Tag Archives: Jehovah’s Witnesses

Witnessing to the Witnesses (and others): Some useful tactics

A couple Jehovah’s Witnesses came by the other day and we visited for a while.  What would you think about my approach if you knew that I made the following points?

  • They are in the wrong religion
  • Their religion has characteristics of a cult
  • They are worshiping the wrong Jesus
  • Their New World Bible has some deliberate mistranslations
  • If you really love Jesus you’ll want to ensure you understand his nature properly
  • Hell is real

They must have thought I was a big meanie, right?  Just another one of those jerky know-it-all judgmental Christians.

Nope.  I made all those points quite clearly, yet the way I navigated the conversation resulted in the lead guy telling me in a sincere way at least three times what a nice guy I was (I give a lot of credit to Stand to Reason and Greg Koukl’s book Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions for this approach).

Now we all know I’m as friendly as a basket full of puppies (We do know that, right?!), but you usually wouldn’t expect that reaction after I just made all those points about their religion.  So what made the difference?  Things like this:

  • I focused on the Bible, because we both claim that is the word of God.
  • I stuck to a few key points: John 1:1* (which I knew they’d have a ready response to, even though I could counter it), John 1:3** (they weren’t ready for that), the JW rule about them not being allowed to take written materials from me, and that their New World Bible translation has easily identifiable errors.  I continually referred to the real Jesus — the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the creator in Genesis 1 and John 1, the one whose descriptions are used synonymously with those of God in the Old Testament, etc.
  • I told them I appreciated how they cared enough to go out and share what they think is true.
  • I used common foes (Mormonism, Islam) as examples before addressing the JW theological errors.
  • I noted that it doesn’t bother me that they think I’m wrong and that I think they are wrong, so we can have a friendly discussion on where we differ.
  • I realized I had said “JWs” instead of their religion’s full name then sincerely apologized if they found that shortcut offensive.  They didn’t, noting that they use it themselves, but my desire to avoid unnecessary offense seemed to resonate with them.
  • I listened carefully when they made their points.
  • We had some friendly chit-chat interspersed with the theological discussions (one guy was from Italy, so we talked a little about that).
  • It was a hot day (August in Texas!) so I gave them each a bottle of cold water as they left.
  • I gave them one of my “business” cards that has my church information, email address and blog site.  I know they are unlikely to visit, but I smiled and encouraged them to come spy on what the Protestants are up to.

Where these guys end up theologically is between them and God, but I was pleased with the interaction.  It always glorifies God when you speak the truth about him, regardless of how people respond.  And it definitely planted some seeds.  The lead guy was going to take the John 1:3 objections back to one of their experts to try and respond to me.  And my comments on the textual criticism issue seemed stick with them (i.e., that with the thousands of manuscripts we’ve found around the world from different centuries we know that the New World translation has errors).

I admit that I find using these tactics much easier in person than on-line.  But they do work.  I encourage you to try them if you haven’t already.  You can’t control their reactions, but you can speak the truth in love.

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*Their Bible ends John 1:1 with “a God” instead of “God.”  (The right version: John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.)

**They haven’t mistranslated John 1:3 (All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.), so you can show the logic of how Jesus can’t be a created being.  This can be used with Mormons as well.

Roundup

Two excellent and free resources to download — a robust Gospel tract and a brief but thorough refutation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons.

Click to download

Gospel tract: The Great Exchange

Mormons & Jehovah’s Witnesses: Who’s Really Knocking at Your Door?

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The White House leaks should be a huge issue in general, and especially for this campaign.  If these leaks were made out of stupidity it would have been bad enough.  But they were made for personal gain.  In a rare display of the Left crossing the aisle, even some Democrats have admitted the leaks are wrong.

Intelligence and Special Operations forces are furious and frustrated at how President Obama and those in positions of authority have exploited their service for political advantage. Countless leaks, interviews and decisions by the Obama Administration and other government officials have undermined the success of our Intelligence and Special Operations forces and put future missions and personnel at risk.

The unwarranted and dangerous public disclosure of Special Forces Operations is so serious — that for the first time ever — former operators have agreed to risk their reputations and go ‘on the record’ in a special documentary titled “Dishonorable Disclosures.”

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A great summary of the “tolerance” movement:

Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant. Then it tries to silence good.

That is exactly what has happened in this country.

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I was glad to see Kevin DuJan writing again at Hillbuzz.  Good tips about ways to stay up on pop culture references without wasting time and money on lousy movies:

I love the website TheMovieSpoiler.com because it offers “spoilers” of films currently in theaters.  A “spoiler” is a detailed synopsis of a movie that I can read very often the day a movie comes out and know everything that happens in it even if I never intend to see it.  I like doing this so that if a movie hits big in pop culture I can get any jokes derived from it even if I’ve never seen it myself.  When I was a kid growing up in Catholic School in Cleveland the nuns who taught us used to take a weird pride in not knowing anything at all about current movies, TV shows, music groups, etc.  ’Oh, I don’t know who that is,” they’d delight in saying, claiming to have never heard of Indiana Jones or Darth Vader or whomever.  I really don’t think they were kidding, either, or just trying to pretend that they didn’t know anything about current movies to make them seem more pious or whatever.  They really thought it was best to completely avoid pop culture and not “contaminate” themselves with it.

I think a lot of conservatives do this too, even in the year 2012, and I think it’s stupid.  You don’t need to sit through 2 hours of a bad movie just because it’s currently popular, but you should at least try to know what people are excited about in pop culture.  The Left beats conservatives in the ever raging culture wars because conservatives think “taking the high road” means avoiding knowledge of what’s currently hip and popular, but that’s just idiocy.  So many dumb things Republicans do are attributed to “taking the high road”.  Aren’t you tired of this, yet?

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Can a materialist question Darwinism without having his career ruined?  Short answer: No. It is an analysis of how even atheists get destroyed by the Darwin lobby for daring to point out its flaws.

Darwinism beyond the level of simple micro-evolution has never been observed or tested experimentally. And what’s more – the proponents of Darwinism do not want their theory to be subjected to criticism or testing. It fulfills a religious purpose, and therefore they are very concerned that it not be taken away from them. They are fighting against having to care what God things, and they will strangle any good experimental science that shows that their religion is wrong. You can see the same fundamentalism at work in the atheistic war against the experimental science that confirms the Big Bang theory, which describes the origin of the universe out of nothing.

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I’m glad to see some Darwinists admit that the movement really did think there was “junk DNA.”  Too bad so many of them are trying to re-write history and not admit the failure of their theory.

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12 QUICK REFUTATIONS OF JIM WALLIS’ LEFTIST, PSEUDO-CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES — nicely done response to an article by Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis

Cults and false religions are more like true Christianity than theological liberalism is

Make no mistake: I view Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons as cults and think that their followers are not saved.  And religions like Islam are false.  But think about how much closer they are to authentic Christianity than theologically liberal “Christians.”

Islam believes that Jesus was born of a virgin.  They say the word of God can’t be corrupted.  Mormons and JW’s will speak very highly of the accuracy and inspiration of the Bible.  They believe that Jesus performed miracles.  All those groups tend to be pro-life and pro-real marriage.  Mormons will tell you that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  And on and on.

Most theologically liberal “Christians” believe none of those things.  They are so far removed from the truth of Christianity that they make cults and false religions look downright orthodox. 

Again, those who die in the belief systems of cults and non-Christian religions will go to Hell.  I am just pointing out how theologically liberal “Christianity” is even farther removed from the truth than they are.  What makes it especially evil is that it pretends to be the real thing.

Run, don’t walk, from theologically liberal “Christians.”

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

Also see Opposites.

Good tips for engaging Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons

funny pictures - Or else!

As Christians we want to be more welcoming than that, of course!

See Greg Koukl responds to cultists knocking on his door « Wintery Knight for some good tips. These folks are notoriously hard to convert, but if they are going to come to you then you might as well be equipped to offer some brief challenges to them. You never know how God might use your efforts to save someone.

More importantly, you and your loved ones should know the basics of why these are cults. It is easier to play defense (keeping people out of false religions) than offense (converting them away from false religions).

My standard approach with Jehovah’s Witnesses is to focus like a friendly pit pull on a couple things: First, their Bible’s mistranslation of John 1:1 (“a God” instead of “God,” as all the ancient manuscripts say). They will try to change the subject but I keep bringing them back. (I need to add Koukl’s point about John 1:3, which demonstrates Jesus’ deity and role as creator even in their version of the Bible.)

Then I offer them literature, knowing they aren’t allowed to take it. I emphasize how my religion — Christianity — tells me to test everything and hold onto the good, and to test everything in light of scripture (1 Thessalonians 5:21, Acts 17:11) . Hopefully it plants a seed that they are in a cult that won’t let them examine alternative views.

With Mormons, I focus on Galatians 1:8-9. I ask if their Gospel is the same as Paul’s. If yes, then the rest of their works are redundant. If no, then I should immediately reject it.

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

I’m pretty sure we’re now on the “do not call” list for both groups.

More stuff

Three great posts on the Mormon religion

Are Mormons really Christians? Are Christians really Christians?

A whole bunch of articles on Mormonism

Witnessing to the Witnesses