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Jehovah's Witnesses QUESTION from CLK May 27, 1999 I have a question. I want to know what opinion that the Catholic church has about Jehovah's Witnesses. My grandfather is a Catholic and he had a fit when he learned that I was considering becoming a Jehovah's Witness. However I was not a Catholic before. I just researched many different religions and came to the conclusion that the Jehovah's Witnesses are right in their beliefs. So what is the Catholic churches opinion about Jehovah's Witnesses?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on May 27, 1999 Dear CLK:
Thanks for your question. First of all, I would encourage you to investigate the Catholic Church more thoroughly. It is the Church that Jesus Himself founded 2000 years ago. There is much confusion about what the Church teaches or doesn't teach and why it teaches what it does. Perhaps this website can help you sort those things out.
On our homepage you will see two links, one for a book called Answers for Troubled Times and the other is Beginning Apologetics. I would recommend both of these books as a resource for learning what the Church believes.
As to the Jehovoh's Witnesses, I am afraid you are not going to like what I must say.
Jehovah's Witnesses did not exist until 1851 years after Jesus's death and Resurrection. It was started by a single man, Charles Taze Russell. The relgion Russell founded was called by several names originally, including that of Russellites.
What comes to mind from Scripture is the passages in 1 Corinthians Chapter 1:10-15:
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. The fact is that the unity of speak(ing) the same thing is found only in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has preserved the teachings of Christ in both written (bible) and oral (Sacred Tradition - John 21:25; 1 Cor 11:2) since the apostolic days.
Except for the Catholic and the Orthodox Churches, all other churches came around at least 1500 years later and posited things not the same as what Jesus and the apostles taught.
As a result, just like in Corinth, people come to their own conclusions about what the faith is and they begin to follow the personalities that preach that flavor of the faith.
We could easily insert instead of Apollos, Cephas, Paul, the names of Luther, Calvin, and Russell.
The passage would read:
...that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Luther; and I of Calvin; and I of Russell; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? In short, denominationalism, or any splitting into separate churches of unlike faith, is CONDEMNED by Scripture.
These divisions are largely based upon the founders of the various churches presuming to know the correct interpretation of Scripture and usually asserting that the Scipture is the ONLY source of authority.
Well both of these things are UNSCRIPTURAL. The Bible alone doctrine does not exist in Scripture. The Bible itself affirms that in John 21:25, 1 Cor 11:2, 1 Pet 1:25, 2 Thess 2:15; 3:6 among others. 2 Peter 3:15-165 affirms that private interpretation is improper.
Christ established a Church to have the authority to guard the correct interpretation of Scripture and the faith. This is proven in verses such as Mt. 16:13-20; 18:18; Lk 10:16; Isa 22:22 and that this Church He established would last until the end of time (Mt. 16:18; 28:19-20; John 14:16). That Church is the Church were the Chair of Peter, the first prime minister (Mt 16:13-20 backed by Isa 22:22) resides. The Catholic Church is that church.
But what of non-Catholic Churches? Are they not Christian?
Some of the other churches are Christian even though they don't have the fullness of the faith like the Catholic Church does; and some are not.
These other Christian churches have a measure of the faith, enough of the essentials of the faith to be Christian, even if not in communion with the Catholic Church.
There are common denominators of what constitutes being Christian. Some churches use marijuanna as communion and yuet call themselves christian. Not hardly. They can call themselves anything they want, but it does not make it so.
The common denominators in which all legitimate Christian churches and call themselves validly Christian is the basic Apostle's Creed
I BELIEVE in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
Any group of people not agreeing with this simple statement of faith cannot be considered Christian.
That means that any group that does not believe in the Trinity is not Christian.
In addition the baptism of a church must be valid for a person to be considered Christian. Baptism MUST be done in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and it must be done with real water, not something else, and the water must be either poured or the person immersed in the water, for the baptism to be valid.
If one's baptism did not do this, then the baptism is not valid.
Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe in the Trinity, dispite the fact that the three-fold persons of of God are clearly indicated in Scripture. God even refers to Himself as we in verses such as Genesis 1:26, and elsewhere, and Jesus affirms his divinity as well.
Bottom line: Jehovah's Witnesses are not Christian. This religion is a false religion and those who enter it may indeed risk their eternal soul.
Also see this page for several articles about Jehovah's Witness (and Mormonism): www.saint-mike.org/Library/Jehovah_Mormonism/JW_Mormons.html
I would adjure you to reconsider entering this false religion. It is filled with lies and distortions and in no way can be considered Christian. Their views do not represent anything that Christ and his apostles personally taught and handed down to the generations.
Please do not be seduced into this. We will pray that the eyes of your heart will be enlightened to the truth of Jesus Christ, the True Man and True God, and in the Father and the Holy Spirit who are the Truth, the way, and the life.
May God bless you.
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