to your question, my brother has been involved with the jw’s for a couple of years now.
Unfortunately, although raised Catholic myself, it is only since this past year that I have truly discovered that the Catholic Church is the true Church. There is something to be said about maturity.
My sense of urgency is not only my brother but now it seems that one of my sisters is falling for their false teachings (which I just found out on Thanksgiving).
I believe at this point that she is still confused and not sure what she believes.

So I’m basically hoping that by helping my brother see the truth it will also help my sister since that is where she is getting her information.

Any and all help is Appreciated.

God Bless
Javier
[/quote]

Does your brother deny the Trinity, and if so, has he been told that the Trinity is a Babylonian invention ?

JWs used to be told that - but the idea of a Babylonian Trinity happens to be untrue. ##

This is a question i have always wanted to ask but i dont feel i am at the level to challeng jw’s yet…

All that stuff that Jesus says about caring for people, those who hate you, the poor, sick, suffering, etc…
And stuff like “…what you do for the least of my people you do to me…”,
and “…when I was hungry, you fed me, …naked, you clothed me…”
(I dont remember what verses these are, I just remeber the commands.)
I see almos all Christain groups doing the above in some form, but I dont see the jw’s doing this stuff. why not, and what do they have to say about this.

[quote=Catholic Dude]This is a question i have always wanted to ask but i dont feel i am at the level to challeng jw’s yet…

All that stuff that Jesus says about caring for people, those who hate you, the poor, sick, suffering, etc…
And stuff like “…what you do for the least of my people you do to me…”,
and “…when I was hungry, you fed me, …naked, you clothed me…”
(I dont remember what verses these are, I just remeber the commands.)
I see almos all Christain groups doing the above in some form, but I dont see the jw’s doing this stuff. why not, and what do they have to say about this.
[/quote]

I can only give you an idea from what I have been told by JW’s, I am not clear on the official explanation. I posed this same challenge to a JW who meant all the world to me. She said that the JW’s are very active in charity for their own people! The occasion was some disaster (I forget which, an earthquake or famine somewhere) and she responded that the JW’s are very proactive in such cases, to help Jehovah Witnesses!

I couldn’t believe that they could or would make such a distinction when so many were in need, nevertheless she said that non-JW’s were lost “worldly” people and didn’t require a response from the organization (or some such statement).

Non-JW’s belong to Satan, they are Satan’s problem evidently. I just don’t know if I got the explanation right, she was rather new to it all then and I was rather animated, so I don’t know if I understood her correctly.

It was a long time ago.

+T+

If your brother will look at a different translation than the JW, try to show your brother John 1:1

In his Bible it adds the word “a” to make it a god.

The verse in any other translation reads “In the Beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Not a god. Any translation, Catholic or Protestant says the same thing except a JW Bible.

Might not be enough, but it might plant a seed.

God Bless,
Maria

I have tried to point out that their interpretation of John 1:1 “the word was a God” is incorrect. His first few lines are actually in response to this.

Jesus being called a god does not contradict the teachings of the Bible that there is only one God. In the Bible, the term god is used to refer to mighty creatures. Psalm 8:5 reads: “You also proceeded to make him [man] a little less than godlike ones [Hebrew, ´elo·him’],” that is, angels.

Not only does he deny the Trinity, he feels that it is a ridiculous belief.

I wasn’t aware that they will only be charitable to other JW’s. I don’t know that I want to necessarily bring that up at this point rather I’d like to discuss scripture. I hear they are major Catholic bashers and I don’t really want to stoop to their level. What do you think?

Thanks for the book recommendations, I will definitely get them.

God Bless
Javier

I have tried to point out that their interpretation of John 1:1 “the word was a God” is incorrect.

Won’t work, you need more. They say that John1:1, as translated by everyone else is a “spurious” scripture and that only they, jws, have it translated correctly. They will tell you that God spoke to them through the “the faithful and discreet slave” (the watchtower society), so since God translated their bible directly, it it the truth. God lives only in Brooklyn, don’t you know?
Their contention that Christ was crucifed on “an upright stake” is another invention. They claim the Greek word *stauros *is to be translated not as cross, but upright stake. They literally cringe at the words crucifixtion and crucified.
Jws are so bogged down in word translations and usage that they’ve completely lost any spirtual meaning from the Bible. Theirs is a dry, unhappy religion without mystery, beauty or love.
And, yes, it is true that they believe all outside “the truth” are lost and unworthy of any love or assistance from them. (most especially, Catholics) They only look after each other, and then, only according the the needy person’s level of “service” within their society.

[quote=catsrus]Won’t work, you need more. They say that John1:1, as translated by everyone else is a “spurious” scripture and that only they, jws, have it translated correctly. They will tell you that God spoke to them through the “the faithful and discreet slave” (the watchtower society), so since God translated their bible directly, it it the truth. God lives only in Brooklyn, don’t you know?
Their contention that Christ was crucifed on “an upright stake” is another invention. They claim the Greek word *stauros *is to be translated not as cross, but upright stake. They literally cringe at the words crucifixtion and crucified.
[/quote]

I find that alarming - the Cross is central to to the mystery of Who Jesus is. It is because that the Cross was so shameful and humiliating, that His Love is so evident: because only a truly overwhelming Love could lead to such a depth of self-humbling (see Philippians 2.5-11) The death on the Cross is about as far as one can get from the notion of a glorious all-conquering Messiah - and that is exactly the point. Because that is how God overcomes - that is how thorough God’s Love is: for Christ does not overcome Caesar; He overcomes a far greater tyrant, the devil. And He does so, not by might, but by self-sacrifice and weakness.

And by so doing, He shows that God is a God Who identifies Himself with very weakest and most disreputable - with crucified criminals, the very dregs of humanity. Everything is in the Cross - it is essential to the Gospel. So no wonder it is shocking - it should be ! St. Paul found that “Jews” & “Greeks” had the same problem with it - it was unacceptable; it did not fit their ideas of how God could act.

This kind of Gospel, is one that a superpower in particular, and one which stresses success and prosperity, desperately needs to take to heart. ##

Jws are so bogged down in word translations and usage that they’ve completely lost any spirtual meaning from the Bible. Theirs is a dry, unhappy religion without mystery, beauty or love.
And, yes, it is true that they believe all outside “the truth” are lost and unworthy of any love or assistance from them. (most especially, Catholics) They only look after each other, and then, only according the the needy person’s level of “service” within their society.

My sister-in-law is a JW, and I know how frustrating it can be to try to discuss the Bible with them. I have a few tips.
You know that they want you to read their “Watchtower,” but will not read anything yoiu give them. They might listen to a tape, though.
Second, when they want to make a point, they’ll jump all over the Bible, from Paul to Matthew to Isiah to Kings and back to the Psalms, taking a verse or even a phrase from each one. DON’T LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT. insist that you stay with one book and verse until you are done with it. Then move on to just one other.
Next, when they have “made their point,” and you are responding, they “zone out,” refusing to listen to your rebuttal. You can actually see their eyes go glassy! Again, don’t accept this. Draw them out and make them focus by asking them “'What’s your take on that verse?” or “How do you read this?” or “Can you explain this for me?” If they have to respond to you, they have to listen.
Read up on their beliefs, arm yourself with the Truth and keep your temper. If you can just get them to THINK, the Holy Spirit will do the rest.
Good luck!

There are many useful articles on the Catholic Answers website:

catholic.com/library/noncatholic_groups.asp

Also, I think one of these articles (it’s been awhile since I read them) says that one of the reasons that JW’s don’t do much with charity is because they expect the end of the world to be coming soon. I think if they claim something like that, it could be shown to them how some of the early Christians expected Jesus to come back soon, or weren’t sure when he was going to be coming back, yet still gave a lot to charity. Good luck and God bless!

[quote=Strider]My sister-in-law is a JW, and I know how frustrating it can be to try to discuss the Bible with them. I have a few tips.
You know that they want you to read their “Watchtower,” but will not read anything yoiu give them. They might listen to a tape, though.
Second, when they want to make a point, they’ll jump all over the Bible, from Paul to Matthew to Isiah to Kings and back to the Psalms, taking a verse or even a phrase from each one. DON’T LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT. insist that you stay with one book and verse until you are done with it. Then move on to just one other.
Next, when they have “made their point,” and you are responding, they “zone out,” refusing to listen to your rebuttal. You can actually see their eyes go glassy! Again, don’t accept this. Draw them out and make them focus by asking them “'What’s your take on that verse?” or “How do you read this?” or “Can you explain this for me?” If they have to respond to you, they have to listen.
Read up on their beliefs, arm yourself with the Truth and keep your temper. If you can just get them to THINK, the Holy Spirit will do the rest.
Good luck!
[/quote]

This is a good post.

A very realistic appraisal.

Most JW’s seem to have come into it with a lackluster knowledge of scripture (like most of us, I suppose) and suddenly the Watchtower is unlocking all of these secrets for them, they skip around to disconnected thoughts taken out of context and are shown these wonderful discoveries! Recognize that this is not genius on the individual’s part, it’s a pat formula to prove a point that they have memorized.

Always read passages in the Bible in their own context and discuss them this way, never take a verse here and a verse there, that’s how they got all of those made up doctrines.

And yes, their eyes glaze over. Once you put the JW in a situation where they are no longer teaching, but learning, they are in a difficult social context. They need to be polite in order to save the situation but now in you they see the devil is strong and they need to go back and study more!

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