Deacon Jim Mickens, reacts to words of gratitude from members of Phoenix's Catholic Retreat for Young Singles group for his years of service. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)
Deacon Jim Mickens, reacts to words of gratitude from members of Phoenix’s Catholic Retreat for Young Singles group for his years of service. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)

He was a married deacon who found his calling among Catholic singles. Deacon Jim Mickens, who  touched the hearts of many Catholic singles in the Diocese of Phoenix, said farewell Jan. 27. Ongoing health problems forced him and his wife, Janice, to move closer to his wife’s family in Pennsylvania.

“He always promoted that the most important thing in life is the search for Christ, even if that means losing your family, even if that means losing your job,” said Eric Nanneman, who was instrumental in getting the deacon involved with the Catholic Retreat for Young Singles group nine years ago.

Deacon Mickens has no connection with his own family because he chose to follow Christ. When Nanneman learned that the deacon was once a Protestant pastor, he invited him to share his conversion story with the singles group.

“He started at three in the afternoon and finished about 6:30 and nobody left,” Nanneman said.

It’s not every day that Catholics hear how a deacon went from a top-ranking position as a Jehovah’s Witness to a Catholic deacon. Deacon Mickens was raised Jehovah’s Witness and baptized shortly after his father died in 1956. He saw himself as a child of God’s and climbed his way through the ranks as a Jehovah’s Witness ministerial servant in 1971 and an elder 11 years later. Three years after that, he began to question the teachings of the Watchtower bible.

One time, he felt God calling out to him in a tangible way. The deacon remembers a pressure on the back of his head while on the freeway. He temporarily went blind. Then his vision went upside down and was corrected again.

“I remember a voice saying, ‘Do you trust me?’” the deacon said.

It became more intense the second time. He thought of when Jesus confronted Peter and asked, “Do you love me?”

The Jehovah’s Witness elder continued to question things, a taboo, and ultimately spent at least five years on what he referred to as a “wilderness journey.” He resigned in 1987, which meant he was dis-fellowshipped and classified as an agent of Satan. His family considers him dead.

His name would soon become alive again, this time in the Catholic Church. His new friend, Janice,  invited him to attend Mass for the first time.

She recalled how Deacon Mickens whispered to her throughout Mass, finding a biblical basis for every part of the liturgy. They continued going to Mass together and Deacon Mickens signed up for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Janice reluctantly sponsored him.

“I kept envisioning the questions he was going to ask me and I wouldn’t know the answer,” she said.

He was baptized in 1994 and remained hungry for the Truth, so he sought further answers through the diocesan Kino Institute. The couple wed and ultimately went through deaconate formation together in preparation for Deacon Mickens’ ordination 10 years ago.

The deacon spent four years at St. Jerome working in religious education and four at St. Bernadette in Scottsdale. He also regularly served on retreats for Catholic singles, delivered faith talks and hosted four Christmas parties, a balance of celebration and teaching.

CRYS gave him a venue to share his knowledge of the Scriptures, Deacon Mickens said. He made it his goal to teach the young adult Catholics the wealth of their faith.

Local Catholics who knew Deacon Jim Mickens through his involvement in the Catholic Retreat for Young Singles group pray over him and his wife Janice as a sign of gratitude for their service and for a safe trip to their new home on the east coast. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)
Local Catholics, who knew Deacon Jim Mickens through his involvement in the Catholic Retreat for Young Singles group, pray over him and his wife Janice as a sign of gratitude for their service and for a safe trip to their new home on the East Coast. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)

“I was real amazed at how ignorant they were,” he said.

But they were eager to learn.

“You touched us in our heart and you’ve welcomed us into your home,” said Nick Caneppa, a member of the singles group until he got married.

The deacon was adamant that before the first guest left his going away party, he would impart a final group blessing. He affirmed the welcoming spirit of the group and challenged them to make a daily goal to “look for the Lord and the smile of approval that He has for each of you,” he said.

God’s call is a form of service, even if it doesn’t feel like enough, he said.

“And if by chance, a disability should overshadow you,” the deacon said getting choked up, “don’t let it stop you from serving the Lord and serving each other.”

73 COMMENTS

  1. Please don’t try to hype it by referring to him as “top ranking”. There are 70,000 congregations of JW’s worldwide and each have at least 4 elders and some have 20 or more.

    So many Catholics have converted and become JW’s… the simple fact that one went the other way should be enough sensationalism.

    • Nonsense. Many congregations don;t have four elders and JWs themselves “elevate” elders calling them “glorious ones” (The Watchtower of September l, 1997 pp. 15, 16).

      JWs are leaving in record numbers. This may be difficult to discern as the organization is not publishing the numbers as they once did. Much of the growth is in non-internet, non-informed, “developing” countries.

      It is a deception that JWs teach…that they have “the truth.”

    • Yes, and the article states he was a former “Protestant” pastor. JW’s are not really considered to be “protestant”. Once again, anyone who is not of the “true church” is not really considered to be a Christian.

  2. The important difference with the conversions is not the numbers. It is the knowledge. The JWs who become Catholic are the most knowledgeable JWs. While the Catholics who become JWs are the most ignorant Catholics. That’s the only way they could sit in the KH and read the utter stupidity that the WT prints about the Church and history. I was a 3rd generation JW — the one always called on to give last minute sub talks in the KMS because I knew everything about their teachings; the one always taken along to HBS when there were difficult questions. (Note, acronyms may have changed since I left, but long-timers know exactly what I am talking about.) I am now a knowledgeable Catholic who can look back and see what utter nonsense the WT and other pubs wrote about the Church.

    • Mary’s statement is profound: “The JWs who become Catholic are the most knowledgeable JWs. While the Catholics who become JWs are the most ignorant Catholics.” Amen to that!

    • We lived next door to a JW family who smiled in our faces whilst leaving anti-Catholic propaganda in our door. They hosted weekly yard sales of absolute junk for which many, many people (their watchers?) came to give assistance. Their children were habitual liars and indeed spent the last quarter of the school year lying about their residence when they were forced to move for non-payment of loans. The head of the household strutted around in a three piece suit carrying a bible while his wife mowed the lawn with a baby in her arms. The entire neighborhood breathed a sigh of relief when they left. Afterwards, I found out they had been in and out of court for fraud the entire time they lived next door.

  3. Prior to him joining the Catholic Church, Jim Mickens had been invited to speak to a congregation of Jehovah Witnesses that had filled the (then) America West Arena. At the time, Jim Mickens was a rising star of the JW’s–so much that the church leaders felt that he had something to say to the 15,000 faithful.

    • “the church leaders felt that he had something to say to the 15,000 faithful”

      Actually the speakers at district conventions do not themselves “say” anything. All of them read a pre-printed presentation given to them from the headquarters. Being chosen to present that information does mean that he was considered an exemplary Jehovah’s Witness, but it does not mean they had any interest in him conveying his personal thoughts or experience.

      And it is a cult, not a church.

      • cult /kəlt/ Noun
        A system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.
        A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.

        Neither of those apply to the Jehovah Witnesses. They do not venerate a “thing,” Catholics do that when they kneel in front of statues. A “relatively small group,” If you consider a relatively small group, to mean 7 million, then I guess that would fit. We might not have the 1,2 billion count the RCC boasts, but then again, it is said the road to be narrow, not wide.

        I was a former catholic who did confirmation school. I studied with the Baptists. I studied in an Episcopalian private school most of my life. I have no doubt that they are the closest to what the bible really teaches. The catholic faith, the faith I was born in, is so far off I could write a 10 page paper on theological errors.

        • Thanks for taking the time to comment on our site, Joel. This is something I found on Catholic Answers Live, catholic.com, that may be of interest to readers of the comments section:

          The word “cult” has fallen on hard times. Used authentically, it refers to a grouping of people for some religious purpose; it can also refer to specific ceremonial, liturgical, and prayer activities carried out within a particular group. Vatican II, for example, refers to the “cult of the saints,” meaning the honor and devotion Christians show to Christians who are now reigning with Christ in heaven. Used this way, “cult” carries no pejorative connotations.

          In the last few decades an unfortunate phenomenon has sprung up, primarily among Evangelical Protestants who have appropriated the word and used it to categorize religious groups with whom they disagree. Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses have become “cultists,” and their religions are branded as “cults.” In popular jargon “cult” implies more than just a religion with odd tenets. It carries the implication that the group has a hidden agenda, uses deception and mind control techniques to keep its members in line, and may be satanic in origin. Calling someone a “cultist” has become a handy stick with which to beat members of minority religions. Some Fundamentalists call the Catholic Church a cult.

          Of course, some religions are cults, but it’s a matter of prudence whether to trumpet that fact. If you want to evangelize adherents to such religions, you must avoid approaches that will alienate them. Be firm but charitable. Don’t throw around the terms “cult” and “cultist.” With a little restraint you’ll more likely get your message across. If you start by telling a non-Catholic that he’s a member of a cult (even if he is), it’s unlikely that he’ll listen to anything you have to say.

        • Most of the time I prefer high control group. Some people choose cult. However your JW Watchtower leaderhsip share a cults characteristics.Hope that works for you Joel because I don’t believe God choose to wait almost two thousand year for your founder Charles Taze Russel to set up Gods channel of communication and organization to the world via the United States around 1870′s.
          You talk about writing ten pages yet there is thousands of pages written about your religion that your Watchtower leadership don’t want you to read. Therefore they forbid you to.

          • Before I became Catholic, I worked with Protestants on these issues. Some Protestants do use a theological definition to identify a cult based upon its doctrines. Theologically we distinguish cult groups from Christian sects by those very things in which we and our separated brethren agree, in particular the Trinity and the deity of Christ. Thus we identify as cults those groups which deny the Christian doctrine of God, even though they may call themselves Christians and may use the Bible. Other United States cults are splinter groups from Eastern (world) religions or may represent attempts to fuse pagan beliefs with Christianity. However, for the most part, Protestants who work in this area of ministry (to cults and those affected by them) use a psycho/sociological definition wherein cults are identified by behavior.

            Whatever its doctrines, if a group uses deception in recruiting and retaining members, it is identified as a cult. Authority within a cult group is abusive and is maintained by manipulative communication and coercive control. Isolation, either physical or psychological, contributes to the siege mentality and paranoia of cult members – while it fosters pride in the exclusivity of membership in the group.

            The process of joining a cult involves deception. Cult recruiters will not knock on your door and say, “Good morning, we are here to invite you to the meeting of our cult down the street.” Very few people have any kind of working definition in their minds of what a cult is or of how cults operate and this ignorance leaves them vulnerable to the deceptions of cults. And cults are deceptive. The laws which protect us against false and misleading advertising and which provide for judicial redress in the case of fraudulent claims simply do not apply to religious charlatans and con-artists. Cult leaders are masters at using the religious freedom available in this country to rob American citizens of their own ability to make decisions in their own best interests and they do so with legal impunity.

            Religious liberty in a cult belongs to the leader/s of the group not to the people. As a result there exist, within our borders, United States citizens who live like people under a totalitarian government. They live in fear of informants – other members of the group who can turn them in for associating with a forbidden person, reading a forbidden book or attending a forbidden meeting. Should they seek to undo their religious decision to join the group they must often resort to desperate actions: making furtive phone calls at night to talk with relatives they are forbidden to visit or renting post office boxes under assumed names in order to correspond with someone outside of the group. This is exactly how many used get out of the JWs, but in recent years the Internet has made it much easier for members to find information about the history of the group that the leaders suppress, which is why the JW leadership fears it so much.

            I would like to emphasize that the motivations of people who join cults are very high. These people join a group which has a plan to make the world a better place, a group with an agenda, a cause, a mission. People who join cults are people who want to be challenged with a noble vision. They are people who want to give of themselves in service to God and to their fellow man. People who join cults tend to be among the brightest and most idealistic members of our communities. The tragedy of cults is not that they victimize the weak-minded or the unintelligent, but that they rob us of the most productive years of some of the people who have the highest potential for making genuinely valuable contributions to the good of our society. The tragedy of cults is that thousands of people have been deceived into giving up their education, hopes and ambitions to follow a rainbow. Some of them have died, some of them have survived. But whether they have lost years from their lives, or lost educations, careers or families, all of us are poorer for what they have lost.

            With all due respect to the good folks at Catholic Answers, I disagree that the use of the word cult is always counterproductive when talking to people who are in one. For many, a key element in helping them to freedom is getting them to examine the real psycho/sociological criteria by which cults are identified by professionals who study them (as opposed to the truncated dictionary definition given by Joel above). For more information please go here http://www.icsahome.com/ Even before I left the JWs, I had started to recognize, because of research into cults, that the leadership was using these manipulative methods of control. For a while, I thought it was just some bad apples at the top who would ultimately be cleaned out of Jehovah’s organization for abusing his people. I finally came to understand that it was a completely systemic problem, that the lies and deception was so entrenched that the only course of action for anyone who really desired the truth and a relationship with Jesus Christ was to get out. But one of the things that prompted me to research the issue was someone I met going door-to-door who said to me very firmly, but kindly, “You are in a cult.”

            To those of you JWs who are reading here, let me suggest a book that will not get you in trouble with your leaders if you read it, but that will resonate with your experience. The book is Animal Farm, by George Orwell.

            (Note: some of the material above is excerpted from published articles I have written on this topic.)

            Joel, I am ready for you to name one theological error of the Catholic Church — however, under these conditions. First, one at a time. Second, when you present it, your presentation of it must be accurate; you must not claim that the Church teaches something she does not and then argue against it. For example, you cannot argue against the Trinity by claiming that Catholics worship a “triad of gods” as the Watchtower stupidly says. you would have to explain the real Catholic doctrine.

        • Joel, when I lived in New York, my best friends were aligned with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They came to visit me *only* so that they could have a homebase from which to visit Watchtower Headquarters in Brooklyn, and the Farms and Printing facilities in Fishkill, and the education center in Patterson. They made me take photos of them in front of every building, and every sign, and everything that they claimed made the Watchtower Society unique. Not once did they talk about Christ, or salvation, or hope–only ownership. They were in love with properties, not GOD. They left with souvenier postcards of the same buildings, talking about rules and regulations and how I was “birdseed.” That was the thanks I got for my hospitality. By your own definition, my friends–both pioneers at the time–were in a cult.

        • Joel–there was a time when I thought that Jehovah’s witnesses were the closest religion to the bible. however as I grew up and actually read and studied the bible I discovered things that JWs should be doing but aren’t. They ARE closer than Catholics, but not the closest to the bible.

  4. ” When Nanneman learned that the deacon was once a Protestant pastor,…”

    This statement is incorrect. Jehovah’s Witness don’t consider themselves ‘Protestants’ and Christians who are outside of the Catholic church don’t consider the Jehovah’s Witness religion ‘protestant’.

    • But Nanneman, as a Catholic, would likely consider the JWs to be Protestant since most Catholics don’t know a JW from a Baptist, sadly. In fact, they are a direct outgrowth of Protestantism, specifically of the Adventist branch. But when they started denying the deity of Christ, they moved beyond the pale of those we can consider our “separated brethren”.

      • The Jehovah’s Witness move beyond everything. Some things have some credibility. Christmas, wars, nationalism that creates false beliefs such as the United States was founded on Christianity.
        Once one digs below the surface of this belief structure and outer appearances then the fragile shaky foundation of this religion is revealed.
        Lies, cover ups, high control techniques, isolation, fear of organization, false gospel, lies and cover up over scholarly credentials, and so on and so on.
        This religion is a high control group that has proven from over 130 years that it doesn’t represent anything more than one mans ideas. That man died (Charles Taze Russel) as did many more millions (that were promised they would never die).
        This is a dangerous religion that every year loses more credibility. The Watchtower is the real snare and a racket.

        • When you state that as a Catholic you see the JW pastor as a Protestant Pastor you are insulting all the Protestant denominations.

  5. The Watchtower sect known as Jehovah’s Witness can not survive using only the scriptures. It rely’s on it massive amount of publication (like Watchtower and Awake magazines along with its book publications). This way the society can isolate out of context scriptures and color their meanings. Important texts can be ignored that conflict with the Watchtower teachings and emphasis can be manipulated to make some things seem more important and others less of a concern.
    When a Jehovah’s Witness offers a new prospect a ‘free bible study’ the truth is that all that is being offered in the end is a lifetime of man made religious publications….for life.

    Not too much difference than studying the Book of Mormon.

  6. “The deacon remembers a pressure on the back of his head while on the freeway. He temporarily went blind. Then his vision went upside down and was corrected again.”

    “It’s not a tumor!” — Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Kindergarten Cop”

    • John Kimble,

      See that’s the thing about the Catholic understanding: we don’t have any problem with the idea that there could be a tumor or some other physical things going on. But we know that whatever is going on physically does not exclude the spiritual. God works through these things. What could possibly be a better analogy for what was going on with him then to have him momentarily physically see things upside down? Like a message from God telling him he needed to reverse direction and reverse his thinking. And he did. He found a real relationship with the real Jesus Christ who is the way and the truth and the life because he is God.

      The truth is a person. The person is Jesus. to be in the truth, means to be in Jesus. Anyone who does not know that is seeing things upside down.

  7. Hi,
    “He resigned in 1987, which meant he was dis-fellowshipped and classified as an agent of Satan. His family considers him dead.” Totally false notion. Anyone who resigns.. or moves away from the JW congregation are “disassociating”, even if anyone is dis-fellowshipped they are not called satan’s agent or considered dead by family (NO WAY!) but are done so, so that the person is brought to senses, so that he can appreciate the love and spiritual provisions of Jehovah & Jesus. There are many who come back. Also, PEW research ranks JW as one of the fastest growing .. only practising members are counted (who are baptised after a bible study and dedication).

    • Aman,

      If you are going to comment, at least be honest and not spin the facts. Technically you are correct…resigning is considered disassociating versus disfellowshipping, but in practice they are the same thing. JW’s treat (shun) disassociated ones in the same manner as disfellowshipped ones. To say that these individuals are not considered dead by JW friends and familiy is disingenuous at best and in reality blatantly dishonest. If you are DF’ed or DA’ed, you will be shunned to the maximum extent possible…not even being acknowledged by former friends. To be reinstated (readmitted to the congregation) requires an average of one year “penance” of attending meetings shunned by those attending. When a trio of JW Elders decides a person has repented, then and only then, can a person return to the congregation.

      If you are going to use the Pew Forum research as a “proof” source, then be honest there as well. Pew shows JW’s are one of the fastest growing sects, but the growth in numbers is still small. In the U.S., very few denominations are showing large percentage growth. In sheer numbers, JW’s are showing very little growth, and the bulk of new members are children of JW’s being baptized and added. Mormons and Adventists have higher growth rates than JW’s. On the flip side, Pew also shows that JW’s have the worst retention rate of ANY denomination…67% of JW kids leave the sect.

      TYA

      • Wow, never seen those Pew stats. I only have anecdotes. Yes a lot of JW kids leave the sect. When I got baptized at 18, former Catholic, tow of my friends got DF’ed (old parlance). I ran into one of them, they came back 5 years later after they got married and had their first child. I myself got DF’ed at 21. Came back 8 years later after I had my first child. So, are we sure, those statistics are taking that into account? One of my best friends from HS was also DF and he came back 4 years later. If the 67% statistic only relates tho those who return within a year…then it is not telling the whole story.

    • Great that you are here, Aman. You are reading a Catholic Church website. Something you are forbidden to do. If a member of your family or any other JW caught you reading here, you would be in big trouble. They would be required to report you to the local elders. You would be at least warned, possibly even DFed, for even talking online to us ex-JWs. That would mean that if you work for one of them in a private business, they would find a reason to fire you. If you are married, your wife would no longer consider you the spiritual head of the home. You would not be able to pray with your own baptized children (although JW baptism is not real Christian baptism, but that is another issue). If you are an adult child living at home, your own parents would most likely not even eat with you and would try to get you out of the house. Extended family members who were Jehovah’s Witnesses would speak to you only regarding “necessary family business” such as legal or medical matters, etc. Not a single one of your current friends would be allowed to speak to you under pain of the same thing happening to them and so even if they ran into you at the store or on the street they would turn their heads and pretend you did not exist. They would also be forbidden from praying for you.

      Those are the facts of the matter. Now you have come onto this website feeling an obligation to lie and cover up to defend the stupid cruelty of this organization and what it does to families. And all of us who are ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses fully understand that your motive in doing this is because you think that it is pleasing to God for you to defend them. Even though, as I said, you are really not allowed by their rules to do this.

      It’s a very nice yarn they spin pretending that the purpose is the spiritual good of the person they are punishing. But that is simply a lie. The purpose is control. Control that keeps people from thinking. Control that keeps people from investigating and finding out what a bunch of lying manipulators are really at the top of that organization.

  8. Aman: You are being disingenuous. Any person who legitimately disagrees with any JW doctrine is termed an “apostate.” Per the April 15, 2009 Watchtower article, “Job Held High the Name of Jehovah,” anyone person who disagrees with a JW teaching is likened to “Satan…the first creature to turn apostate.” Also, the July 15, 2011 Watchtower study article, “Will You Heed Jehovah’s Clear Warnings,” declared all apostates to be “mentally diseased” people who are like people “infected with a contageious deadly disease” from which “Jehovah, the Great Physician, tells us to avoid contact.” JWs make public comments that family relations can remain “normal,” but it is difficult to do so when the church tells them the family member is a rebellious, contagious, mentally-diseased, satantic apostate.

  9. I am a former JW and have had interviews published where the interviewer embellished some of my statments with words and details that I did not say. This is why some terms, or word choices, in the interview with Jim Mickens have been criticized by some. Interviewers who do not have a JW background will make these mistakes. Also, I may add to Marlena’s comment regarding the degrading terms the Watchtower uses towards those that leave. My JW family are told (and I can speak for Jim), to regard us as God-haters because we have turned from the Watchtower’s rule. Only a cult would make such a statement.

  10. Here is the definition of apostate:
    a·pos·tate (-pstt, -tt)
    n.
    One who has abandoned one’s religious faith, a political party, one’s principles, or a cause.

    Notice it does not say ‘someone who left the Jehovah’s Witness religion’.
    Apostate means probably half the world including Jehovah’s Witness of the Watchtower who left their former religion, political party etc. etc. are apostates. Kind of takes the power out of that word doesn’t it?

    The Watchtower would cry and complain if other beliefs did what they do and therefore impact their conversion rate.
    Jehovah’s Witness have earned their cult or high control religion status.

  11. “…are not called satan’s agent or considered dead by family (NO WAY!) but are done so, so that the person is brought to senses, so that he can appreciate the love and spiritual provisions of Jehovah & Jesus. There are many who come back.”~Aman

    Tell us about how Jehovah and Jesus survived and ‘brought people to [their] senses’ the almost two thousand years before Charles Taze Russel (founder of your sect)?
    The old dudes that call themselves the ‘governing body’ in your head office must really take a lot of the pressure off Gods shoulders since God needs them to conduct His business affairs.

    I guess my observation to you Aman is that you can’t see the picture when you’re inside the frame.

    I hope you see your shortcomings before you regret things that can not be changed.

  12. This is in response to Amans comment.
    I left the WTS so I could “appreciate the love and spiritual provisions of Jehovah & Jesus,” because the Watchtower only gave the provisions according to the Watchtower, for salvation. To them it’s Watchtower Soc., Jehovah, and Jesus. Some kind of unholy Trinity.

    On another point: Those who come back to the WT, after disfellowhipping, are the ones removed for sexual sin or some behavior misconduct. Those who left because they wanted a relationship with Jesus, never come back.

  13. It’s probably safer to say Aman that those who come back, came to see their family and loved ones, not really to see the Watchtower.
    It’s kind of like paying the kidnappers to see your kin again.

    Really sad that cult you live in.

  14. It was not until I left the JWs that I was really able love my friends and family. Because while I was in there my love had an on and off switch that was ruled by the organization. As soon as I left I was able to love them fully and unconditionally and pray for them with all my heart. And of course it was right at that moment that they were ordered by the organization to hate me.

  15. Lots of talk about a small, insignificant cult that only attracts ignorant Cathoiics and children of their members.

    • Well, some of us happen to care about ignorant Catholics and their children and the children of other JWs and all the friends we left behind. It is like getting out of a spiritual concentration camp. We care about those still behind the walls and if we get the chance to toss some bits of real truth over the barbed wire, we do.

      No life is insignificant, so the JWs, who have damaged millions of lives and families, are not insignificant. They may not be very important in the wider society and easy to ignore, but we have a moral obligation to warn people about them and educate people about their deception.

  16. The facts are that the Watchtower is a pacifist hate group.
    “If looks could kill they probably will”~Peter Gabrial

  17. I have never been a JW. I studied with some for a while in what they called a ‘Bible study’ but was mostly a study of Watchtower literature. I kept finding errors and inconsistencies in the publications, as they were poorly researched and written. In the book, ‘What Does the Bible Really Teach?’ there were errors about the Bible, and about Watchtower history. This really bothered me, but I was told that they would explain it later on. I went to some meetings, including a convention where there were baptisms. It was there that I found out I was lied to. The ‘Bible Teach’ books says that ones baptism is a dedication to God, and not a person or organization. At the convention, one of the baptism questions was ‘Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?’ I was heartsick, and realized I was being baited and switched, so I quit studying with them shortly after that. Being lied to by individuals or an organization is unacceptable behavior.

    • You know I’ve seen this post on other sites. Are you copy/pasting? Yes the questions from the podium are those stated. When you actually get baptized, in the water, we use the scriptural process, you know, I baptize you in the name of the father and the son and the spirit. Many people do not hear it, because: a) a lot of noise from claps, b) they are under water at that time, c) the baptizer does not speak over the crowd.

      The speech questions are designed to make people stop for a second and re-evaluate what they are about to do.

      As for the errors and the being lied to. reply and post. I have found none. I’ve gone around the book three times already. Personally, in book study and with my wife. I’m on my fourth go around with my kids. Have found no “lies.”

      • Joel, it is great that you are here too. And it is great that you are going around seeing the comments about the JWs on other websites. That is very encouraging because it shows you are a person who is seeking to understand and know the truth.

        I would like to respond to your claim that the Jehovah’s Witnesses use the biblical formulae in baptism. well it is true that the person baptizing says that it is in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we both know that no Jehovah’s Witness would capitalize Holy Spirit. nor would any Jehovah’s Witness make the claim that the Holy Spirit has a name. Even less so that the Holy Spirit shares the name of the Father and the Son. this is because the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a person. Rather they believe that the Holy Spirit is an energy and in fact compact the Holy Spirit to electricity, and even use the impersonal pronoun “it” to refer to the Holy Spirit.

        So this is another bait and switch. It is pretending to use Christian words, while giving them meanings that are completely unChristian that are completely unhistorical in the sense that the historic Christian faith never interpreted those things the way the Jehovah’s Witnesses do. And the Jehovah’s Witnesses are wrong in their interpretation. Their interpretation is in another itself a lie. It is a lie to call the Holy Spirit a mere force to deny his personality, that he is a divine person.

        Upon what authority does the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization stand in making these assertions?

        • Sorry about second paragraph above — using speaking program due to disability in hands. Should have been:

          I would like to respond to your claim that the Jehovah’s Witnesses use the biblical formulae in baptism. While it is true that the person baptizing says that it is in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we both know that no Jehovah’s Witness would capitalize Holy Spirit. Nor would any Jehovah’s Witness make the claim that the Holy Spirit has a name. Even less so that the Holy Spirit shares the name of the Father and the Son. this is because the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a person. Rather they believe that the Holy Spirit is an energy and in fact compare the Holy Spirit to electricity, and even use the impersonal pronoun “it” to refer to the Holy Spirit.

        • True, we do not usually capitalize holy spirit. True, we do not believe the Holy Spirit to be a person of a trinity. There are biblical reasons for that. But before I begin my exposition, we have to agree that the Bible, does not contradict itself (John 10:35), and that every scripture is inspired by God. (2 Tim 3:16). Also, for My exposition I will not be using NWT unless otherwise stated. I will be using NAS (New American Standard Version) interlinear sourced from http://www.studylight.org.

          Gen 1:2 first introduces us to the Holy Spirit. The text states “The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” The word used by the Hebrew writers, רוּחַ – Ruach, means Wind, breath, mind. These are the words first definitions. Then towards the end it also adds the trinity formula among many other possible definitions.

          What is the holy spirit? The Bible states that when Mary was visited by Gabriel, He said to her The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.” Note, he did not say God will come upon you or God will overshadow you. He stated that his spirit and his power would do that.

          Something similar occurred to The Prophet Micah. “On the other hand I am filled with power — With the Spirit of the LORD — And with justice and courage To make known to Jacob his rebellious act Even to Israel his sin.” (Mic 3:8)

          Interestingly it is always said that the spirit would fill or come upon someone. (If I am incorrect in this provide citation) However, nowhere does it say, God (The father, Jehovah) would fill someone.

          Jesus also said and experienced something very similar. Luke 4 opens saying: “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness” Then on 4:18, reading a prophetic statement, I believe from the book of Isaiah, “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE * THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED[.]”

          You mentioned we compare the Holy Spirit to electricity. That is an analogy The Bible itself compares it to water. “I shall pour out water upon the thirsty one, and trickling streams upon the dry place. I shall pour out my spirit upon your seed, and my blessing upon your descendants.”—Isaiah 44:3. (NWT) So never do we read God filling people, but his Spirit. Even in the case of Jesus. However, we never hear of God being filled by his spirit. Why is that?

          Now interesting something I discovered today. Recall Gen 1:2? it stated the Spirit of God? There is no denying that it mean the Holy Spirit, ight? Then why does Revelation 3:1 state, “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.” So how many Spirits of God are there, One, or Seven? They can’t possibly refer to the seven stars, for the stars represents the elders of the congregations (for non argument’s sake, I refer to the congregations mentioned in the book of revelation) This obviously does not refer to the Holy Spirit, even though it is written with the same Greek word, πνεῦμα- pneuma. Which is the same as the hebrew word defined above. I can mean wind, breath, power, invisible power as well as the Trinitarian formula. Keep in mind, none of these words, especially the Hebrew ones originally had the Trinitarian formula as part of it’s definition.

          I hope I answered your question satisfactorily?

          • Let’s recognize how we got into this issue. The question was originally about baptism in response to Kurt who said he felt he was subjected to a bait and switch, i.e. a deception, when he was offered a Bible study, supposedly by Christians and then found out that their baptism formula included a commitment to the organization specifically.

            You asked whether he had cut and pasted that because you had seen the same complaint on other websites. What you fail to understand is that there are many people with that exact same complaint. There are many people who went through this process of being suckered in to a “home Bible study” by people who they thought were “Christians” only to have it dawned on them that this was a very different thing. And it is not unusual for it to dawn on them when they see a Jehovah’s Witness baptism. This is because those people have some vague idea or understanding of Christianity, but which they are able to recognize that what they are seeing is very foreign to Christianity.

            I do not know how old you are but I can tell you that although the Catholic Church has used the same creed for nearly 2000 years — that is the Apostles Creed which is used at baptisms — the Jehovah’s Witnesses have had multiple revisions of the language to which people are asked to commit at baptism. You may be too young to remember these revisions.

            When we dedicate our lives to Jehovah. We do not dedicate ourselves to a religion, nor to a man, nor to an organization. No, we dedicated ourselves to the Supreme Sovereign of the Universe, our Creator, Jehovah God himself. [Oct. 1, 1966 Watchtower, pp. 603-4]

            The May 15, 1970 (p. 309) and May 1, 1973 (p. 280) Watchtower printed slightly revised vows, probably in anticipation that there would be a lot of defections over the failed 1995 prophecy and trying to look for ways to stave those off.

            What happened is that during the late 1970s and especially into the early 1980s, a lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses left including a great number who were at the world headquarters, and a great number of elders around the world. They left and published information about the real goings-on at the top of the organization, the politics, the manipulation, the blatant falsifications, etc. Of course, the organization used its general heavy-handed techniques to try to intimidate them, most particularly by cutting them off from family members and friends and trying where possible to cut them off from their livelihood. But these people were not so easily intimidated by the organization as many of those who had left earlier. They fought back, including through the courts, sometimes seeking damages when the organization attempted to destroy their reputations.

            They were able to use that October 1, 1996 Watchtower article to demonstrate that the organizations demands were not based upon the commitment that they made it their baptism. On the contrary, their commitment had been made to God, not to the organization.

            It was in response to this, that in 1985, the Society changed the baptismal vows such that new Jehovah’s Witnesses committed themselves not only to God, but to the Watchtower Society. This is evident from the baptismal vows published over the years. Note the language of the difference between 1966 and 1985.

            The baptismal questions from the Aug. 1, 1966 Watchtower (p. 465) were:

            (1) Have you recognized yourself before Jehovah God as a sinner who needs salvation, and have you acknowledged to him that this salvation proceeds from him, the Father, through his Son Jesus Christ?

            (2) On the basis of this faith in God and in his provision for salvation, have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to God to do his will henceforth as he reveals it to you through Jesus Christ and through the Bible under the enlightening power of the holy spirit?

            The newest baptismal questions were set forth in the June 1, 1985 (p. 30) Watchtower:

            (1) On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?

            (2) Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?

          • (Let’s start a new thread about the Holy Spirit at the bottom so this one does not become too nested. I will wait for you to repost your comment above and then answer there.)

          • I cant reply to your post, but you are incorrect. Catholics have not been using the Nicene Creed for 2000 years now. First of all it was was adopted in 325 in the council, where the Aryans were defeated. You know those that did not abrogate for a trinity, that people conveniently forget to mention, by a Emperor who was a pagan. Secondly it has been revised over the years. A lazy wikipedia skim reveals: “There are several designations for the two forms of the Nicene creed, some with overlapping meanings:
            Nicene Creed or the Creed of Nicaea is used to refer to the original version adopted at the First Council of Nicaea (325), to the revised version adopted by the First Council of Constantinople (381), to the Latin version that includes the phrase “Deum de Deo” and “Filioque”,[5] and to the Armenian version, which does not include “and from the Son”, but does include “God from God” and many other phrases.[6]
            Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed can stand for the revised version of Constantinople (381) or the later Latin version[7] or various other versions.[8]
            Icon/Symbol of the Faith is the usual designation for the revised version of Constantinople 381 in the Orthodox churches, where this is the only creed used in the liturgy.
            Profession of Faith of the 318 Fathers refers specifically to the version of Nicea 325 (traditionally, 318 bishops took part at the First Council of Nicea).
            Profession of Faith of the 150 Fathers refers specifically to the version of Constantinople 381 (traditionally, 150 bishops took part at the First Council of Constantinople).
            In musical settings, particularly when sung in Latin, this Creed is usually referred to by its first word, Credo.”

            You are comparing the speech questions with the creed and they are not a creed. We do not go around repeating them on every service and striking our chest three times. So we revised the questions? So what? We have had schisms. So what? So has the Catholic Church. You call them the separate brethren. That is because people have their own opinions on how things are. That is a people thing, not a Liturgical or Theological thing. You keep talking as if only people who know very little Christianity become JW. You are dead wrong. While you may have impressive knowledge, that is not the case for your average Catholic worshiper, and you know it. Compared to the average JW, they know next to nothing. And those people who have a vague idea or understanding of Christianity…are usually former Catholics. But if you were right, rather than use that as a talking point, you should feel ashamed of it, that we have to teach things, basic things, described a milk By Paul, that should have been thought by the person in a pulpit with a degree in religion.

  18. A sincere thanks for taking the time to read and comment on this post. I’d like to share some input I received from a Jehovah’s Witness here. I did not approve the entire comment because it has some uncharitable things to say about Deacon Mickens. This is a passionate debate. It’s important to remember to treat each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.

    The reader said, in part: “First , there are well over 100,000 congregations and ALL of the ministerial servants and elders are called SERVANTS , get it and they do much hard work and are unpaid.” He also said: “Another blatant LIE is the Witnesses are shrinking, sorry to fill you in but they are growing over 250k a year of real people that are active members not pew sitters doing bake sales at some church parking lot .. Real Christians have a ministry like Christ and their teachings follow his” and “By the way we do not call those expelled from the congregation as “servants of Satan” ,just no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses , that simple ..People , please get your facts straight , misleading information is dangerous and childish ..”

  19. Critical research failure: JWs are not Protestants. Everyone here is [upset] because they called Catholics and other religions out regarding concepts like Hell and what happens to the dead.

    • You believe my children are going to be destroyed though.
      Destroyed with vengeance and wrath at Armageddon along with all not Watchtower Organization non-members. Yet your belief system has been claiming the end for over 130 years.
      It must be getting tiring proclaiming false information.

  20. WHICH RELIGIOUS GROUP IS DESCRIBED BELOW?

    They believe they will be the only survivors of the imminent destruction of the present system.

    They believe all human governments will soon be replaced by the theocratic rulership of God’s kingdom.

    They look forward to transforming the earth into a paradise.

    They believe their leaders are God’s anointed channel of communication.

    The insist that membership in their group is required for salvation.

    They believe the world (everything outside of their group) is controlled by Satan.

    They say all the mainstream Christian churches are apostate.

    They claim to have restored the apostolic, early Christian faith.

    They are sure that they alone understand and correctly interpret the Bible.

    Members are busy with studying, meetings, finding and educating new members.

    They discourage the reading of outside religious literature .

    They forbid contact with former members.

    THEY ARE:

    (Keep scrolling)

    (Keep scrolling)

    (Keep scrolling)

    (Keep scrolling)

    The Moonies (Unification Church)

    WOULD YOU KNOW A CULT IF YOU SAW ONE?
    WOULD YOU KNOW A CULT IF YOU WERE IN ONE?

  21. If you really want to get deeper information on this topic, keep talking with Mary Kochan and/or also go to http://www.catholicxjw.com . I am a Catholic ex JW, too, and know all of this debate will bring up more and more questions for you JWs. There are lots of good articles for you to read at the catholicxjw site. Best of luck to all of you in your search for truth.

  22. I love when JW members want everyone to check secular information sources for things like the origin of Christmas and Easter. But watch them get upset when you show them from possibly the same source that the fall of Jerusalem didn’t happen in 607. Their whole belief system based on 1914 collapses. That is when they go to plan be and shut their minds off “waiting for Jehovah” to resolve their false teaching.
    The Watchtower Society is nothing but a joke.

    • Yes, 1914 is a problem, just like 1799 and 1874 before it.

      “The time of the end is from 1799..” {WT Nov 1 1922 333/346}

      “The indisputable facts, therefore, show that the “time of the end” began in 1799 ..” {WT Mar 1 1922}

      “Bible prophecy shows that the Lord was due to appear for the second time in the year 1874. Fulfilled prophecy shows beyond a doubt that he did appear in 1874. Fulfilled prophecy is otherwise designated the physical facts; and these facts are indisputable.” {WT Nov 1 1922 333}

      “We have no doubt whatever in regard to the chronology relating to the dates of 1874 ..” {WT May 15 1922 150}

      “No one can properly understand the work of God at this present time who does not realize that since 1874, the time of the Lord’s return in power, there has been a complete change in God’s operations.” {WT Sep 15 1922 278}

      • HAVE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES GIVEN INCORRECT DATES FOR THE END?

        Jehovah’s Witnesses have had wrong expectations about when the end would come. Like Jesus’ first-century disciples, we have sometimes looked forward to the fulfillment of prophecy ahead of God’s timetable. (Luke 19:11; Acts 1:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 2) We agree with the sentiment of longtime Witness A. H. Macmillan, who said: “I learned that we should admit our mistakes and continue searching God’s Word for more enlightenment.”

        Why, then, do we continue to highlight the nearness of the end? Because we take seriously Jesus’ words: “Keep looking, keep awake.” The alternative, to be found “sleeping” by Jesus, would prevent us from gaining his favor. (Mark 13:33, 36) Why?

        Consider this example: A lookout in a fire tower might see what he thinks is a wisp of smoke on the horizon and sound what proves to be a false alarm. Later, though, his alertness could save lives.

        Likewise, we have had some wrong expectations about the end. But we are more concerned with obeying Jesus and saving lives than with avoiding criticism. Jesus’ command to “give a thorough witness” compels us to warn others about the end.—Acts 10:42.

        We believe that even more important than focusing on when the end will come, we must be confident that it will come, and we must act accordingly. We take seriously the words of Habakkuk 2:3, which says: “Even if [the end] should delay [compared to what you thought], keep in expectation of it; for it will without fail come true. It will not be late.”

        January 1, 2013 issue of the Watchtower
        http://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/wp20130101/should-you-fear-end-of-world/

        • Joel, dear heart, I completely understand where you’re coming from in posting this, as I myself lived through several of these false prophecies and swallowed hook line and sinker the excuses of the organization in the same manner that you are doing now. All apostolic churches, that would be Catholic and Orthodox, who trace themselves back to the apostles, and all Protestants who hold to the best of their ability to the ancient creeds of the church, which is another way of saying, all genuine Christians, live in expectation of Christ’s return. They all also heed His warning that they would not know the day or hour and well a temptation to speculate maybe nearly as perennial as hope, real Christians refrain from that in godly fear of Jesus’ warning

          Those who do not, and the JWs are not alone, come under the condemnation of these words in Deuteronomy 18:20-22: But any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, or who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded the prophet to speak—that prophet shall die.” You may say to yourself, “How can we recognize a word that the Lord has not spoken?” If a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord but the thing does not take place or prove true, it is a word that the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; do not be frightened by it.

          You’re very deceived if you think that the reason that the Watchtower organization has a string of false prophecies longer than your arm is because they are remaining alert to the “end” out of some desire to warn people of their spiritual danger. The purpose of these false prophecies is to be the carrot on the stick for their members. When I left the organization in 1993 it had over 10 million people. Whenever they start losing a lot of numbers, they whip the remaining ones into a frenzy by frightening them with the idea that the end of the world is right around the corner. this way they can get people to work for them for free and neglect the duties of their own lives. It makes people mentally ill, which is why the mental health statistics among Jehovah’s Witnesses are abominable.

          It does something else to people also. It keeps them in the state of immature dependency. Psychologist understand, and is understood by most normal people, that part of the process of normal human maturity is coming to terms with one’s own mortality. In terms of normal human development this usually happens during the decade of the 40s. The Jehovah’s Witness is put in the position of being forced to choose between being a mature human person with a fully developed adult psychology and believing what the Watchtower says: i.e. that he or she is not going to die,

          What does the Watchtower organization have to gain by keeping people in a state of immature dependency from an organizational position? Simply this: people who are not allowed to grow up to become mature persons are far easier to manipulate and control. Like everything else — like the reporting of time, like the intrusion into member’s lives by the elders, like the threats of disfellowshipping, like the encouragement to inform on one another — it is a control mechanism. Period. It does not matter how many times the prophecies fail, the organizations can see through its history that this manipulative technique works and when the money stops rolling in, they will resort to it again.

          This is not Christianity. This is abusive.

      • This is why, when I was a kid every KH, had a complete library of old WT pubs back to Russell. Then they got rid of those libraries, because people were doing research and finding what a bunch of nonsense the organization had published in the past.

        They found stuff like this:

        “Indeed, one of the sciences, Phrenology, undertakes to treat the skulls of men and lower animals as indexes and to read therefrom the natural traits and characteristics of the owners: and do not all men find themselves possessed of some ability in judging character physiologically.. Those who have not learned that organism (bodily form) is indissolubly connected with nature, character, and disposition have made poor use of life’s lessons and are unprepared to pass judgement on our topic or any other.” {ABGM 1915 ed 322}

        “Thou wilt lengthen out leviathan (the locomotive) with a hook (automatic coupler) or with a snare (coupling-link) to drop down. Wilt thou not place a ring (piston) in his nostrils (cylinders) or pierce through his cheeks (piston-ends) with a staff (piston rod)? Will he make repeated supplications unto thee (to get off the track)? Or will he utter soft tones unto thee (when he screeches with the whistle)? … Wilt thou play with him as with a bird (make him whistle at will)? Or wilt thou bind (enslave) him for thy maidens (so that you can take them to a picnic or convention)? Companies (of stockholders) will feast upon him (his earnings)..” {TFIM 84-6} [Biblical reference to Leviathan in Job 40:15 to 41:34 is fulfilled by the arrival of the Locomotive Engine - brackets all in original. TFIM was described by the WTBTS as a “a powerful commentary on Revelation”!]

        “Also, in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by millions, it shall be that any that escape shall come to the works of Pastor Russell to learn the meaning of the downfall of ‘Christianity’.” {TFIM 485}

        There is no food that is right food for the morning meal. At breakfast is no time to break a fast. Keep up the daily fast until the noon hour.. Drink plenty of water two hours after each meal; drink none just before eating; and a small quantity if any at meal time. Good buttermilk is a health drink at meal times and in between. Do not take a bath until two hours after eating a meal, nor closer than one hour before eating. Drink a full glass of water both before and after the bath.” {GAGE Sep 9 1925 784-5}

        1925 “The great Pyramid of Egypt, standing as a silent and inanimated witness of the Lord, is a messenger; and its testimony speaks with great eloquence concerning the divine plan..” {WT May 15 1925 148}

        1925 “I have named this new discovery, which I believe will be epochal in the history of the treatment of disease, and which I am exclusively announcing in THE GOLDEN AGE prior to its general publication elsewhere, The Electronic Radio Biola, which means life renewed by radio waves or electrons. The Biola automatically diagnoses and treats diseases by the use of the electronic vibrations. The diagnosis is 100 percent correct, rendering better service in this respect than the most experienced diagnostician.. The principle of operation of the Biola is the collection… of the disease vibrations.. the fluid containing the same waves or vibrations enters the body, meets the disease waves and destroys them.. This is a great step forward, marking the Biola as the most valuable treatment apparatus obtainable today, and well worthy of notice in the columns of a magazine like THE GOLDEN AGE..” {GAGE Apr 22 1925 454} [Advertisement for sale of ‘The Electronic Radio Biola’ appears on page 479]

        [Flood may have been caused by all of the other planets being on one side of the earth simultaneously. God may have inserted the “youngest” planet Neptune on the other side to act as a gravitational corrective to make sure it cannot happen again] {GAGE Jun 16 1926 583}

        This is only a very small sample of Watchtower org. nonsense served up as “meat in due season” for a century.

  23. They don’t believe in the resurrection either. Jesus body ‘dissolved into gases’ the Watchtower guesses. The Watchtower teaches three Jesus. Michael the Archangel, then Jesus. Then not resurrected but RECREATED as Michael.
    Don’t forget to throw in the teaching of the lesser god Jesus.
    You know…two firsts and lasts according to the mixed up Watchtower teachings.

    That is why this group needs its own literature to replace scriptures.
    The Watchtower publications are the Jehovah’s version of the Book of Mormon.

    • Of course we believe in the resurrection. That’s one of Jesus’ main points. But think about this, how will people that died a long time ago who’s body no longer exist and/or were eaten by an animal, be resurrected? They will have to be re-created. No way around that.

      As for Jesus, we do not believe he was resurrected in the same body because he was to be a sacrifice, commensurate with the sacrificial lamb of the Jewish Passover. While people at homes ate the lamb, the one that was sacrificed in the temple was burned in the fire. If he was to take the place of the expiation sacrifice, his body could not be reused.

      • The body is always being renewed physically in its physical substance. We don’t deny “re-creation” OF THE BODY. But that n itself is not resurrection, which is the reuniting of the body AND SOUL as the early church fathers all taught. And it isn’t as though you think that only the body gets recreated — you think that a person is merely his body. You believe in non-existence at death. You do not believe in a spiritual soul as all Christians always have since the beginning.

        Ignatius: “And he [Jesus] genuinely suffered, as even he genuinely raised himself. It is not as some unbelievers say that his Passion was a sham. It’s they who are a sham! Yes, and their fate will fit their fancies–they will be ghosts and apparitions. For myself, I am convinced and believe that even after the resurrection he was in the flesh.” (Smyrneans 2-3)

        Irenaeus: “For as the Lord ‘went away in the midst of the shadow of death,’ where the souls of the dead were, yet afterwards arose in the body, and after the resurrection was taken up into heaven, it is manifest that the souls of His disciples also, upon whose account the Lord underwent these things, shall go away into the invisible place allotted to them by God, and there remain until the resurrection, awaiting that event; then receiving their bodies, and rising in their entirety, that is bodily, just as the Lord arose, they shall come thus into the presence of God. ‘For no disciple is above the Master, but every one that is perfect shall be as his Master.’ As our Master, therefore, did not at once depart, taking flight to heaven, but awaited the time of His resurrection prescribed by the Father, which had been also shown forth through Jonas, and rising again after three days was taken up to heaven; so ought we also to await the time of our resurrection prescribed by God and foretold by the prophets, and so, rising, be taken up, as many as the Lord shall account worthy of this privilege.” (Against Heresies, 5:31:2)

        • Dear Mary,
          I want to thank you for your defense of the Catholic faith. I thank God for all the wonderful converts to Catholicism, who teach us cradle Catholics the treasures we have and appreciate the fact that some here who defend their JW faith, are reading what you have to say. Let that knowledge take root in their mind and in their heart. I will pray it takes an even deeper root in mine as I want to be able to explain why I believe what I believe and love, with as much charity as you have done.
          I have family members on my father’s side, who are long time JW. We do not see each other often, but they have always been charitable and loving towards us but the one thing we do not discuss is religion. Anyway, may our Lord Jesus Christ continue to bless your journey with joy and peace and knowledge!

      • Is there one, true God (before whom you shall have no other gods)?

        Is Jesus the one, true God, or is He a “lesser” god?

        Do you believe in the Trinity – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (the three persons of the one, true God wherein the Father is God, the Son/Jesus is God, the Holy Spirit is God, but the Father is not the Son/Jesus is not the Holy Spirit, etc)?

        Are Jesus and Michael the Archangel the same person?

        • Good point Katie. We should ask the Jws this: Do Christians “hate” the name of God.

          The assumption of Jehovah’s Witnesses is that Christians do not know, use or honor the name “Jehovah”. In fact Jehovah’s Witnesses are known to accuse Christians of “hating” the name Jehovah or of “being afraid” of the name Jehovah. This is simply untrue.

          Not only is this name well known by Christians, but it is freely and naturally used within the mainstream Christian church.” A look in their hymn books will reveal songs extolling Jehovah God. Jehovah’s Witnesses themselves admit that this particular form of the divine name has been in use for many centuries. Since the Jehovah’s Witnesses are only a little over 100 years old, we have to ask: Who is it who was using this name “Jehovah” for all those centuries, if it was not mainstream Christians? .It was actually a Catholic priest who first translated the divine name into English as Jehova in the 1300′s, when English was first being written.
          The most popular paraphrase Bible in the past thirty years “The Living Bible” has the name “Jehovah” throughout the Old Testament. This Bible has been used by thousands of Christians for reading in churches, for individual and family devotions and for Bible study. Since the Jehovah’s Witnesses have made the accusation against the Christians that we do not know or use or honor the name of Jehovah, the burden of proving that accusation lies with them.

          The real issue is not the use of the name “Jehovah” at all.
          The real issue is: Who is the God we worship? The answer for the Christian is this, “I worship the Holy Trinity; I worship God the Son, Jesus, to the glory of God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit.” — to paraphrase an ancient bit of church liturgy. The question about the name of God, for the Christian, is answered in this way, “‘Jesus’ is God’s name because Jesus is God.”

          When Thomas, who was a Jew and a worshiper of Jehovah God, fell at the feet of Jesus and worshiped him and called Him “My Lord and my God!” Thomas was saying that this One, who was standing before him, was Jehovah God. It would have been unthinkable for Thomas, a Jew, to say to anyone else other than Jehovah God, “My Lord and my God!”

          Take a look at Joel 2:32 which says that “all who call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered”. Originally this word LORD was the tetragrammaton, the four Hebrew letters which stood for the name of God. In some Bibles it says “the name of Yahweh” or “the name of Jehovah” in that scripture. Either one would be correct. Now let’s see how the New Testament comments on this scripture for us at Romans 10: 9-13: “…if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes in his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. ‘No one who believes in him will be put to shame. ‘For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him. For, ‘everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.’”(RSV)

          If you take a look at this scripture in Greek you will see that the Greek word “Kyrios” is used in every place in this scripture where the English word “Lord” appears. The Greek word “Kyrios” means Lord. That was the word the Apostle Paul used when he wrote this scripture. Now ask yourself: Who is the “Lord” Paul is referring to through this whole passage of scripture? It has to be Jesus, doesn’t it? Paul quoted from part of Joel according to the Greek Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament (Hebrew scriptures). Nevertheless, Paul was a Hebrew scholar. He was an educated Pharisee. Don’t you think that Paul knew that in the original Hebrew text of this scripture, the name of God appeared there? Surely Paul knew that this scripture in Joel was talking about the name of the God of the Jews, “Yahweh” or “Jehovah”. Yet, Paul very simply, without making any kind of big deal about it, tells us that the name of the Lord, “Yahweh” or “Jehovah” in the Old Testament, is “Jesus” in the New Testament.

  24. I was raised Catholic but as a young man joined Herbert Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God 40 years ago. By the grace of God I returned to my Catholic faith in 2001. When I talk about Armstrong or WCG I avoid the term “cult” (though that’s what it was) and instead refer to the organization as “an extreme fundamentalist Bible sect.” In today’s world people have a better sense of what “extreme fundamentalist” implies than “cult.” Interestingly, Herbert Armstrong held to some of the same theological aberrations as Jehovah’s Witness: e.g. denial of the triune nature of the Godhead, imminent end of the world, humans do not have immortal souls, and others.

  25. Jehovah has been so good to me. My eyes have been opened to the truth. I have the most beautiful hope in the world. I have a real purpose in my life. I know who Jesus is and appreciate so much, the ransom sacrifice. I have an international family, who I cherish. They are no part of the world and though imperfect, strive to apply Bible principles. The Holy Spirit helps me to do God’s will. I feel and appreciate Jehovah’s blessings each and every day. My family is strong, happy, and secure.

    • Iared
      Will Jehovah and Jesus Christ take over to Watchtower and Awake along with other Watchtower publications in the new world? I always wondered why Jehovah waited almost 1800 years to publish those scripture replacements. It is exciting that Jehovah’ chose Charles Taze Russel from America to set up headquarters for God in the good old USA!Imagine if Jehovah chose some person in Australia or Iceland or Cuba. I’m sure operations would not have gone on so smoothly.
      Will the ‘governing body’ still exist or will Jehovah and Jesus downsize operations making the GB members sit in the audience?

  26. Dear lared,

    I am happy for you that your family life is happy. As a devout Catholic, I wish that for all persons. As a former JW who investigated many Protestant congregations, and still has many Protestant friends, I can assure you that there are many happy families among both Protestants and Catholics who find that applying Bible principles to their lives is the way to achieve the greatest happiness. It works even better though if one is born-again, that is actually living in Christ and Christ living in you. Christ lives in real Christians. The New Testament uses the phrase, “Christ in you” and calls it “the hope of glory”. Colossians 1:27. And repeatedly talks about us living “in Christ”. The New World Translation changes this language to “in union with” to obscure the very intimate relationship the Christian is supposed to have with Jesus.

    As for the “hope” of living forever in Paradise: guess they got to you with all those brightly colored pictures of idyllic garden scenes, beautiful lakeside homes and children romping with lions. Like I used to ask people at the doors, “Wouldn’t you like to live in conditions like these?” Problem is, the Watchtower artist is not giving you the whole picture. Let’s turn the brain on here:

    Do the houses have electricity? Where is the power plant? Who works at the power plant? Who works at the copper mine to mine the copper to make the electric wire. Of course, a copper mine is not such a pretty sight as what is in your picture. But it has to be somewhere.

    The people are wearing shoes right? Made of what? I assume leather. Who has the job of skinning animals and tanning hides?

    Are there glass windows in the houses? What about mirrors? Who works in the glass factory?

    The houses appear to be made of wood. And they are not log cabins. So there has to be a lumber mill somewhere, with the machinery to mill the wood. This means metal has to be produced. In fact, it implies existing steel production. So where is the smelter? Who works in the iron mines and steel mills?

    Yes, I know, it is a pretty picture on the surface. It appeals to fleshly desires. But the Bible tells us to keep our sights on heaven, not on earth. (2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10; Colossians 3:1-3; Philippians 3:17-21.)

    Now, of course, I do believe in paradise. What makes paradise paradise to me (or to any real Christian) is the presence of the Lord. The Church is the bride of Christ and so she is not concerned so much with where she will be as with Whom she will be. The hope of Christians is not focused on a place; it is focused on a person.
    I first began to get a glimpse of this one day when I was going door-to-door and I showed a lady one of the Paradise pictures from one of our publications. I asked her ones you like to live under conditions like this. She smiled very sweetly and very gently said. “No.”

    I asked, “Why not”?

    Her answer left me speechless. “Because,” she said, “Jesus is not there. I want to be with Jesus.”

    This focus on the person of Jesus Christ, this longing to be with Him, has always been the attitude of genuine Christian. Anyone who reads the New Testament without the Watchtower blinders on his eyes can easily see that.

    So though you have a fantasy hope, it is not a real hope based in any kind of reality. Nor is it in any way a Christian hope.

    You cannot have a Christian hope without faith in the real Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God incarnate. He is not Michael the Archangel.

    That was a theological innovation of the Adventist leader Ellen G. White. Although the Seventh Day Adventists today affirm some kind of belief in the Trinity, while still holding to the idea that Jesus is Michael the Archangel. (This is because they are clueless about the categories of being.) So why don’t you go be a follower of Ellen G White after all if she is the person who revealed to you the truth of who Jesus Christ is, shouldn’t you be in her denomination?

    • Here is a fun fact… the name “Jehovah” is actually a typo… the bible does not have the name of Jehovah anywhere… the original name is YHWH, when the name was translated vowels where added to make the name pronounceable. YHWH+EOA=YEHOWAH…

      in hebrew early text the name of god was actually lost in scripts, so the “YHWH” became the representation of “Adonai” or “my lord” as a representation of reverence for the almighty…

      makes you wonder, how a religion who claim to have exact knowledge, has been using a typo to represent their organization.

      hmm…

      please feel free to look this information up, since the Jehovah’s witness stress the importance of being well informed and researching things independantly…

      • Charlie, it is not a typo, anymore than using Jesus for Yeshua is a typo. As I explained above:It was actually a Catholic priest who first translated the divine name into English as Jehova in the 1300′s, when English was first being written.

        What it is, is an irrelevancy. This is because the name above every name, the name of the Lord upon which we are to call, to whom we are to pray, and in whose name we are to pray, and by whom we are saved, our divine judge, our divine lawgiver, and our divine king, the Almighty God worshiped by Christians, is Jesus.

  27. I wrote about my experience, and did not cut and paste it from somewhere else. Obviously there are others who had the same experience with Watchtower literature. “This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” 2 Corinthians 13:1

    There were several things I was told, orally and in print, that turned out to be false bait and switch. Baptism was just one of them. Another lie I was told, which is also stated on the jw.org website, is that the JWs don’t take a collection of money. They even ridiculed Christians for doing this. The truth was different. There was a collection box in the kingdom hall placed where you couldn’t get out the door without passing by it. So much for not collecting money. When I went to the JW convention, I saw a collection box placed at every exit. I felt uneasy about seeing those everywhere when I had been led to believe that this religion was different than that. What really demonstrated that something foul was going on was when I saw a copy of the Watchtower that they print for the members to study in the meetings. It had several pages of begging, and not just for a few dollars that might be in your pocket when a plate goes by. That is chump change compared to what the Watchtower begs for. They were directing members to donate cash, real estate, stocks, bonds and jewelry. It works really well, as the Watchtower pulls in about a billion dollars each year. I don’t object to a church accepting donations from people who wish to help with their expenses. I strongly object to lying about it and saying they don’t collect donations.

  28. Yea when you hear random voices in your head. That’s when you should be alarmed that the demons are influencing you to do what they want. Looks like he Didn’t learn anything about the demons,or Anything for that matter.Guess he was truly ignorant!. I think that people keep themselves ignorant even though they have truth right in front of them.Sad really.

  29. Mary, Jehovah is a bad translation with the vowels inserted into YHWH. That is why even the JW admit that a better translation would be Yahweh or Jahveh.

    JW are not Christian because they do not even have a covenant with God or Jesus. They admit that only the anointed have Jesus as mediator, and the benifits of everlasting life in paradise is a by-product of the covenant between the anointed with Jehovah. Most JW don’t even realize that Jesus is not their mediator in the sense of the sciptures, but in a smaller sense of him being the only reason for their future salvation. I really don’t even know why they get baptised, it doesn’t really do anything if you don’t believe that it puts you in the new covenant, they don’t eat and drink his body and blood, so why get baptized?

    I’m so glad the Holy Spirit has allowed me to leave them and find his Church. I’m just sad that my parents are still in and actually turned their back on the Eucharist when they converted to JW from Catholic.

  30. The Jehovah’s Witnesses do not have the heart to kill people who convert from Jehovaj’s Witness to Catholiv! Also, congratulations to those of you whp ate open-minded and willing to see what the truth really is! The truth is that Catholicism was founded bu Congratulations to all of you who converted from Jehovah’s Witness to Catholicism in spite of the ramification of beimg disowned by your families! I know that was really hard for you! It makes me thinl about Iraqis who say to either give up your Catholic faith and be convertrd totheir cult or be killed! The difference is that at least the Jehovah’s Witnesses do npt have the heart to kill the Jehovah’ s Witmesses who leave to nbe comverted to Catholicism (unless Jehovah’s Witnesses know something I do not know)

  31. Pardon the above. I tried sending a message through my wireless phone, and there are times when it has a mind of it’s own. Congratulations to those of you who converted from Jehovah’s Witness to Catholicism in spite of the ramification of being disowned by your families! I know that was really hard for you! It makes me think about Iraqis who say to either give up the Catholic faith and be converted to their cult or be killed. The difference is that at least the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not have the heart to kill the Jehovah’s Witnesses who leave to be converted to Catholicism (unless both current and former Jehovah’s Witnesses know something that I do not know).

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