How can you be Catholic? Questioning of JWs


#1

I wanted to see if anyone can help me answer these questions for a fellow JW who is questioning why Catholics can be Catholics. I wanted to answer in detail, but I don’t think I can speak to well for all Catholics since I’m not an apologist, plus, I don’t really want to just give this person links since obviously, JWs want the straight facts… Hope you guys can help.

  1. Pick up a rosary and use it to pray (although the practice of using a rosary is not supported at all in the Bible and is openly acknowledged to be a practice that was absorbed by the Catholic Church from non-Christian religions.)

  2. Actively use that rosary to pray to Mary, Jesus mother, while the Bible provides no instruction on praying to anyone besides God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ.

  3. Attend a church where the leaders insist on being called by the religious title “Father”, “Holy Father”, “Most Holy Father”, “Most Holy Right Reverend” in direct violation of Jesus command to not use religious titles like “Father

  4. You attend a church that demands that priests are not allowed to be married, in direct violation of the scriptural point found at…

(1 Timothy 4:1-3) However, the inspired utterance says definitely that in later periods of time some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to misleading inspired utterances and teachings of demons, 2 by the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, marked in their conscience as with a branding iron; 3 forbidding to marry, commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be partaken of with thanksgiving by those who have faith and accurately know the truth.

  1. The Catholic Church has previously forbidden their members to eat meat on Fridays in direct violation of the scripture found at… 1Tim 4:1-3

  2. The Catholic Church has invented ideas not mentioned at ALL in the scriptures such as purgatory. Where did this idea come from? Certainly, not from the Bible…

  3. Catholic clergy have been seen blessing troops and blessing bombs on both sides of military conflict in direct violation of Jesus command where he said “love your enemies and pray for those persecuting you…” (I recently saw a bumper sticker that made my laugh… it said “when Jesus said love your enemy I think he meant not to kill them.”

I have a very hard time understanding how anyone with any level of Bible knowledge can become a Catholic. It simply boggles my mind.

The Bible gives multiple signs to show the serious reader how to identify the true disciples, including:

  1. Massive and deep respect of God’s name is Jesus explained in the Lord’s prayer (Very few people care about God’s name, or use it in their daily speech…)

  2. Actively engaged in a worldwide preaching work about God’s kingdom in obedience to Jesus commands.

  3. Peacefully coexisting with all others, not engaging in military activity, slaughtering their enemies in the warfare. (What other Religious group on the earth can make the claim that every one along to their religion war would cease?) (“You will know my disciples by the love they show…… How about not killing each other in war?)

I simply cannot understand at all how any Bible reader can look at the seven points I mentioned above and conclude that the Catholic Church is currently the true faith, the true disciples of Jesus Christ on earth at this time.


#2

One more thing, does anyone have texts available that say why JWs are not considered Christians? It seems that just the fact that they don’t believe in the Trinity is not enough reason for the JWs.

Thanks!!


#3

Yessian,

I think it’s up to YOU to directly answer the questions with your own research.

Catholic Answers’ main website has tracts that speak to each of these. Do the research and formulate your personal answer.

Also get a copy of the book Beginning Apologetics, this is a series of small workbooks and includes one on talking to JWs.

Personally, I stay out of discussions like this one. All the JW is interested in is lobbing scriptural grenades at you-- giving you VOLUMES of questions. If they are serious, they will be willing to discuss these questions one at a time, in depth.


#4

Already did that. gave him a bunch of apologetic links. You are right about the sending a bunch of questions but he has answered mine in great detail.


#5

This is a common tactic used by many anti-Catholics. They barrage us with all sorts of misleading allegations all at once in order to scare the Catholic or get him to start questioning his faith before the discussion begins (giving them an upper hand). Then, when you answer one of their allegations they have another ready to go. Instead of debating like that, I would reply to this person in a charitable manner that you will not dignify such obvious anti-Catholicism with a response until he can focus on one subject at a time and tell him to be charitable as well. From my own personal experience it is not a good idea to get into a discussion such as this because it can’t lead to anything productive. Don’t go off calling him non-Christian; because in his mind his form of worship is true Christianity and nothing can change that (except the Holy Spirit). Good luck!


#6

The Chuch has **always **drawn the line of orthodoxy at affirmation of the Trinitarian doctrine and Trinitarian baptism. As far back as you read in the early church writings, those baptized into the Trinity are Christians. This was an early controversy-- whether or not to re-baptize those who returned from or came from schismatic groups.

If someone is baptized a Methodist, and chooses to convert to Catholicism they have no need of baptism because they are already Christians. JWs and Mormons must be baptized because they do not have a valid Trinitarian baptism. Therefore, they are not Christians.

Whether JWs accept that or not is irrelevant.


#7

Often times, when a militant-esque Protestant questions yoru faith, they aren’t looking for answers, but rather, looking for you to abandon Rome. I know it sounds cynical, but it’s true. I once engaged in a long-continuing email debate with a Baptist preacher who told me I was going to hell.

One of his main problems was the rosary, him saying that it is unbiblical. The day that the Hail Mary, the Our Father and the Glory Be aren’t found in scripture is the day that the faith ceases to exist. The mysteries of the rosary are all found in scripture, with direct reference, or at least, the writing with a presumption that it occured. He conceded that the prayers were biblical, but not the actual beads. Nowhere can be found the “prayer-bead-basis.” Can you find in scripture where the internet is mentioned? Or perhaps, if you cannot, at least show where America is mentioned? No? Well, if it’s not in the Bible, than it cannot be true.:smiley: You have to realize that the Bible was written for all people, but it was wirtten in the BC and early AD eras. If we were to write a new Bible, I doubt we would include things thousands of years in the future. They’re arguement against the rosary is weak, but they refuse to acknowledge such a fact.


#8
  1. Pick up a rosary and use it to pray

The purpose of the Rosary is to help keep in memory certain principal events or mysteries in the history of our salvation, and to thank and praise God for them. There are twenty mysteries reflected upon in the Rosary,
ewtn.com/Devotionals/mercy/dmmap.htm

  1. Actively use that rosary to pray to Mary, Jesus mother, while the Bible provides no instruction on praying to anyone besides God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ.

Book Of Genesis Chapter 48 16 The angel that delivereth me from all evils, bless these boys: and let my name be called upon them, and the names of my fathers Abraham, and Isaac, and may they grow into a multitude upon the earth.

  1. Attend a church where the leaders insist on being called by the religious title

9 “Call none your father upon earth”… Neither be ye called masters. The meaning is that our Father in heaven is incomparably more to be regarded, than any father upon earth: and no master to be followed, who would lead us away from Christ. But this does not hinder but that we are by the law of God to have a due respect both for our parents and spiritual fathers, (1 Cor. 4. 23: 15,) and for our masters and teachers.

  1. You attend a church that demands that priests are not allowed to be married,

Wrong it is a voluntary vow - There are catholic married priests
Matthew 19 12 “There are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs, for the kingdom of heaven”… This text is not to be taken in the literal sense; but means, that there are such, who have taken a firm and commendable resolution of leading a single and chaste life, in order to serve God in a more perfect state than those who marry: as St. Paul clearly shews. 1 Cor. 7. 37, 38.

  1. The Catholic Church has previously forbidden their members to eat meat on Fridays

Matthew 18 18 Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven

  1. purgatory. Where did this idea come from?

Catholic Doctrinal Concordance
The Last Things Death, Purgatory, Heaven, and Hell
infpage.com/concordance/

  1. Catholic clergy have been seen blessing troops and blessing bombs on both sides of military conflict

6 Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. 7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God. 10 Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

34 Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword
20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein were done the most of his miracles, for that they had not done penance
I simply cannot understand at all how

It is a foundation of our faith to believe that God gave Moses an oral explanation of the Torah along with the written text. This oral tradition is now essentially preserved in the Talmud and Midrashim. Just as we depend on tradition for the accepted text, vocalization, and translation of the Torah, so must we depend on tradition for its interpretation. The Written Torah cannot be understood without the oral tradition. Hence, if anything, the Oral Torah is the more important of the two. Since the Written Torah appears largely defective unless supplemented by the oral tradition, a denial of the Oral Torah necessarily leads to the denial of the divine origin of the written text as well…

Scripture
I. The Word of God is Transferred Orally
II. Learning through Oral Apostolic Tradition
2 Thess. 2:15 - Paul clearly commands us in this verse to obey oral apostolic tradition. He says stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, either by word of mouth or letter. This verse proves that for apostolic authority, oral and written communications are on par with each other. Protestants must find a verse that voids this commandment to obey oral tradition elsewhere in the Bible, or they are not abiding by the teachings of Scripture
III. Examples of Jesus’ and the Apostles’ Reliance on Oral Tradition
Matt 23:2 - Jesus relies on the oral tradition of acknowledging Moses’ seat of authority (which passed from Moses to Joshua to the Sanhedrin). This is not recorded in the Old Testament.
Jude 9 - Jude relies on the oral tradition of the Archangel Michael’s dispute with satan over Moses’ body. This is not found in the Old Testament.
Jude 14-15 - Jude relies on the oral tradition of Enoch’s prophecy which is not recorded in the Old Testament.
scripturecatholic.com/oral_tradition.html
aish.com/literacy/concepts/The_Oral_Tradition.asp


#9

If you notice, all the questions your friend asks revolves around one point: he has read the Bible, believes he is interpreting it 100% correctly and believes he knows what Catholics believe. There are those who call themselves Bible scholars who have taken a lifetime to try to understand even small portions of scripture and some will even admit** they are not sure they are interpreting it correctly.

Cathlolics differ from other Christian denominations in one very important way.  They believe that the Church has the authority.  It can be proved, even through scripture, that the Catholic Church is the Church started by Christ and that the Church was given the authority to bind and loose.  Therefore, if the Church allows the practice of praying the rosary, meatless Fridays and Priests who are married to the Church alone, the Church, through the Authority given to Her by God, can do that.

Be prepared for an endless list of questions from the JWs. If you take the time to answer each one of the questions, you will be studying for hours.  Stick with the authority of the Church.  If you want some verses on that, let me know.  I'll be happy to list what I have for you.

#10

I question the JW’s religion, how is it you can try to predict the second coming of the Son of Man? Didn’t Jesus say that only the father knows exact day and hour,not even tha angels in heaven know, so in what authority do you place yourself under. Do you rank yourselves as GOD!!!

Mathew (7.3) ‘Why, then, do you look at te speck in your brother’s eye,’ and pay no attention to the log in your own eye?


#11

Contents God, One and True God’s nature, Trinity, and Jesus
God’s Creatures Mary, Man, Angels, Saints, and the devil
God’s Remedies Grace, The Church, Scripture, and Sacraments
God’s Gifts Faith, Hope, Love, and Prayer
The Last Things Death, Purgatory, Heaven, and Hell
Additional Topics Apologetics, and topics of dispute with other Christians
Links Great Catholic links
infpage.com/concordance/

Catholic Apologetics International
catholicintl.com/

Catholic Biblical Apologetics
catholicapologetics.org/

catholic.com/library.asp

ewtn.com/vlibrary/search.asp
ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/intro.asp


#12

Honestly, all of his points have been hashed and rehased over and over again here. That’s also a lot of topics for one thread. I’m sure that probably alot of them are even still active threads that he can join if he wishes or even start a new thread on his subject or subjects of choice.

If its the JW in question that agrees with the following statement –

I enjoy reading both sides of a discussion.

then the ball is in his court to do the research.


#13

To answer some about the JWs not being a Christian group here are 3 links I found:

1 , 2 & 3


#14

I would assume that there are many who recite the Rosary repetitively, so JW’s are right in that respect.
However, once the real reason for the Rosary is revealed, it;s clearly a beautiful way to meditate on Scripture while praying. The main focus of the Rosary is, in reality, Jesus Christ, and his relationship with Mary, his mother, and God, his father. The Rosary literally takes one through the conception, the birth, the agonies, and the death of Jesus Christ.

The sad truth is, many Catholics, both practicing and fallen-away,have no knowlege of Scripture or why they do what they do. One example of this is birth control. I believe if the Catholic teaching on birth control was revealed, many would understand why it is important. Chastity and denial of bodily wants is not in the vocab of secularism. Anyone seen practicing this is ‘odd’, laugh at, mocked. Who else do you know of endured this during his lifetime?

JW’s focus on what many Catholics forgot…the reason why we are on earth. It is one of the fundamental questions we are taught early on: Why are we here? To love and serve God. What is the reward: Eternity. We are given at most 100-years on earth to spread the word there is a chance for eternal life. Think about that…all Christians are given the chance to repent, which doesn’t mean confess your sins and go out and repet them. How many people know that? The main excuse: I’m human. Yes, they’re human, but they are also responsible for control. They are responsible for a Chritian (hopefully, Catholic) trained conscience.

I truly believe that it is ultimately the leaders of the flock who will be held accountable. Remember: There is only one unforgiveable sin…

One point you will need to remember is: Never enter into a conversation w/ a JW believing you will change their mind. Nobody changed their mind in a five minute conversation. It took years to inculcate them with Bible knowledge, usually one on one. A lot of their religion is based on companionship formed within their religion.

They truly believe they are armed with the knowledge of God. Quite frankly, they are in the sense they’ve been taught both Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. Their concordance however is the Watchtower Magazine that is filtered and written by Members of the Governing Body, twelve men, on whom, unknowingly, JW’s adore. I’ve eaten with members of the Governing Body and believe me, JW’s truly believe they are in the presence of true wisdom when they are present. Anyone who visits Bethel thinks they’ve visited Rome!

Catholics have it all from the early writings of the Church Fathers, to the scriptures. They just haven’t been taught how to arm themselves with this knowledge. If a sermon lasts more than five minutes, they fall asleep. I’d go on to say that at least half don’t even know why they attend Mass other than it’s a mortal sin not to.

And that is where a magazine like Catholic Answers comes in.

The best thing you can do is arm yoursef with the knowledge available on this website and through the writings of the likes of Scott Hahn, etc. Also, read through the CCC, look up the writings of the Early Church Fathers. You will be astonished as to what is available. YOU have to believe what you are trying to teach. In order to do that, you have to have knowledge. I find that most of the local churches I’ve attended are woefully inadequate when it comes to Bible Study. ***Remember: JW’s spend three days a week in the Kingdom Hall. All of that is Bible Study. ***

JW’s are not the enemy. They believe in the same God, the same Jesus Christ, and the same Holy Spirit. They just can’t justify the Trinity (which is a matter of faith)…

A friend of mine, a Lutheran, recently died in a horrific car accident. He and I would have discussions about being ‘saved’…I would tell him that yes, you can be ‘saved’ but you had to repent of your sins and not commit the same sin over and over again. He couldn’t understand that concept. In other words, he thought that once he accepted Jesus Christ in his heart, he was saved and would go to Heaven. No matter how much I tried, both scripturally and just in normal conversation, he would not accept the concept of repentence and not participating in secularism.

He was a great guy. I miss him dearly. I can’t think of him as not being granted eternal life. But he did renounce the teachings of Catholism, while holding the concept of once saved, always saved. His Lutheran upbringing was what he adhered to.

Nobody can judge. We can only persuade and keep the faith. God is the ultimate Judge.

Maggie


#15

the best thing I can think of would be to try to cover it all in one explanation. And the real difference is that JWs are literalists and believe in Sola Scriptura or Bible Alone. Catholics don’t. We believe the Bible came from the Church not the Church from the Bible. So we can experience the richness of all our traditions and we can use sacramentals and we have faithful priests who stand in our lives for Jesus because we believe tradition is as valid as scripture. Catholics believe in God’s Word Alone, but we believe God’s Word is MORE than just the Bible. Here is a quote from an explanation of this:
Q: My Protestant friends say that their church goes by the Bible Alone, but that the Catholic Church has added a lot of man-made traditions to the Word of God…is that true?
A: No, it is not true. Protestants have as their sole rule of faith the written Word of God, which we find in Sacred Scripture. The Catholic Church has as its sole rule of faith, the entire Word of God, as it is found in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.
All of the Word of God was at one time passed on orally…Sacred Tradition. Eventually, some of Sacred Tradition was written down…this became Sacred Scripture, which is written tradition. However, Scripture itself tells us that not all of the things that Jesus said and did were written down. And listen to what Paul says about “tradition”:
2 Thes 2:15, “So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.” Traditions! Traditions taught by word of mouth, in other words, oral tradition, and traditions taught by letter. Traditions which they are being told to “stand firm and hold to”. Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.
1 Cor 11:2, “I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you.” The Corinthians are being commended by Paul because they maintain the traditions that he passed on to them. Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.
2 Tim 2:2: “and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” What we have here in 2 Timothy is an instance, in Scripture, of Paul commanding the passing on of oral tradition.
1 Thes 2:13, “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the Word of God, which is at work in you believers.” So, they received as the Word of God that which they heard, not simply that which they read in Scripture.
In other words, the Bible clearly supports the Catholic Church’s teaching that the Word of God is contained in both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

if he can’t accept your explanation then he just does not want to.

incidentally THE reason I AM Catholic and not Protestant after my JW upbringing is because there is something missing–and it is that very Sacred Tradition. Without it, to me, Christianity has no history, no roots, no richness and beauty. It isn’t complete.

Ravyn


#16

JW’s are not the enemy. They believe in the same God, the same Jesus Christ, and the same Holy Spirit. They just can’t justify the Trinity (which is a matter of faith)…
Maggie

sorry Maggie I can’t agree with that. I spent 34 years as a JW, 15 as a pioneer. They study their own altered translation of the Bible–it is not even remotely comparable to a real Bible and they CAN BE the enemy. They do not believe in the same God. I know it is hard for some tolerant souls to grasp the vast and unbridgable differences between JW and Christians and it is always the right thing to do to be kind, but we HAVE to judge their religion as spiritual poison or else it will be toxic to us. Satan is very real and JWs religion is one of his tools. They are truly lost souls and need our prayers for their conversion because not many are shaken out of their delusion easily. Do not be misled. It is a dangerous cult and not a religion that it is possible to be ecumenical with–because they believe they are the only true one and everyone else deserves to die.
Ravyn


#17

I don’t think you read 1KE’s answer carefully. He did not counsel you to give the JW links. He counseled you to read and study the information in those links yourself, so that you have the understanding that you need to answer in your own words.

And I agree that you should stick to the authority issue. Also, ask them why they dare to keep predicting the time of the end of the world in direct contradiction to the bible wherein Jesus says that no one but God the Father knows the appointed time. And why are they always wrong?

Paul


#18

You are right: Sacred Tradition.

I refer to that as Church Fathers. Sorry.

I don’t see it that way. I truly believe that majority of the newer Witnesses believe they are worshipping the one God of us all.

And, my path back to the Catholic Church was through Jehovah’s Witnesses.

My experience wasn’t like yours. I learned the Bible from the Witnesses. Yes, I had to relearn the Bible, but you will have to admit there aren’t many differences…if there are, I didn’t see them.
Trying to explain the Trinity is a lesson in futility, even to Jehovah’s Witnesses…From what I remember, they dealt with that explanation in a brochure, not a small tract. It all boils down to a matter of faith.

Yes, Catholics have a few more Books…

And, of course, they have Sacred Tradition and/or Early Fathers.

Again, the CCC is invaluable, along w/a good Bible translation (I use the Ignatius Press) … I also used Catholic Answers Magazine as a base along w/a lot of EWTN, and Ignatius Press/Sophia Press writings.

Again, I found the local parishes woefully unprepared to teach people what they wanted to really know. Many priests had no idea whatsoever how to teach or what to teach. I taught an RCIA class for adults preparing for marriage in the Catholic Church. Many had no idea that we are very closely connected to Judiaism.

If you read my introduction, you will see that I’d fallen away (once again) from attending Mass. This was a result of having worked extremely closely with (and my ex husband, too) a priest who turned out to be a pedophile (in Massachusetts)…I tried to tell myself this was prevelant in all religions, but no matter how much I tried, I just couldn’t accept it, especially since I knew this priest so well, including dining with him on a personal basis. It was tough on both me and my ex.

Not attending Mass, not reading Scripture on a regular basis, not associating with like minded Christians, is not a good thing, even if you do defend your Catholism to your friends, you still become become worldly, secularly minded. You still defend your actions by saying things like “God is kind, God will forgive”…blah blah.

You forget your roots. Again, it took the sudden death of a close friend of mine to wake me up. Throughout the five years I’d fallen away from Catholic Church, the Holy Spirit kept nudging and nudging. But April 16 was the day I was finally PUSHED. The Holy Spirit, I truly believe, HIT ME OVER THE HEAD to get my attention. True, man killed my friend. But God, through His Holy Spirit, and through my knowledge of the Bible and SACRED TRADITION, and Church Fathers, gained my attention.

I don’t believe in being a hard-liner. Christianity is not about who is right and who is wrong. It’s about loving God and loving they neighbor…remember: God works His way into peoples’ lives…sometimes that path is not a straight one. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Jesus led by example, and I can think of only one time when he lost his temper, however do you think if that was His norm rather than HIS exception, there’d be any Christians? No, I don’t use Islamic methods to convert people. I prefer, like Jesus, to use knowledge and power of the Word along w/example. It’s been a hard road for me my entire life. I was ‘brought up’ a 'Catholic"…I just didn’t know what I was supposed to believe as a Catholic.

I keep learning and trying to practice. If a get a term wrong, I hope to be forgiven. But the message is the same.

Maggie


#19

Really I think the easiest and most precise answer to JWs about why Catholics believe the way we do, is because we can.
Without being fettered by Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide (of the rabid variety) and Dispensationalism we are free to experience the Fullness of God’s Truth. Because we do have the Apostolic Authority and Papal Heirarchy and the Real Presence in the Eucharist and the Communion of Saints we have our beautiful and glorious Church, and only those on the inside can see it clearly and appreciate all its nuances of richness. And all those issues JWs bring up are only issues to them. They mean nothing to us.
To me it puts me in mind of a little girl I went to school with who came to visit my house one time and all she could do was stare at the drapes and ask me over and over again why there were three different colors? (My mother had the livingroom in shades of royal blue/gold/avocado and had a panel of each color of heavy silk drapes.) Who cares what color my mother’s drape are? I think they are pretty. It is a non-issue to me.
Rather than get overwhelmed by the individual questions take them all back to the most common denominator–which I believe is the validity of sacred tradition not just scripture.
Ravyn


#20

I definitely agree with you here! I learned nothing in RCIA. If I had not read on my own and watched EWTN and had internet discussions I would have never been able to come into the Church. I was never once even taught the order of the Mass! I bought a Mass book for kids and figured it all out myself! All the RCIA class I was in talked about was Social Issues.

I believe JWs and Mormons (in which I also was baptized and spent a very weird year)and other non-Christians like pagans and humanists, satanists, secularists, agnostics—need special catechesis. I would like to help somehow. I guess apologetics to JWs is a start eh?

Ravyn


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