A visit from some JW's!

_Seraphim_

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Fr. Anastasios said:
JW's are forbidden to take other people's literature so they will probably leave at that point.
JWs can't even step foot into buildings from other religions.  My wife's grandparents are JWs, and they weren't even "allowed" to be present at my wife and I's wedding.  Grandma was very upset about this, but Grandpa insisted on obeying the rules.  However, Grandma was near ecstatic when she heard we were going to have video footage of the wedding... so I guess video somehow isn't technically considered "literature."  Also, years ago I gave them an icon of "Christ the True Vine" (Christ with the Apostles)... and Grandma was so happy.  She kept looking at it with awe.  Of course, I think she probably keeps it somewhere Grandpa can't find it.  ;)
(of course by this point he's now officially legally blind anyway  ;D... ok, its not funny, but kind of)
 

trappedandconfused

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I am technically a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses but I have been deprogrammed and have come to accept the Orthodox Faith. In the mean time I need to be careful and plan my escape, because when I am shunned by my entire family I need to have been moved on.

Therefore, from a former JW perspective I can give some advice to help everyone here and maybe dispell a few things.

Jehovah's Witnesses generally speaking are very kind and honest people and will normally not be confrontive or beligerent during most encounters. They may see it as being eager to address spiritual issues and wanting to get a point across but normally they will listen to a very short point.

After intensive investigation, I have found that JW's are a Bible cult. And the members that knock on your door are trained to not respond with an open mind if you try to preach your word to them. They are programmed to persuade you but not to listen to your preaching unless they can rebute it. They will not except any literature from a householder or other person on the street.

When a JW comes to your door you really have two options.

1    If you're a priest or someone that is trained pretty well in the scriptures and you have a little background on their teachings, you can engage a loving conversation with them. The best arguments to use is on their church history and where this thing was started. But there are numerous examples of other technigues on the web. Just be prepared for some scirptures to come out because they are trained to use them in a very twisted way fast, and wil make a pretzel out of you real quick! Nevertheless there are Jehovah's Witnesses that have become believers in Christ because someone said some little thing to them and it made them think. One JW was converted to become Catholic because a man told him to go read the early church fathers, after they had a discussion on the Trinity.

Take all the literature they have. Take everything they give you and try to ask for more at this point. When they are gone throw it away! When you do this you stop them from getting that literature out to others that can be poisoned.

2. If you do not ever want to talk or engage a JW at your door again then you can post a sign at the front door that is clear and readable and visible that says something like:

Attention Jehovah's Witnesses
Please do not call or knock on this door.
We are not interested in any of your messages or literature
Please keep this house on your "Do not call list"

Put it in several languages if necessary.
Date the bottom and redate it not more than three months. (Sometimes a hard core will knock thinking it is an outdated sign)

That should keep them at bay. It would be extremely rare that they proceed from there but if they do, just tell them to read the sign and that you want to be placed on the "Do not call list" and not to be disturbed again. Then close the door.

The other way to help them is to use cult intervention techniques, but that is an entirely different topic.
They are members of a cult and we should pray for them and pray to God to protect us from their teachings.

God bless







 

ozgeorge

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Thanks trappedandconfused.
I wonder if you could also shed some light on this:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12464.msg264684.html#msg264684
 

trappedandconfused

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I am looking for information to help me with my faith into the Orthodox Church but I certainly don't mind being used as a reference source anytime a question comes up regarding the doctrines of the Witnesses.

Yes I can shed some light on this. But perhaps someone can refute what the JW's teach on this. I would like to become more grounded in the Orthodox faith and uphold the truth. Nevertheless;

In the Gospel of Luke we have the story of the transfiguration but that same story is also recorded in Mathew's Gospel with a few more details. In Mat 17: 9, Mathew writes: "Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, "Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead"-OSB.

Now, they lock in on the word vision, and say that it was not a dream but a vision and not being real. They define the Greek word here, which I can't remember what it is, and say that it was a vision or illusion before the eyes of the apostles. They agree that this transfiguration happened and that the apostles were awake and not dreaming but they say it was, well, in my words, a show. The correct understanding of the Witnesses though is they do not believe this was done by angels but that it was a vision based on Mathew 17:9

They use the Greek word for vision in the text to relate this point.

Of course they have a different interpretation of the symbolic meaning of it all but that is another topic and I for one would like if someone could explain to me this idea behind their reasoning. Is it sound? And what is the Greek word here and is it to be understood, as they are using it?

God bless

T&C

 

scamandrius

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new illumined said:
INow, they lock in on the word vision, and say that it was not a dream but a vision and not being real. They define the Greek word here, which I can't remember what it is, and say that it was a vision or illusion before the eyes of the apostles. They agree that this transfiguration happened and that the apostles were awake and not dreaming but they say it was, well, in my words, a show. The correct understanding of the Witnesses though is they do not believe this was done by angels but that it was a vision based on Mathew 17:9

They use the Greek word for vision in the text to relate this point.

Of course they have a different interpretation of the symbolic meaning of it all but that is another topic and I for one would like if someone could explain to me this idea behind their reasoning. Is it sound? And what is the Greek word here and is it to be understood, as they are using it
NI,

The Greek word is to horama which is related to the Greek verb horao which simply means "to see" and thus the noun form simply means "sight or vision."  More plain than that is just that it refers to anything seen with the eyes, whether awake or unconscious.  It is particularly contrasted with phantasma which is a figment of the imagination.  There is nothing in the Greek text which suggests by the grammar or context or anything else that this event is to be understood as anything else besides very real.  just mho.
 

trappedandconfused

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Hello everyone,

I just changed my user name. I was 'trapped and confused' and now my user name is 'new illumined' for future reference.

Thank you for the reply,  scamandrius

Yes, that was the word they used and you have explained it well. In fact I think you explained it the opposite of what they have wrote in their bible commentary book. I figured they would do that. I wasn't sure but the way they explained the use of the word horamawas an illusion or phantasma as you described. This would be in contrast to what you wrote. Therefore once again they are dishonest with their word meanings and interpretation. This is very typical.

I also was thinking about this today at work and thought about how direct and clear the transfiguration was described. It is clearly written that it was Moses and Elijah that stood next to Jesus. No where in the language do we see additional words like, it appeared to be, what looked like, something like, that are recorded in other passages in the Bible such as Revelations or Daniel. It is pretty direct in saying the two men standing next to Jesus was Moses and Elijah and they were talking to Him. This vision or scene that the Apostles observed also is described very naturally as if something we would see in common life, with the exception of the brilliant white light. Many other visions have strange properties to them such as beasts with many heads or other such things. These are a few of my personal thoughts on this matter.  But your reply was very sound and solid and refutes the JW reasoning.

Thanks again :)

NI
 

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new illumined said:
Jehovah's Witnesses generally speaking are very kind and honest people and will normally not be confrontive or beligerent during most encounters. They may see it as being eager to address spiritual issues and wanting to get a point across but normally they will listen to a very short point.

After intensive investigation, I have found that JW's are a Bible cult.
Personally, I don't mind talking with JW's and listening to their commentaries on Biblical passages. I let them know straight off that I am Catholic and if anything is said to contradict what I believe, I will let them know. I have found that some of their reading booklets and materials are somewhat anti-Catholic (such as material against praying to Mary, against icons or statues, against the Trinity, etc.), while much of their information such as the emphasis on family life and against illicit drug use, illicit sex, swearing and cursing, etc., has some value.
I have been thinking a little bit about their refusal to serve in the army. It seems like in any war, a lot of innocent people are getting hurt. For example, in WWII, how many innocent children were killed when the USA dropped the A-
bomb on Japan or when the allies bombed Dresden? Now if everyone simply refused to serve in the army, wouldn't that mean that these terrible wars would not occur? I mean, for a soldier to drop an A-Bomb on a city or to drop Napalm on civilians in Vietnam, I don't think i could agree with the morality of that. So, although, certainly, I have serious disagreements with the theology of the JW, and I would not join the JW, still, I would have to say that I very much respect their refusal to serve in the army and their stand for pacifism.
 

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stanley123 said:
I have been thinking a little bit about their refusal to serve in the army. It seems like in any war, a lot of innocent people are getting hurt. For example, in WWII, how many innocent children were killed when the USA dropped the A-
bomb on Japan or when the allies bombed Dresden? Now if everyone simply refused to serve in the army, wouldn't that mean that these terrible wars would not occur? I mean, for a soldier to drop an A-Bomb on a city or to drop Napalm on civilians in Vietnam, I don't think i could agree with the morality of that. So, although, certainly, I have serious disagreements with the theology of the JW, and I would not join the JW, still, I would have to say that I very much respect their refusal to serve in the army and their stand for pacifism.
Although, what would have happened if we didn't retaliate after Pearl Harbor?  A Japanese sub even landed a single shell on the coast of northern California.  We still need to actually have a defense force.  Switzerland and other neutral countries do.
 

stanley123

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Elisha said:
stanley123 said:
I have been thinking a little bit about their refusal to serve in the army. It seems like in any war, a lot of innocent people are getting hurt. For example, in WWII, how many innocent children were killed when the USA dropped the A-
bomb on Japan or when the allies bombed Dresden? Now if everyone simply refused to serve in the army, wouldn't that mean that these terrible wars would not occur? I mean, for a soldier to drop an A-Bomb on a city or to drop Napalm on civilians in Vietnam, I don't think i could agree with the morality of that. So, although, certainly, I have serious disagreements with the theology of the JW, and I would not join the JW, still, I would have to say that I very much respect their refusal to serve in the army and their stand for pacifism.
Although, what would have happened if we didn't retaliate after Pearl Harbor?  A Japanese sub even landed a single shell on the coast of northern California.  We still need to actually have a defense force.  Switzerland and other neutral countries do.
Yes, but the use of the A-Bomb against children and the firebombing of Dresden does not seem to be in line with the command to turn the other cheek? Could non-violent resistance work? Or would it be impossible in the face of a ferocious enemy? In any case, if everyone refused to fight, then war would be impossible. The JW's are taking a stand for pacifism and refusal to fight.
Even in a so called "just war" innocent people and loved ones are killed and terribly wounded.  Pictures are posted on the internet showing the horror and grief that the US invasion of Iraq has brought to so many children. Why do these children have to suffer and die, while politicians in the US are going around laughing and singing Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb , bomb Iran??? I don't like this type of warmongering attitude.
 

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What JW's can't stand is someone who cann quote Scripture to them.  They believe all Catholics and Orthodox don't know the Bible.  When I was a Franciscan one of our priests was involved in the translation of the New American Bible, so he knew his bible inside out.  Well, he was visiting his sister and she had a group of JW's at her door.  So she told them she really didn't know the bible all that well, but her husband did.  She told her brother what she said and he went to talk to them.  They quoted scripture and he would check his bible, which was both in English and Greek.  He would give some verses, but they had trouble finding them, so he explains that their bible was different from his and the verse might have been deleted or in some other section.  By the end, he had all of them spining their heads.  BHis sister said they never came back, ever again.
 

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stanley123 said:
So, although, certainly, I have serious disagreements with the theology of the JW, and I would not join the JW, still, I would have to say that I very much respect their refusal to serve in the army and their stand for pacifism.
But is the JWs' refusal to serve in the armed forces borne out of any real desire to make peace or turn the other cheek, or is it borne out of a belief that civil government, as a creation of this world, is intrinsically satanic and therefore unworthy of our allegiance?
 

stanley123

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PeterTheAleut said:
stanley123 said:
So, although, certainly, I have serious disagreements with the theology of the JW, and I would not join the JW, still, I would have to say that I very much respect their refusal to serve in the army and their stand for pacifism.
But is the JWs' refusal to serve in the armed forces borne out of any real desire to make peace or turn the other cheek, or is it borne out of a belief that civil government, as a creation of this world, is intrinsically satanic and therefore unworthy of our allegiance?
I think you are right in that they say that civil governments are not to be trusted. 
 

trappedandconfused

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The case for war or no war,

Although this is a bit off topic from the original post, I will try to enlighten those on the JW thinking with regard to war and why their thinking (the JW's), is faulty.

This is one area in which the JW's will bring in a lot of new recruits, because war effects so many people in the world today and on many different levels.
I heard one time from a podcast given by Fr. Thomas Hopko say, that if everyone followed the ten commandments then there would be no war. In certain cases war can be justified to show love of neighbor.

A Christian need not stand by on the side when innocent people are being hurt and do nothing. What would happen if nobody defended the innocent people, including the Jews, during WWII? Hitler went invading different countries and destroyed peoples freedoms and rights and used military force against others to maintain his leadership and ideologies against those who would oppose him.

War is terribly complex. And things have changed since the 1940's. Today, I believe most wars are fought for political power or for financial reasons. This would be the case in my opinion for the war in Iraq. More innocent people have lost their lives in Iraq from the invasion of American led coalition forces than when Saddam Husein was in power and was killing his own people.

I think war is necessary when the last effort to peace has been depleted. But today we find that war is quick and ready when things go wrong.

I believe all Christians need to be aware that we answer to a higher authority for our actions. Therefore being a soldier in a army can have problems.
If I was a soldier, and pilot of the plane that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan, and I knew what the consequences were going to be, I don't think I could do it. I would probably in faith toward God refuse the assignment.

I think what I am trying to say here is that war is complicated and all soldiers that are in an army are soldiers of God first and need to maintain that standard first.

This is also something not about turning the other cheek. It is an entirely different matter.
Consider for example if someone was in the process of killing your neighbor AND you had the ability to to either be NEUTRAL and just watch OR kill the perpetrator, then what would you do? In this situation it is not about YOU turning the other cheek or the victim turning the other cheek. It is about you helping your neighbor. In a very basic kind of way this is how I see war. Whether it be with one person or a whole army taking action.

In the above example the person that looked at the murder and was NEUTRAL would be bloodguilty in my eyes.

The JW's don't take action in any war because of their theological misunderstandings of the scriptures, however they will help their neighbor out in need in most cases.

If a foreign evil destructive army was going to invade my neighborhood and place of living, I would not count on the JW's to take a stand in an organized way against it.

Taking a stand in a organized way against evil and the wickedness of men is really when war is justified and only as the last resort. Because, after all there surely will be innocent lives lost.

God bless

NI

 

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Today, I believe most wars are fought for political power or for financial reasons.
My dear NI, this is not only "today's" reason behind wars. It has ever been thus. Read enough history, and you'll come to the same sad conclusion.
 

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new illumined said:
The case for war or no war,

Although this is a bit off topic from the original post, I will try to enlighten those on the JW thinking with regard to war and why their thinking (the JW's), is faulty.

This is one area in which the JW's will bring in a lot of new recruits, because war effects so many people in the world today and on many different levels.
I heard one time from a podcast given by Fr. Thomas Hopko say, that if everyone followed the ten commandments then there would be no war. In certain cases war can be justified to show love of neighbor.

A Christian need not stand by on the side when innocent people are being hurt and do nothing. What would happen if nobody defended the innocent people, including the Jews, during WWII? Hitler went invading different countries and destroyed peoples freedoms and rights and used military force against others to maintain his leadership and ideologies against those who would oppose him.

War is terribly complex. And things have changed since the 1940's. Today, I believe most wars are fought for political power or for financial reasons. This would be the case in my opinion for the war in Iraq. More innocent people have lost their lives in Iraq from the invasion of American led coalition forces than when Saddam Husein was in power and was killing his own people.

I think war is necessary when the last effort to peace has been depleted. But today we find that war is quick and ready when things go wrong.

I believe all Christians need to be aware that we answer to a higher authority for our actions. Therefore being a soldier in a army can have problems.
If I was a soldier, and pilot of the plane that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan, and I knew what the consequences were going to be, I don't think I could do it. I would probably in faith toward God refuse the assignment.

I think what I am trying to say here is that war is complicated and all soldiers that are in an army are soldiers of God first and need to maintain that standard first.

This is also something not about turning the other cheek. It is an entirely different matter.
Consider for example if someone was in the process of killing your neighbor AND you had the ability to to either be NEUTRAL and just watch OR kill the perpetrator, then what would you do? In this situation it is not about YOU turning the other cheek or the victim turning the other cheek. It is about you helping your neighbor. In a very basic kind of way this is how I see war. Whether it be with one person or a whole army taking action.

In the above example the person that looked at the murder and was NEUTRAL would be bloodguilty in my eyes.

The JW's don't take action in any war because of their theological misunderstandings of the scriptures, however they will help their neighbor out in need in most cases.

If a foreign evil destructive army was going to invade my neighborhood and place of living, I would not count on the JW's to take a stand in an organized way against it.

Taking a stand in a organized way against evil and the wickedness of men is really when war is justified and only as the last resort. Because, after all there surely will be innocent lives lost.

God bless

NI
Non-violent peaceful resistance was successful in India, but I don;t know if it would work against these modern weapons of war. The politicians, the arms dealers, and the war profiteers like wars, but the small family oriented person does not. Wars are wrong because in the end, regardless of the motivation behind the war, it is the innocent who suffer and have to pay the price, while the war profiteers bring  money to the bank.
There is something attractive about just saying NO to participation in any war.
 

PeterTheAleut

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new illumined said:
Although this is a bit off topic from the original post,
stanley123 said:
Non-violent peaceful resistance was successful in India, but I don;t know if it would work against these modern weapons of war. The politicians, the arms dealers, and the war profiteers like wars, but the small family oriented person does not. Wars are wrong because in the end, regardless of the motivation behind the war, it is the innocent who suffer and have to pay the price, while the war profiteers bring  money to the bank.
There is something attractive about just saying NO to participation in any war.
Interesting... :-\  I remember talking about this subject quite recently on another thread.  I just can't remember where. ;)
 

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I haven't had to deal with Jehovah's Witnesses in many years as the block of flats I live in has a strict no solicitation policy and is secured (residents use a Sonitrol card to gain entrance). However where I previously lived I could usually see them out my window in the neighbourhood, or hear them speaking with other tenants across the hall. So when they knocked at my door, I simply didn't answer. After a few attempts they left their Watchtower and Again! magazines and left. After I was sure they were gone I retrieved the magazines and disposed of them.

That is how I have generally dealt with Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons.

My standing  policy is if I don't recognise a person(s) at my door I inquire. If they identify as being missionaries or from a church or religious group (other than my parish), I simply say "I'm not interested, thank you", then simply go on about my business. If they don't respond to my query, I likewise go on.

The strangest encounter I had with a missionaries was while waiting for a bus. Two Mormons came up and started their spiel. Thankfully, I got them to go on after a few minutes, although they left me with a copy of the Book of Mormon. I simply crossed the street and deposited the Book of Mormon in a rubbish bin.
 
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