02 July, 2012

Response to a Jehovah Witness about his criticisms of the Church

(Fixerken) “The Bible teaches truth it's the Catholics that teach false teachings-Trinity(Jesus is Jehovah's only begotten Son and he is [NOT] God)”

(Cristoiglesia) Actually the Trinity is the fundamental orthodox teaching as to the nature of God. It is necessary to believe in the Trinity to be a Christian. All Christian faiths believe in the Trinity. However it is true that Jesus is God’s only begotten Son who is the second person of the one God.

(Fixerken) “Trinity-THROUGHOUT the ancient world, as far back as Babylonia, the worship of pagan gods grouped in threes, or triads, was common. That influence was also prevalent in Egypt, Greece, and Rome in the centuries before, during, and after Christ. And after the death of the apostles, such pagan beliefs began to invade Christianity.

(Cristoiglesia) No, the Belief in the Trinity was believed from the beginning of the Church at Pentecost.

(Fixerken) “Historian Will Durant observed: “Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it
If you would like to discuss this pagan teaching let me know because the Bible does not teach the Trinity and I have researched it's beginning and the reason why the church adopted it.”

(Cristoiglesia) First of all Durant was not a historian but a philosopher and a person that wrote with prejudice of socialism of which belief in God is often seen as a hindrance to humanism which is the God for socialist. The Church did not adopt paganism but instead changed Pagan practices and beliefs to spread the Christian faith. Pagan practices were destroyed and replaced with Christian practices and beliefs in many cultures.

(Fixerken)” I've also researched the vows Catholic priests make & I know why they don't marry as it's not what they say it's from the pagan belief of Queen of heaven and their rites.”

(Cristoiglesia) It sounds as if your research is quite flawed. Perhaps you should instead research outside of the nonsense of your Watchtower magazines.

(Fixerken) “Vow to speak in a language not understood by the infidels?? Designed to be the opposite of the sect know as "The Way" who were the true followers of Christ??”

(Cristoiglesia) I have no idea what you are accusing the Church of doing.

(Fixerken) “You are right the true faith can't be stopped as the Catholic faith is at the brink of being kicked out of 5 countries as of Sept 15th and is under investigation by the ITCCS who has been given the authority by world governments to rule on [ALL] the crimes of the Catholic church.”

(Cristoiglesia) Nonsense but the Church is not surprised when the words of Jesus are true when He said that the world would hate us as it hated Him. Such actions strengthen our faith and the veracity of Christ’s teaching.

(Fixerken) “Rev 18:4 says she will be destroyed by government & all who stays in her will go down with her!”

(Cristoiglesia) Rome fell many centuries ago. Are you not aware that “Babylon” was the code word for the capitol of the Roman Empire?  If you studied Christianity you would know this.  

(Fixerken)” I'm so sorry I thought you were referring to Father in the spiritual sense, I know we can call our physical fathers father.
I was referring to Matt 23:9 where it says: And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
The Catholic religion is in direct violation of this as they wish to be address as father so and so.
How can you a man that professes to follow Jesus' teachings(Jesus said to call [NO MAN] on earth father) claim to be teaching truths.”

(Cristoiglesia) There is no violation of what Jesus taught which was never to place anyone above the Father in heaven. He was not suggesting that we not use the Word “father”, “teacher”, “doctor” or professor as an uneducated interpretation would sugest.

(Fixerken) You teach a burning hell- hell means grave and at Rev 20:14 hell and death are cast into the lake of fire- hell a place- death some[thing] that happens- how do you torment a place and a thing? In verse 10 Satan is cast into the lake of fire along with [2] symbolic beast-how is Satan and symbolic beast tormented the same?

(Cristoiglesia) This has to be the most convoluted argument against “hell” as I have ever seen. Hell is not the grave it is an eternal destination for some who are not in Christ to live eternally. Yes, hell was created for Satan and his demons as well.  

(Fixerken) At John 11:24 Martha tells Jesus she knows her brother will be resurrected in the last days- the Catholics have him in heaven-hell-purgatory, this in not what Jesus taught!

(Cristoiglesia) HUH? How did you get that idea?

(Fixerken)”No it is you that have been deceived by a false religion as Satan has done to many(2 Corinthians 4:4).”

(Cristoiglesia) Jesus did not create and build the Catholic Church, give His promise that the gates of hell will never prevail against it and say that it would endure for all times so that His faithful would be deceived.  Christ’s Church is called by the Bible as the “pillar and foundation of the truth”. So should we assume that you believe that Jesus is a liar and the Bible is false teaching? Let us look at what the Bible says about groups such as the Jehovah Witnesses….It says that you are ravening wolves by your practices and among those who cannot endure sound doctrine who have found false teachers that satisfy your itching ears. So who would most resemble the biblical admonishment in Scriptures told to the Corinthian congregation of the Church? Sounds like a prophetic teaching about Jehovah Witnesses does it not? Certainly it does not resemble Christ’s Church.

(Fixerken) ”Christmas-sun god Tammuz symbol the cross-Easter goddess of fertility symbol the rabbit-Halloween a Satanist festival.

(Cristoiglesia) The Church does not teach any of the things you claim.

(Fixerken) “ Immortal soul pagan belief of the Chaldean's where all those that were bad were sent to Hades the god of the underworld!”

(Cristoiglesia) The Chaldean beliefs have nothing to do with the Church even if what you say is true.

(Fixerken) “I can go on & on as the Bible says false religion is called the mother of harlots because she adulterates pagan beliefs as truths!”

(Cristoiglesia)  The problem you have is that the Church does not teach as you claim.

(Fixerken) Paul did not [ASK] to be called father he said he was like a father in Christ to them, there is a difference. The apostle Paul told the Corinthians: “For though you may have ten thousand tutors in Christ, you certainly do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have become your father through the good news.” (1Co 4:14, 15) Paul had initially brought the message of life to Corinth and hence was like a father to the congregation of Christian believers there. Though others might subsequently care for their interests, like tutors to whom children are entrusted, this did not change Paul’s relationship to the Corinthians. The “tutors,” such as Apollos, might have genuine interest in the congregation, but Paul’s interest had an added factor because he experienced the labor of spiritual parenthood with them.—Compare Ga 4:11, 19, 20;

(Cristoiglesia) It sure sounds as if he is illustrating that those called by Christ to shepherd God’s flocks should be thought of as “fathers” as they serve their congregations as fathers would serve their own families.

(Fixerken) Matt 23:9: Moreover, do not call anyone YOUR father on earth, for one is YOUR Father, the heavenly One. The English words “abbot” and “abbey” are both derived from the Aramaic ’ab·ba’′. Jerome, the translator of the Latin Vulgate, objected to the use of the title “abbot” as applied to the Catholic monks in his time(Bishop of Alexandria) and did so on the basis that it violated Jesus’ instructions at Matthew 23:9:

(Cristoiglesia) I know that it is the practice of the Jehovah Witness sect of which you belong to take statements completely out of context to support your man made doctrines and beliefs. Show me a link to St. Jerome saying that the title abbot given to a monk is violating the biblical teaching of Matthew 23:9 where it can be read in context.  Do you have a link to any other Church father who made such a claim in his writing?

From the early Church we find that clergy were addressed as father. There are those with little knowledge of history or hermeneutical discipline such as understanding Scriptures within context, who believe that the Bible prohibits one from calling a priest father. The words they rely on come directly from Christ:

(Mat 23:9 DRB) And call none your father upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven.

Keeping the verse in context let us look at the verse preceding this verse:

(Mat 23:8 DRB) But be not you called Rabbi. For one is your master: and all you are brethren.

Rabbi means teacher and the Latin word for teacher is doctor so anyone using these terms as well are violating the literal interpretation of the text.

Let us look at the verse after verse 9:

(Mat 23:10 DRB) Neither be ye called masters: for one is your master, Christ.

There is no way that the interpretation could be correct if one reads and understands the Matthew passage in context. He is clearly teaching that one should not look to any human authority as our teacher, father, master, doctor or other titles of respect but instead give to God those things that are reserved for Him. Do you also refuse to call people doctor, teacher, professor, mister, or master? All of these are forbidden as well if we are to accept a literal understanding.

Context also requires that we investigate what the other Scriptures say as well as the understanding of these words by those who followed Christ. There are many instances where the writers of the New Testament contradict a literal understanding of not calling a man father, teacher or master. Consider the following verses:

(Act 5:34 DRB) But one in the council rising up, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, respected by all the people, commanded the men to be put forth a little while.

(Col 4:1 DRB) Masters, do to your servants that which is just and equal: knowing that you also have a master in heaven.

(2Ti 1:11 DRB) Wherein I am appointed a preacher and an apostle and teacher of the Gentiles.

Let us examine the statements of St. Stephen to see if he understood Christ to be speaking literally….In is soliloquy (Acts Chapter 7) before the Sanhedrin before his stoning to martyrdom he used the term father in referring to Abraham Isaac and Jacob as fathers and also to his Israelite ancestors as fathers.

St. John the beloved disciple also did not understand Christ to be teaching literally as we can see in the following verses:

(1Jn 2:13 DRB) I write unto you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one.

(1Jn 2:14 DRB) I write unto you, babes, because you have known the Father. I write unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.

(1Jn 2:15 DRB) Love not the world, nor the things which are in the world. If any man love the world, the charity of the Father is not in him.

(1Jn 2:16 DRB) For all that is in the world is the concupiscence of the flesh and the concupiscence of the eyes and the pride of life, which is not of the Father but is of the world.

St. Paul also had a different understanding of Christ’s words than the literalists:

(1Co 4:14 DRB) I write not these things to confound you: but I admonish you as my dearest children.

(1Co 4:15 DRB) For if you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, by the gospel, I have begotten you.

(1Co 4:16 DRB) Wherefore, I beseech you, be ye followers of me as I also am of Christ.

St. Paul was speaking of the fact that he is called to shepherd the flock as are all priests. We not only give birth to the Christian through Baptism but also nourish the faithful with the Holy Eucharist and God’s Word. We care for them and bind their spiritual wounds through the delivery of the Sacraments. It is no wonder that we are called father as we care for our Church family as a father cares for his own family.

In Christ
Fr. Joseph


  1. Most Jehovah's Witnesses are decent folk who are trapped in an oppressive cult like organization the Watchtower society.
    The Watchtower core dogma is Jesus 'invisible' return or second coming October 1914,this is a false doctrine.
    Matthew 7:15-16 "Be on the watch for the false prophets,who come to you in sheep's clothing....."
    God bless-Danny Haszard

  2. Thank you Danny for your commentary. We must pray for them to receive the grace to escape from that sect and come home to Christ's own Church. God bless!

    In Christ
    Fr. Joseph