A Discussion with a Jehovah’s Witness Elder About Faith Based Hospitals

My Jehovah’s Witness buddy ticked me off today. I can’t quite remember how we got on the topic, but he started denigrating faith based hospitals almost immediately upon my arrival. My buddy was sitting there with another Witness. I wasn’t happy about that, but at least it was someone he brought one other time and we got along fine then. The new guy has been a Jehovah’s Witness for only a matter of months so I like having the opportunity to connect with him to get him thinking. I’d rather it be one on one, but if I have to have another Witness there, then this is the guy I want there.

After the three of us finished our greetings, by buddy launched into an assault on faith based hospitals. I don’t know if he just had a bad experience at a hospital or if he was showing off to the other Witness, but he was very critical of hospitals started by religious denominations. In San Antonio there are a number of hospitals named after various denominations, Baptist, Methodist, etc. and even though these are not “Christian hospitals” they do have faith based mission statements. A person of any faith or no faith at all can be admitted as a patient or work there, but for some unknown reason, my buddy takes exception with that.

He was talking about how Jesus healed people for free and contrasted that with the hospital’s need to make money. He claimed that all they care about is the “bottom line” by taking more business away from other hospitals. According to him they think of people as “business” and not as patients. He mentioned that hospital board meetings often begin in prayer (I’m not sure how he knows this), and they will ask God to, “bless the hands of the physicians.” This is the part that angered me.

JW: Yeah, they ask God to bless the hands of the doctors. Since their intention is to take patients from other hospitals, does that mean that God is not going to bless the hands of the doctors at other hospitals? Does God care more about patients from one faith-based hospital over the patients of another?

I thought about challenging him on this point, but did not because I was angry. I knew that what I wanted to say would embarrass him in front of this new Witness so I kept it to myself and waited for him to finish his rant. Obviously hospitals need to earn money to operate and I have no doubt that some decisions are made with the bottom line in consideration over the needs of the patients, but that is not always the case.

The reason why I was so sensitive to this issue is because my wife just had surgery this past Monday. Becky is a classical singer and noticed some problems with her voice about four to five months ago. The doctor found a growth on her thyroid. When the doctors did the biopsy and ultrasound, it came back abnormal. A month or so later, we had it checked again and it was growing. There is a 90% chance that it’s NOT cancer, but because of the size, its growth, and the abnormal biopsy, she had to have half of it removed. If cancer is found in the biopsy of that half, then we will have to remove the entire thyroid.

She had to cancel several singing engagements recently as she has not been able to perform at as high a level as she needs to. The growth is positioned right near a nerve that affects her vocal chords. The doctors are all the best voice people in South Texas who understand the importance of her voice not being damaged. We felt very confident with them.

Becky had her operation done at one of the faith based hospitals in the area. Our insurance stinks and we have a HUGE deductible. They will only pay for 50% of the expenses after our deductible is met. When the financial people at the hospital saw what our insurance plan was and how much the procedure was going to cost, they went well out of their way to help us. One particular person took a special interest in us and our situation. They are going to cap the amount we will pay and treat us as if we have no insurance so that we can get a considerable discount if we can pay a certain amount by a specific date.

This is great news for us. For some unknown reason, God has given us favor in the eyes of these people and they are helping us in ways we never would have thought. I even asked one lady, “Why are you being so nice to us?” Her answer was that they just love to help people.

Contrast this with what my Witness buddy was saying and now you can start to understand why I was getting angry. He was railing on faith based hospitals simply because they are faith based. Jehovah’s Witnesses HATE anything religious that does not have anything to do with the Watchtower. My friend fails to acknowledge that a hospital can be faith based, yet still make money in the process. If all they cared about was making money, then they never would have capped our expenses which will save us, yet cost them, THOUSANDS of dollars.

I plan on talking to my Witness friend about this in the future and explain how his comments angered me. I am glad I did not say anything at the time, because it was all too fresh for me at that point. My meeting with him was literally the first time in two days that I had been away from my home because I have been taking care of my wife. I am going to tell him that the timing must have been a “God-thing” because we have had such a different experience than he was describing.

I will also encourage him to go to the local Jehovah’s Witness hospital the next time he or a family member needs medical attention. Since the Witnesses recognize that Jesus healed people for free, I am sure that a Jehovah’s Witness hospital will not charge them a thing. Instead of going to the hospital founded on a faith different than his, he can go to a real faith-based, Watchtower hospital and see how healthcare is supposed to be done.

Oh, wait. You mean to tell me that the apostate churches of Christendom have founded hospitals to help people and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, God’s one true organization, doesn’t have any hospitals? Why not? Do they not care about people as much as Christians do? Why is it that you can you criticize a faith-based hospital merely because it isn’t your faith, yet your faith doesn’t have any hospitals at all? Didn’t someone once say something about taking care of the LOG in our own eyes before we address the sawdust in someone else’s? (Matthew 7:3)

My wife and I are extremely grateful for all of the help we have received from the hospital and are still receiving from our family and friends. Our kids were taken care of by grandparents for two days giving us a quiet home for Becky to recover. Good friends also took care of our dog and many other friends have brought us so many meals that it can be overwhelming at times. Becky is recovering well and we will get the final biopsy report next Tuesday.

Hopefully by next week we can be on a schedule resembling something a little more normal. As you might have guessed, I have not been in the office much this week so I have not been keeping up with approving blog post, emails and other daily duties. Please keep us in your prayers.

Next week my Witness buddy and I will be discussing the name of God. We started to talk about that a little this meeting, but he had to leave early to run an errand. In next week’s blog post, I will incorporate this week’s conversation with what we will discuss next week. I have an idea for a study that will rock his Witness world. I hope to be able to have some time to do it this week. I promise, he will not see this coming.

19 thoughts on “A Discussion with a Jehovah’s Witness Elder About Faith Based Hospitals”

  1. Keith, my wife and I will be praying for your wife healing . Concerning the Watchtower
    Society’s track record of charitable work towards non-Jw’s goes , I don’t think it has
    a great track record —- compared to all those they view as Satan’s organization
    “Christendom” . .

  2. You have hit the nail on the head. JWs will belittle any faith other than their own, even when their own religion does not attempt half of the stuff that others do.
    For example, disaster releif. Jehovah’s witnesses will organise help for areas that have been victims of natural disasters, however their help is limited to members of their OWN faith. The fundraising is for the building of kingdom halls in this area, but not for food ad water for non-witnesses.

    That always Bugged me when I was one of them.

    Regarding gods name, a point which always stumped me as a JW was the fact that I love and respect my Dad so much that I would not call him by his first name, so why do JWs think it’s appropriate to address god by what they think is his name? Surely that’s impertinet if not a little disrespectful? Even JWs don’t call each other by their first names in formal settings, preferring ‘brother’ or ‘sister’ followed by the surname.

    1. First off GOD’s name is notJehovah that’s a man made name.Exodus 3:13-15, Moses asksGOD his name, GOD replys I AM, I am who I AM, tell the children of Israel I AM, and this shall be my name forever. Jesus never tells us pray JEHOVAH, HE SAYS OUR FATHER, WHEN he prayed he said father in heaven, heavenly father, never the man made name jehovah. Thebible tells us the most revered name inheavenand earth is not the man made namejehovah but the nameof JESUS

  3. Excellent points made!
    Where are the Jehovah’s Witnesses hospitals,clinics,food pantries,missons for the poor?
    When are Jehovah’s Witnesses going to be allowed by their leaders to start replenishing the blood supply by donating back for all the blood *fractions* they use?Since JW proclaim their chaste lifestyle their blood should be pristine.
    Better yet,they should build (with their billions in assets) their own hospitals and clinics like the other religions and atheist do.
    The Watchtower society has sold off billions of dollars of properties and is now cash rich flushed with wealth.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses hospitals that can then do all these marvelous bloodless treatments,they could be the pioneers of the new age.–Danny Haszard

    1. No name calling here please. Former Witnesses are just that, former Witnesses. Calling them “apostates” is a personal attack which will not be tolerated here.

    1. There is nothing wrong with anger. It all depends on how you use it. I think you would agree that I handled this situation correctly. Accusing me of attacking his character is an empty accusation. Show me where I attacked him.

  4. Great points and I am eager to hear the response! Since’a Jah’s the one true organization shouldnt it be taking care of its own for free!!! I mean lets forgo healthcare okay! When i wass a Jehovah’s Witness my father worked at a church which had a food distribution outreach to the community. My wife and I who were devout JW’s at the time had exorbitant utility bills in a drafty apartment we lived in and spent everything we had to keep the electric going so we could be warm for winter. My father told me to go to the church he worked at. To receive a loan of any kind from the local elders means they must scrutinize your expenses before they can come to a decision after meeting with others to help you. It’s an enduring process for just a small loan of any kind! So I walked right in line where the church was handing out baskets of food to people without any scrutiny of whether they were church members or not! The food they colected from local grocers andd restaurants and re-distributed this otherwise wasted food to the community. How thankful I was and so guilty as I thought to myself, “WHY arent we doing something like this for the community?” Didnt Jesus said that clothing and feeding was to be done to strangers! Instead, if a JW needs help it must go through an embarassing process of your business being made known and than a hold until they get back to you for approval. I never forgot what Pastor Green and that Baptist church did and i still felt no less a man when i left than when i got there. IN fact, He greeted me at the door and embraced me and told me, “I know how hard it was for you to come here and in this place (a church) and i want you to know we are praying for you!” Pure Grace!

  5. Britt, with all due respect, what you said was silly and added absolutely nothing to the
    issue being discussed here . If Jw’s are the only true christians , then why are non-
    Jw’s and even those dreaded apostates doing more consistent charitable work ?
    I’d like to know what’s going with this ? Does it matter , or is it “who cares” ?

  6. Keith,
    So sorry to hear of your wife’s health problems. I will be praying for her and your whole family. I can understand your frustration with those two slamming the hospitals. JWs definitely have an us verses them mentality that knows no bounds.

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