| January 23, 2010 |
Moravian faith focus of Sunday talk at St. Paul's BY CHARLIE MATHEWS
MANITOWOC — The Rev. Gary Straughan will present doctrine and traditions of the Moravian Church, one of the first Protestant denominations, with roots going back to the 15th century, at 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 411 Reed Ave., Manitowoc.
The pastor of Green Bay East Moravian Church, Straughan's talk is the second of seven presentations in St. Paul's third year of its public "The Faith of Your Neighbor" forum series.
The series continues on Sunday evenings through March 7, with a break for Super Bowl Sunday on Feb. 7.
Future speakers include pastors and lay members representing Episcopalian, Ukrainian-Russian Orthodox, Reformed Christianity, Bahai and Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod faith traditions.
St. Paul's member and forum moderator Neil Piepenburg said the series is intended to "foster informed knowledge … in the hope that with understanding comes acceptance.
"Even though we may agree or disagree with some of the beliefs and practices, I believe knowledge can lessen fear or suspicion and lead to a greater degree of harmony and peace," he said.
The kick-off speakers of the series Sunday were Keith Burnett and William Kaczmarowski, elders in the Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall in Manitowoc.
"We are Christian Jehovah's Witnesses … we are disciples of Jesus who died for our sins that he could redeem us," Burnett said.
However, Jehovah's Witnesses are not "Trinitarian" Christians believing God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as three in one.
They believe Jesus was created by Jehovah (the name they believe is the biblically correct one to use when referring to the creator/Supreme Being of the universe) and subordinate to him.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe Jesus Christ is the only king of God's government, with 144,000 co-rulers.
However, they believe any government must have subjects, and Jehovah's Witnesses believe that billions more besides these heavenly rulers will receive everlasting life.
On the basis of Bible prophecies now being fulfilled, Jehovah's Witnesses believe God's kingdom "will come very soon" according brochures shared by the two elders at St. Paul's.
"We're all getting sick and nobody has the answers for cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's arthritis," said Burnett, 79. "But (Jehovah's) kingdom will have a cure for all these diseases.
"There will be everlasting life in these wonderful conditions," with no earthquakes, no famines, Burnett said.
The elders said Jehovah's Witnesses do not vote, so as not to legitimize any secular government that doesn't have Jehovah as its ultimate leader.
They also are conscientious objectors, refusing to serve in the military, and they do not say the Pledge of Allegiance.
But they do preach "a message of hope," Burnett said. "We call on you to help you make the proper changes in your life that will make you acceptable to be ruled in this wonderful way".
JW elders give talk at Manitowoc WI Methodist church
I think it is fine and dandy for a couple of elders to give their sales pitch in a church. I do wonder if the elders who did the presentation will attend any of the other presentations offered by the church and if they will encourage the area jw's to do the same.
Nice to see this kind of Cross the Aisle openness, although it wouldn't be reciprocated at the KH. We use to give these types of talks at Churches and Colleges back in the 60's, 70's and 80's. It seems during the past 20 years dialogue between JWs and Protestant Theologians were more in the straight debate form. Greg Stafford had a series of debates with Protestant clergy during the 90's. I see where Rob Bowman has put out the challenge that he would like to debate JWs again.
Elders speaking in a church of Christendom? Am I missing something? There are witnesses out there that avert their eyes when they drive past a church, and now its okay to give a talk in one?
Has the organization changed that much?
I believe giving a talk about the JW religion in a church was always allowed, if you were invited and wanted to do it. Surely the whole elder body would be in on the decision. Of course clergy would never be invited to talk in the KH, which is understandable.
I kept waiting for my invitation to speak at the Vatican, but it never came.
The Witlesses would NEVER reciprocate, and have another pastor give a lecture at the kingdumb Hell.
Same as they want everybody else to challenge their own faith (but not the jdubs)
Same as they want everybody else to read litterature undermining another religion (but not jdubs)
Same as they want everybody else to try a witless meeting - but a jdub is in BIG trouble if seen coming out of another Church service.
Since it is a 'series' rather than 'joint' presentations........the WTS isn't going to count it as interfaith (but don't let the average JW try this at home because I guarantee this had to be okayed at the NY level)
I think we can compare this to 'creation day' for Agenda 21(UN Program) in Germany, June 2008
My dad would give Guest Talks in church`s,back in the day..
He would go with another JW Elder..
They would`nt participate in anything,except the talk to be given..