Jehovah’s Witnesses moving out of Brooklyn Heights, New York for “greener pastures”

While the notoriously cloistered JWs will not, like so many other things they are mum about, say when they are leaving, it is a fact that eventually, the estimated 3,000 followers currently residing in church properties throughout the neighborhood will soon be moving to new facilities, which cost the organization an estimated $11.5 million, in the Upstate town of Warwick, just next door to Walkill where, in addition to the internal agricultural and manufacturing industries, much of the printing operation is already re-based.

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A chance encounter with a Jehovah’s Witness

By Doug Lawrence

Recently, I was at the local shopping mall, helping my 90 year-old mom handle some last minute Christmas gift exchanges, when a nicely dressed older gentlemen stepped up and inquired whether we knew that Jesus was going to return soon, and that he (Jesus) would (among other things) bring an end to all pain and suffering.

Sensing we might be a while, I asked my mom to take a nearby seat.

“Yes,” I said. “When Jesus comes again, our mortal bodies will be instantly transformed into glory, there will be judgment, and for those who pass muster, there will indeed be no more suffering, no more tears, and no more death.”

“As for the time frame: Almost 2000 years ago, on the first Christian Pentecost, St. Peter announced the beginning of “these last days” … but he never gave us a date for the end.”

“Jesus didn’t even know when that would be,” said my friend.

He went on: “And when Jesus comes again, he will bind Satan, rule and reign on Earth for a thousand years, and after that, he’ll let Satan loose again for a little while, just to see what happens. You know … to see if we learned anything … just like in the Garden of Eden, with Adam and Eve.”

“Wait just a minute,” I said. “You don’t really believe that after all that, Jesus is going to let Satan loose again, do you?”

“That’s what the Bible says … and we have to take the Bible literally.” (Rattling off a chapter and verse from the Book of Revelation).

“Your rules,” I said.

“But allow me to suggest a different, yet still quite literal interpretation: No authentic Catholic saints or scholars (including St. John, the writer of the Book of Revelation) ever believed or taught that the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ was anything but a long, symbolic period of time. And the idea that Satan would once again be allowed to roam free again, after Jesus comes again in glory, has also always been a total non-starter.”

“But what about taking the Bible literally?”

“I’m not done yet.”

“If you really need a literal thousand year period, here’s one for you: We can count one thousand years between the fall of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Throughout that time, the Catholic Church alone, according to the power and authority given to it by Jesus himself … was busy rebuilding all of modern western civilization, in the image of Heaven.”

“And throughout that thousand year period, there’s absolutely no doubt that Jesus Christ was enthroned as King of Kings and Lord of Lords … ruling and reigning in Heaven  … and reigning on Earth, through his Church … the only Church that he ever personally founded, for the sake of our salvation. And of course, it had to be the Catholic Church, since there was no other Christian church in existence, at that time.”

“After that gracious and divine thousand year ‘head start’ … the now mature one, holy, apostolic and universal Church of Jesus Christ … would have been plenty strong enough to take on all comers … whether it be Satan and his minions, or the newly minted Protestant reformers. But it certainly was not all sweetness and light. In fact, it’s pretty clear that things have trended significantly downward, from there. Don’t you agree?”

No answer from my friend.

Instead, he asked, “Who did Jesus pray to?”

“To his Father, in Heaven,” I replied.

“If Jesus was God, why did he need to pray to anyone?”

“Simple communication,” I said. And when you’re deliberately making do on this Earth, in an ordinary flesh body, by yourself, on a long, dangerous mission, in enemy territory, you need all the help you can get. Even if you’re God.”

“How can both Jesus and his Father be God? Isn’t that impossible?”

“God can do just about anything he wants. He’s God. In fact, I’m pretty sure the Bible confirms that all things are possible with God. I can even give you a formula that serves to mathematically ‘model’ the Holy Trinity: 1 x 1 x 1 = 1. See how simple that is?”

“But God has many sons.”

“Sure. In a natural sense, as with us humans, and even in a limited, supernatural sense, as with the angels. But there’s only one ‘son’ who is divinely begotten … not created … from the very same eternal, godly ‘stock’ as his Father. God from God. Light from Light. True God from true God. And that’s Jesus Christ.”

“Are you a minister or something?”

“No. I’m just another faithful Catholic. How about you?”

“I was going to become a Baptist, but I decided to become a Jehovah’s Witness, instead.”

“I see,” I replied.

I continued to explain, “For years, my mom used to get the “Watchtower” and “Awake” (Jehovah’s Witness) magazines sent to her house, by a family friend. I read all of them from cover to cover. Lots of interesting stuff in them, too. But it’s their conclusions that (as a Catholic) never made sense to me. And (I have to tell you) they still don’t.”

“I much prefer (in spite of the internal and external corruption, with which the Church has always contended) to rely on 2,000 years worth of the world’s finest Catholic scholarship, systematic theology, divine revelation, and practical philosophy … which I’ve taken the time to personally research, thoroughly validate, and humbly attempt to live … rather than the contrary opinions of a few anonymous JW fellows from Brooklyn … who have … time and again … proved to be wrong.”

“Do Jehovah’s Witnesses still believe that Jesus Christ is really just Michael the Archangel?”

“I have to be going,” said my friend.

Gathering up our packages and heading out, my mom was beaming. “That was an interesting conversation. I enjoyed listening,” she said.

“He was a nice fellow.” I said. “We should pray for him!”

Read more about Jehovah’s Witnesses