Jn. 17:3 NWT taking in knowledge misses the point (and poor translation). It is about knowing God now and forever, not just knowing facts about Him or beliefs (packing head with no heart reality).
Godrulz, you're absolutely right here. They use that Bible reference all the time, and it's one of the ways they confound newcomers/prospective converts. Because of my background and life history I happen to be very well-versed and educated in non-JW Bible knowledge and theology, not just Catholic. But from the start, I was made to understand that I was without "accurate knowledge" of the Bible and was a mere infant in the Christian faith.
That last element was one of the things that finally made me wake up...it was one of the straws that collectively became the very last straw and caused me to realise I'd been well and truly had. I'm long in the tooth, and been a practising church member and Christian my whole life. Recently, over and over again, I was being told that unlike JW's who are "mature Christians" I was only just beginning to learn.
Those who know me have been utterly bemused that I could have fallen for this, and so many people have said that I was the very last person they'd ever have expected this to happen to. Maybe I am just one example of how very dangerous and pernicious, this organisation is.
You asked jgnat
would it be your advice for a non-JW to not partake at the Memorial even if they do so in another church? Why or why not?
I did not partake in either of the two memorials I attended...my relationship with JW's spans about 15 months. On the first occasion it was completely new to me and I felt I was there as an observer. On the second I was an unbaptised publisher, but realised that what was happening left me onmoved, although most of those there saw this as a solemn moment, and the meeting as the most important one of the year.
For a Catholic, the memorial has very little relationship indeed with an understanding of Jesus' instructions and what happened at the Last Supper. It is so far removed from what happens at Mass as to bear almost no resemblance other than a parody, but it's so different that it's not even that. In my imperfect understanding of non-Catholic celebrations of Holy Communion, they are still very far indeed from what the JW's do, with probably no-one present able to participate. My understanding of every other Christian approach to Jesus' actions, speaking in general and non-denominational terms, is that at the very least he was making a further link with God available to mankind, another way for people to receive spiritual help and sustenance. If I were to participate at a Memorial it would to me be empty, because the intention underlying the JW memorial is so far removed from the general Christian understanding of what Jesus did.
I don't know what it's like where you are, but in the UK it is common practice for Protestant churches to invite all present to receive Holy Communion if they are communicant members in good standing in their own churches; i.e. for the most part, an Anglican celebrant may explicitly invite anyone present, be they Methodist, Presbyterian, even Catholics, to receive the sacrament. For the most part, Catholics won't do so, because their own church frowns upon the practice for the very reason I outlined above, namely that tjheir understanding of what is taking place is too different, and the intention underlying the procedure is different. (I won't explain further here because it would take too long and wouldn't be relevant here but ask me if you want to know and if you don't already, which you probably do.)
Jgnat, you wrote
The whole thing is blasphemy, a ritual separation of people from their God.
Absolutely, You've hit the nail on the head. Heaven reserved for 144,000, everyone else as dead as a dodo when they die but if they are very very good publishers they get to live for ever in fantasy Earth along with all the cuddly animals, provided they don't mind toiling in the fields and beringing in their harvest without any technology, and living alongside all the JW's who never expected to see God anyway.
And, back to participating at the memorial, we find that the GB are saying that those who partake may actually be mentally ill.
I'll let that thread make the point for me. jgnat and goldrulz, loved your posts!