You might think I am strange but I love talking with Jehovah’s Witness. I mean, truly, it is one of my favorite things to do.
When I see them gathering at the end of my street on an early Saturday morning, I get positively giddy. I grab my Bible and start getting ready with verses and with prayer for the two people God is bringing to my doorstep. They may be unpleasant at times and may not truly listen but they are certainly under the yoke of an oppressive false religion and God has given me the opportunity to offer them the True Light of Jesus. That is just an awesome privilege to me.
One year, I prayed the night before my birthday that God would bring them to my door on that day as I hadn’t seen any in a while. I know its a bit weird, but it is true and yes, they showed up.
So having a bit of experience with folks who serve the Watchtower Society, I can tell you that there are a ton of areas for discussion.
You can talk with them about the fact that their understanding of Jesus is based upon a doctrine that is not present in the Bible, Jesus is certainly not Michael, or break out the multitude of verses that contradict their belief system. You can also simply contrast the love of God displayed in the Bible with their grinding self focused work system. If you need help, there are some great resources out there, google is your friend on this issue.
What you should absolutely not do is what I did one day when speaking with some JW’s who were parked in front of our local Friendly’s — make it about me (or you).
I had started a conversation with one of the two people who were manning their cart that they set up each Saturday morning and was discussing JW doctrine with him. My plan was to use that discussion to show where the Bible disagrees with that doctrine. I love my plans, by the way, my plans are awesome according to me — don’t you dare threaten my plans! I know…. I am an idiot but God is so patient.
The guy who was nattily attired in a three piece suit argued my point and made a point of his own that I knew was not actually JW doctrine. At the same time a group of the traveling JW’s came back and were listening to our discussion. Upon hearing his point, they started to applaud him and mock what I had said — yes, they were mocking their actual doctrine.
My response — if Jesus was bodily next to me at that moment, I would have asked him in all earnestness whether I should call fire down on them like James and John requested with the Samaritan village. Yes, in attempting to tell them about Jesus of the Bible I became full on angry with them. Again…thank you Lord for your patience with me!
Was I hopping mad because THEY rejected Jesus?? No….because they were lost and headed to a terrible eternity??? No again.
It was because they were being illogical and more importantly, they mocked me. They were wrong while hurting my pride and I was angry about it…so I proceeded to give them what for. Telling them that they need to do this and need to do that in my anger. This is perhaps the worst thing you can do when attempting to speak with JW’s.
You see, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are trapped in a system that already is filled with the pride, anger and control of man. Their doctrine from the Watchtower Society already works them to death and gets them to strive, strive, strive through their flesh through threats and intimidation. If they don’t go out and go door to door a certain number of hours they get in trouble. If they don’t report their number of tracts handed out, they get in trouble. If they associate with the wrong people or question the racket they are in, the whole community turns on them and they get in super trouble. Their entire system is the polar opposite of the Gospel of Jesus and the peace that surpasses understanding.
They don’t teach the perfect love of Jesus Christ and how that translates in the eternal salvation of the Cross so it is already about them doing under threat of judgment or fear of man. I do this therefore I am justified before God is their language. So they already understand perfectly pride, anger, intimidation and threats and it is the very last thing one should break out when witnessing to them ( or obviously to anyone for that matter). They know already how much man stinks, the focus instead should be how great God is in contrast.
So you don’t have to have a degree in apologetics or study the Bible verses that refute the New World Translation or even have a ready plan to effectively impact the folks that come to your door, just show the Holy Spirit’s work in you and let Him do your talking for you. They don’t understand the love and peace and joy and patience and self control and the rest of the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It positively befuddles them because there is no Holy Spirit in them.
A pastor I love listening to tells the story of one time when He was in the midst of a heated argument over Bible translation with the JW’s who came to his door when he got a phone call and his wife had to come interrupt him. He was disappointed as he thought he was totally winning the sword fight they were having – despite the angry tones he had argued them into submission according to his count. “Take that!”
In the five minutes he was on the phone inside, his wife went outside and told them how much Jesus loved her and them and how she loved them so much and it was wonderful to be secure in Christ — wouldn’t they love to be eternally loved. When he came back the two JW’s on his porch were crying their eyes out over the simple words of his wife. It is the love of Christ that wins arguments and changes hearts. It is the fruit of the Spirit that shows we abide in Him and that starts with love and joy. Frustration and pride anyone can pull off.
We speak life to those in darkness when we speak about the great love of Jesus and point others to Him. We waste our opportunities when we speak of ourselves and just get in the way of their view of Him.