Jehovah Witness Memorial: is it Biblical?

Last weekend I attended the Jehovah Witness Memorial. It’s the closest thing that Witness’ get to celebrating easter as we know it. The Memorial is mainly for the purpose of taking part of the Lords Supper. Unlike Christian churches that take communion once a month or more, Jehovah Witnesses only take communion once a year. That seems odd to us already, but I am not sure we would say it’s hugely objectionable at that point.

Where it does cross the line is that none of the Jehovah Witnesses actually eat the bread or drink the wine; well, only a very select few of them. Jehovah Witnesses have a belief that only the 144,000 talked about in Revelation 14 are those that should partake in communion. Their belief is that the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation are the only ones that will receive a heavenly hope, while everyone else will stay on the new earth, and only those with a heavenly hope should partake in the Lords Supper. There are a few reasons that this doesn’t make sense.

First, when it mentions the 144,000 in Revelation 14 it says  ‘These are those who did not defile themselves with women for they remained virgins”. I talked with one Jehovah Witness afterword who said that some of their 144,000 have had children and even the one in the service I attended was married, though he had no kids. Witness’ wish to argue that this verse is talking about defiling themselves with false religions and idols. But this is a prime example of eisegesis, where they have inserted their theology in the text. There is really nothing in the text to indicate this is talking about idolatry. Why would the verse seem to clarify talking about sex by saying ‘for they remained virgins”? If it is talking about idolatry why didn’t Paul simply say they defiled themselves with idols like many other scriptures we see?

Second, the Witness’s make it very clear that the point of the Memorial is to ‘proclaim the Lords death until Christ returns’ as it says in 1 Corinthians 11:26. Some of the Kingdom Halls do not have any of the 144,000 in attendance, which means that at some Halls there is no one actually eating the bread and drinking the wine. But when we look at the first part of 1 Corinthians 11:26 it makes it clear to say that you proclaim Christs death “whenever you eat this loaf and drink this cup”. In other words, at best a Hall has a handful of members proclaiming Christs death, and at many halls that are not proclaiming his death at all.

Finally, JW.org also references Hebrews 8:10-13 to say that the new covenant replaces the covenant with Israel. Hebrews does mention a new covenant, but it does not mention the end of the old covenant, and the idea that the new covenant replaces the old goes against what Jesus says of not abolishing the law but fulfilling it. If the law isn’t replaced we need reason to think the covenant is, and the scripture in Hebrews does not give us that.

Sources:
https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/lords-supper/

Just War Theory

Should Christians go to war? In one of my current seminary classes we have spent a good amount of time discussing the answer to this question. My teacher and textbooks have all leaned toward a view that is dubbed within theology as ‘Just war Theory’. The title gives you the general gist. But this is not supported by all Christians. I have on my bookshelf one book that has eight different theologians explaining their own viewpoint, a few of whom adopt a pacifist stance. One of those with the pacifist stance has been one of my favorite seminary teachers. So although I adopt a just war theology myself I can understand why pacifist christians take the approach they do. But in the end, I simply do not think their arguments hold up and in some recent conversations that I have had with some pacifist friends of mine it has made me realize pacifists often misunderstand the just war view.

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Why Size and Devolopment fail to justify abortion.

Aside

One of the main reasons that pro-choice advocates attempt to justify abortion is that they believe that zygote, embryo, or fetus is not developed to a point at which you could say it is actually human.
So let’s take this justification for a quick test drive and see if this really adds up.

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Podcast: Self-defeating arguements Jonathan Cowles

Hey all, the student president at our Ratio Christi Chapter at CSU gave a phenomenal talk on how to deal with self-defeating arguments and even how Materialism as a entire worldview is self-defeating. Check it out!
If you want to subscribe to my podcast find it on googleplay, itunes or podbean.

Why dependency and viability fails to justify abortion

Aside

I’ve started writing a short six part series on five categories that every pro-choice argument falls into and why they fail to justify abortion. This is the first of those five categories. Put nicely the argument is that because the fetus is still dependent on the mother to survive while still in the womb, it is permissible for the mother to end the pregnancy.

Put in a bit more an emotional form, pro-choice advocates may argue that the mother is is in some way unable to provide for the future of the child in the best manner possible. Why should a mother be forced to carry a child that she will in some way, be it financially or emotionally, she will not best be able to provide for. Would it not be better that she wait until she is able to better take care of a child and have a child then? Would you really wish to put a child in that sort of circumstance?

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The entire abortion debate comes down to one question. . .

Abortion often feels like a very hard topic to talk over. So many factors seem to play a part in the debate. What if the mother can’t afford to take care of the child? What if she isn’t prepared for other reasons? What if the mother was raped? What if the baby will have abnormalities?  What if the mother is too young to raise a child? What if the family doesn’t support the mother? What if the father says she should have an abortion?

What if I told you the entire abortion debate can be narrowed down to one question? What if I told you the best answer to that question supports a pro-life stance?
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