A knock at the door. It was opened, expecting to be confronted by some personal friend, the janitor, or a messenger. But no, it was a modestly dressed, attractive young woman, who introduced herself as a "Jehovah Witness." She considered herself to be on a mission for the betterment of the world, hence the large lettered placard she faced, outside the door before knocking, did not deter her from so doing: "Nothing Bought at This Door. Nothing Wanted for Nothing. So Please Pass on. Without Knocking."
She did and started immediately to deliver the Jehovah Witness line of argument, interspersed with biblical texts, that were intellectually absurd, yet impressive from the point of view of her sincerity and zeal. She proceeded to say, in an even spirit, that the end of the world is nearing; the earth is to be dissolved, the wicked destroyed, but the righteous, that is the Witnesses, will be saved. The last battle, Armageddon, Revelation sixteen-sixteen, is to come to pass.
Following "Judge" Rutherford's Bible interpretation, she assumed that Armageddon (that St. John had pictured as the final world conflict between the powers of good and evil) is a definite place, and that this great
catastrophe would occur about the year 1972. Rutherford had figured it out in the Bible, as did William Miller, the father of the Adventist sect, though Miller said it would take place between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844.
The picture of Raphael's Madonna on the wall, that she noticed, enabled the conversation to be turned to loving the Blessed Mother of Christ, if she really loved Mary's Son Jesus, as the aid of our Lord through Mary is necessary to convert a member of a sect that holds all religions, churches and creeds to be the invention of Satan.
It is strange, indeed, to note the propaganda spirit, worthy of a great cause, manifested by a greater degree among Communists, Jehovah Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and other advocates of false doctrines, than among Catholics who belong to a Church that has religious and moral truth whole and entire, divinely in her keeping.
The Jehovah Witnesses stand on street corners displaying their literature and inoffensively urging people to buy. There they stand, ever ready to explain their belief. They travel from house to house to sell books and pamphlets, and to talk Rutherfordism, and to play the "Judge's" recordings on their portable phonographs. They sell millions of these writings, that are printed in their Brooklyn plant, where many of them work for ten dollars a month and their upkeep.
The young woman was invited into this columnist's sanctum sanctorum not only to try and straighten her out doctrinally, but also in admiration of the propaganda spirit she manifested. All the while she was talking, the thought was in mind of the peace and joy that could be instilled into the hearts and homes of persons outside the Church of Christ, if those who are blessed with the gift of Catholic faith were to be as ardently Catholic Actionists as the Rutherfordists endeavor to be "Witnesses of Jehovah." They are not to be laughed at. Rather are their methods to be studied and followed.
"WHO ARE THE JEHOVAH WITNESSES?"
Director Milton G. Henshel
Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, Witnesses of Jehovah
Brooklyn, N. Y.
Sir:---I read your Who Are The Jehovah Witnesses? article in LOOK magazine in expectation of finding therein the usual assaults made by your sect upon religious denominations in general, and the Church of my adoption, the Catholic Church, in particular, such as appear in many of the publications your sect circulates. Evidently you wisely decided to refrain from repeating such vicious anti-Christian Church matter, as it might bar the acceptance of your article. The opening sentence in the first paragraph of your article, viz:---"The Witnesses have no creed," reveals the unsound nature of your sect. It is equivalent to saying that your sect is devoid of an authoritative declaration of truths that Christians are to believe; truths such as the Catholic Church proclaimed in her Nicean, Constantinople, Ephesus, Florence, Lateran, Chalcedon, Trent, Vatican, and other Councils.
You follow your inane anti-creed boast with the declaration that "The Witnesses follow the Bible all the way, and not half-way." If that were so, the men and women your sect succeeded in misleading would be in the Church that Christ established; the Church that Christ commanded to be heard (St. Matt. 16:16-18); the Church that began to function on the First Pentecost day (Acts 2:1-4), which is the Catholic Church. Instead of being in the Church that is doctrinally and historically in harmony with the Bible, your so-called "Witnesses" are affiliated with an anti-Christian group which was "incorporated" in the year 1848, by "Pastor" Russell, the "Mirical Wheat" financial swindler, whose wife divorced him for his marital infidelity.
Your boast, that the Witnesses "follow the Bible all the way, and not half-way," while denying belief in the Trinity, is like saying I believe in the Constitution of the United States in its entirety, and not halfway, but I repudiate belief in the triune form of Government, its division into Executive, Legislative, and Juridical Departments. Does not the First Epistle of St. John 5:7 record the fact that "there are three that bear witness in Heaven: the Father, the Word (Christ) and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one"? Does not the Bible record the fact in St. Matt. 28:19 that the Lord commanded His disciples to teach all nations, "Baptizing them in the name (not names) of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost"? Is that not The Trinity that the Russelites you direct repudiate?
Your assumption that "Baptism started with Jesus" at the River Jordan; that it did not mean "the cleansing of sin, as Jesus was not a sinner," is further evidence of your lack of knowledge of religious history and practices. The man Jesus was a Jew. The religion of Almighty God, at the time Jesus submitted to Baptism, was the Jewish religion. Its Baptism was a cleansing action, not related to sin. This is made plain in the Jewish Encyclopedia, in which Josephus is quoted as saying that "the washing was not in order to put away with sins, but for the purification of the body" (Vol. 2, p. 499). Look at the last paragraph of St. Matt. Gospel, in the Bible you boast your sect follows, and you may learn that Christian Baptism, instituted by Christ, was of a different nature than the Baptism of John; that it was for the Christianizing of man, his regeneration, which begins with the wiping out of Original Sin, as the Catholic Church declares.
Peculiar, indeed, is the mental slant, expressed by you in the name of the witnesses of Jehovah," that "hell is a grave" and "not a place of fiery eternal torment," in face of the positive declaration Jesus made to those who deliberately refused to listen to His invitation to salvation, viz---"Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his Angels" (St. Matt. 25:41).
You, and the other members of your anti-Christian group, are "false witnesses," such as St. Paul refers to in Acts 6:13; who ceaseth not to interpret Bible teachings contrary to their intended meaning. This is seen in the claim that "saluting the flag" of our country is a violation of one of the Commandments. This would be true, if Divine homage were paid to flag, picture, image, or any other material thing. But saluting a flag is rendering to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, civic honor, which does not infringe upon: the obligation to render Divine homage to God and to God only.
Your attitude toward the flag; and the declaration in one of your publications ("Golden Age"), that "the Roman Catholic Hierarchy is the wickedest organization of hypocrites that ever existed on earth"; that "anti-Communism is the smoke screen which the Pope, Mussolini and Hitler are lined up behind to destroy democratic government" (No. 465, p. 644), won Communist recognition of your organization as a factor in breaking down religious opposition to Sovietism. It is the realization of the fact that the objective of your group is in line with the Communist anti-religious objective, that caused Stalin to be hailed as "bearer of the Holy Spirit," in a Swedish book, entitled "Jehovah Witness" (Jehovas Vittnen). His picture therein is captioned, "Stalin, King of Israel, Messiah-King." The readers of that "Jehovah Witness" book were told that "the harmonious life of mankind depends on the Holy Light, which goes out from God and is administered by Stalin."
Your gang of doorbell ringers, magazine, pamphlet and tract distributors, are in the forefront of all propagandists. False though their teachings are; despite the fact that they are "Witnesses" of the most intellectually unsound, fantastic, insolent, organized anti-Christian assumed-to-be religious force in the world, I cannot but admire their propaganda zeal, which it were well for lovers of God and country to emulate.
"Who Are The Jehovah Witnesses?" They are a collective group of enemies of religion in general, and the religion of the Catholic Church in particular; the Church to which the world owes the preservation of the Bible that they "distort to their own destruction" (2 St. Peter 3:16).
I ardently hope God will move you, the Director of the "governing body" of the so-called "Jehovah Witnesses," to a realization of the blasphemous character of their work.
The Madonna and Child is by MURILLO, c. 165