Jehovah's Witness to Catholic Conversion Stories

by jschwehm 19 Replies latest jw friends

  • Mary
    It seems to me, therefore, that since the title continues to be used by the early Christians, they must not have understood Matt. 23:9-11 as forbidding its usage.

    Hmmm....interesting but I can't say I agree. The early Christians seemed to quickly forget many of the things Jesus taught them and in some respects, they went right back to many of the attitudes that the Pharisees had. For example, Jesus ate with tax collectors and prostitutes. The Pharisees, as we know, wouldn't even speak to such people and they condemned Jesus for associating with these people. Jesus drew the young children to him when his disciples tried shooing them away. Jesus had a very liberal attitude towards women---some of his followers, most notably Paul, did not.

    I think by the time the early congregations were formed, many of the things Jesus said and emphasized were ignored. The context of Matthew 23: 5-11 clearly shows that Jesus was discussing the prominence and position that the Pharisees got off on and He was specifically telling his followers not to be like that and that attitude was not one that should be amongst his followers: "Do not be called Rabbi, for one is YOUR teacher, whereas all YOU are brothers. 9 Moreover, do not call anyone YOUR father on earth, for one is YOUR Father, the heavenly One. 10 Neither be called ‘leaders,’ for YOUR Leader is one, the Christ. 11 But the greatest one among YOU must be YOUR minister."

  • jaffacake

    Mary, thanks for clearing up my question - that's a relief!

    BTW my take on this is that Jesus was simply emphasising the importance of not following men as teachers leaders or as a fatherly figure (all amounting to the same thing). I believe he meant all are equal under God and his Son.

    I tend to avoid nearly all literalism or too much attention to the meaning of the words used...the letter kills & the spirit gives life.

  • Kenneson


    I don't believe that Jesus was saying that his disciples should not be teachers. Rather, they are not to imitate the Scribes and Pharisees in their proud exclusiveness when they do teach. In my opinion, it is the attitude that is condemned, not the word or title or office.

  • Sad emo
    Sad emo

    That's an encouraging article Jeff.

    I'm glad that the folks mentioned have found somewhere they can feel safe to worship God as they feel is right.

    One thing that puzzles me is that I would have thought that the last place an ex-jw would want to go (or maybe even dare to) would be the Catholic church - aren't JW's supposed to be really anti RC, more than the other denominations?

    Part of what nearly attracted me in the opposite direction (RC to JW) was that there seemed to be similar (using the term loosely here!) kind of structure or organisation - you knew what to believe (whether right or wrong!), there were moral/behaviour guidelines - I guess summing it up, there was 'someone in charge of things' which gave an element of feeling safe in the knowledge that you were 'doing the right thing'. I know that there's far more to it than just this but do you think there's a bit of this psychology involved when going from JW - RC as well?

  • jaffacake
    there seemed to be similar (using the term loosely here!) kind of structure or organisation

    I agree with Sad Emo, the JWs are the nearest thing I've found in many ways to some aspects of Catholicism - no offense Jeff. They have mimicked what they originally set up to oppose (reminds me of animal farm).

    They seem to be based on the pre-reformation papacy & a watered down version of the inquisition.

  • Mary
    Rather, they are not to imitate the Scribes and Pharisees in their proud exclusiveness when they do teach. In my opinion, it is the attitude that is condemned, not the word or title or office.

    You're right, but you know as well as I do, that that 'title' and 'office' ALWAYS carries alot of prominence and prestige with it. And that's not just in religion----that's in every aspect of civilization today. It's certainly seen in Dub-land. We've got Circuit Overseers, District Overseers, Bethelites, Missionaries and of course, the Almighty Governing Body. Everybody sucks up to them like there's no tomorrow whenever a CO, DO or Bethelite visits the congregation. I had one sister specifically tell me that she wanted her daughter to marry a Bethelite "because you're treated so much better when you've got a Bethelite in the family." I know of one R&F Witness who told a DO to his face that he didn't agree with him on some point. The DO's response was "...don't you know who I am??" And of course, the Governing Body tell us that to question them is the same as questioning Jehovah himself, putting themselves on equal footing with God.

    The Catholic Church does the same thing. The Pope is practically worshipped and is regarded as infallible. To me, giving him or any other priest or Cardinal the title of "Father" when the scriptures specifically tell us not to, is going against what Jesus wanted for his followers. Yes, there will always be those in any religion who are the leaders, or teachers, but the Witnesses and the Catholics are the best examples of how abuse of power and titles go hand in hand.

  • sonnyboy

    Why do Smuckers' posts keep getting removed?

  • Mary

    I would assume it's because Smucker's posts are really rude or tasteless........if you look at Smucker's profile and see what they've written about themselves, I think that explains alot.

  • sonnyboy

    Hi Mary.

    She must be banned because all of her posts are gone.

  • jschwehm

    Hi All:

    I thought some of you might be interested in discussing this further at the Catholic Ex-JW discussion board.

    Here is the link:

    Jeff S.

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