This booklet is one in the series ’20 Answers…’, and addresses the problems that Catholics have when a Jehovah’s Witness knocks at their door. Many Catholics do in fact become convinced of the Witnesses’ arguments and join the organization, so this is a very important little booklet to help those who find themselves confronted by the JW’s arguments, for those who want to know how to respond, and to those who are already in the organization but find themselves questioning what they are being taught.
The booklet gives clear responses to Watchtower teachings, firmly based on the Scriptures and as passed down through the ages in Catholic teaching and Tradition.
After giving a short overview of the organization, the booklet devotes no less that half of the 20 answers (4-10), on the subject of Jesus Christ: ‘Who do you say that I am?’ It is a vital question, because the response to that determines everything else about our Faith. Orthodox Christian belief acknowledges that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, but Watchtower belief is very different. It sees Jesus as the first of God the Father’s creations, Michael the Archangel who for a short time on earth became Jesus, then reverted to his status as Michael the Archangel. He died but his body was not raised to transformed, risen life. It is thus vital that the question Jesus poses, ‘Who do you say that I am?’ should be answered in the way the Church has answered it for the last 2000 years.
The booklet then examines other subjects such as the Trinity, blood transfusions, their claim to be the only true organization having the truth, heaven, hell, the 144,000 who only can reign in heaven, paradise earth.
The booklet finishes by giving valuable help in how to meet the Witness who turns up on the doorstep.
Trent Horn speaks several times of the ‘Persons’ of the Blessed Trinity. Since in popular usage ‘person’ is normally used to describe the human individual, it would have been good for him to include an explanation of the specific way it is used in Catholic theology. Frank Sheed gives the concise definition: ‘Nature is what one is, person is who one is’. So when one is talking of the Persons of the Blessed Trinity, they share the one nature, but have different functions within the Godhead.
From my own encounters with Witnesses over the years, I find that even with the good arguments from Scriptures such as this booklet give, it can be very dispiriting when it is like being confronted by an impenetrable wall. However, as this booklet points out, the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation has a very high turnover, despite the difficulty of people coming out of it when they will be ‘shunned’ by those who had previously been their friends, and even by family members.
Also, testimonies from those who have left the organization show that that Witnesses can still proselytise, going from door to door, for some time after they have ceased to believe themselves. For myself, I simply pray that something I have said will plant a seed that will at some point bear fruit and hasten their departure from the organization, and make sure I continue to pray for them.
Jennifer Moorcroft, author of ‘A Catholic Response to the Jehovah’s Witnesses’, published by Authorhouse, 2014