Jehovah’s Witnesses Come Knocking

I’ve been intent on trying out a couple of new apologetics on Jehovah’s Witnesses, and lo and behold a couple knocked on my door on Saturday. It was definitely the friendliest conversation I’ve ever had with a JW. While I’m sure I have matured in my witnessing abilities, the guy seemed to be especially good humored.

My sister, a Christian, has been approached to have a theological discussion with a JW friend of her husband’s family, and she was reluctant to agree, but I urged her to agree so I could attend. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the guy who was on my doorstep on Saturday was that friend. (We live in a small town.)

He was very talkative, but I got a chance to ask him about John 12:40–41. I recently learned that this passage completely blows the Watchtower teaching that Jesus is not God out of the water. (See my previous post for an explanation.) The guy didn’t really have an answer. He said the Bible has many illustrations in it and changed the subject. I don’t think he was prepared to answer this objection. I didn’t press him on it, because I know he would never admit that it bothered him. I can only hope and pray that he goes home and does an in-depth study with his wife.

We went on to discuss why he believes Jesus returned invisibly to earth in 1914, and why Protestant churches are so terribly divided. I admit that even though I knew JWs believed Jesus returned in 1914, I didn’t know how to refute it, so that’s something I will have to study for his next visit. As far as how divided Christianity is, I told him that while it may appear that it is divided, all born-again Christians agree on certain principles, and we’re free to go to different churches if we disagree on how long the pastor should talk, what kind of music should be played, or whether we should speak in tongues.

I also asked him whether he’s born again, and he said that since he hopes only to spend eternity on earth rather than heaven, he doesn’t need to be born again. I explained to him that he was born dead in his sins, and he agreed. I said that if he’s not born again, he’s still dead in his sins, and he disagreed, but couldn’t explain any further and, again, changed the subject. I tried to press him a little bit on this, and said that he’s either dead or alive, and that I’m really not aware of any in between on the matter. He said he thought there was an in between, but he just said we could talk about it next time. We looked up a couple verses:

• “Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Rom. 8:14).
• “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” (1 John 5:1).

He assured me that he is led by the Spirit, and he believes Jesus is the Christ, but he said that “everyone” was not to be taken literally because of the context. (Ironically, context is what blows many of the JW proof texts out of the water.) I just told him that he’ll have to assure himself of the context.

We talked for more than an hour. At the end of our conversation, I took his invitation to the Kingdom Hall and a fairly thick booklet, “What Does the Bible Really Teach?” I’ve heard taking what JWs offer makes them less inclined to remove you from their list of homes to visit. I certainly didn’t want to close the door on an opportunity to share the truth. After he gave me the literature, I asked if he’d take something of mine. I told him it’s mostly just a list of verses on a ½ sheet of paper. At first, he said he couldn’t take it, but then he agreed. I gave him one of the tracts I recently wrote; I jotted down John 12:40–41 on the bottom of it.

Please pray for Gary and his wife. We parted as friends. He asked when he could come back, and I expect that he will return. I have a few things to study, and I hope that he’ll study the things I presented to him.

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18 Responses to Jehovah’s Witnesses Come Knocking

  1. Pilgrim says:

    Bill:

    If you’re interested, I have a recording of a four part debate between me and JW’s I can send you on CD-ROM. If you’re interested, just contact me via -mail (found under the ABOUT US on my blog).

    Also, have you tried that Daniel Rodriguez approach yet?

    http://reformationnation.wordpress.com/2008/01/27/book-review-winning-the-witnesses-by-daniel-rodriguez/

    – The Pilgrim

  2. billphillips says:

    Pilgrim,

    I tried the Daniel Rodriguez thing. I kept trying to ask him about whether he can study the Bible without the Watchtower’s assistance. He said he knows the Bible, but God has always had an agency to help people understand the Bible, and we shouldn’t read the Bible without the Watchtower’s assistance. I reminded him of the Bereans (Acts 17:11) who were commended for verifying what Paul was preaching with the Bible. It wasn’t as clear cut as the example conversations in the book, but hopefully I got my point accross. I also left him with the tract which has one of Rodriguez’s illustrations on the back.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  3. Mary Lutz says:

    Hi. I recently joined WordPress and saw your this post posted in the News section on my homepage. It interested me because I used to be JW. I was raised as one from the time I was 8 years old and believed they and only they had the true religion. That is until I was witnessed to by a friend and co-worker. I was trying to “witness” to her and she to me. We would argue about scriptures, and then one day, we agreed to pray to God, for him to open our eyes to the truth, HIS truth. Oh my goodness, from that point on, my eyes were open to the contradicitons right in their own bible! I have a hard time witnessing to JW’s because most of them know I used to be one, and am now a Christian, so they won’t even talk to me. (What about the scripture that says, “They will know we are Christians by our love???) Or, if they don’t know I used to be a JW, then as soon as I start speaking to them, somehow I manage to let it slip that I used to be one, and they immediately end the conversation and walk away.

    I would like to keep track of your conversations and studies with this young man. I will be praying that his eyes will be opened to the truth of Jesus Christ!!!

  4. billphillips says:

    Mary,

    Thanks for your comment. I’d like to hear more of your story, and how you came out of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    I’ve been reading a little bit of the booklet he gave me, and if it were’nt so sad it would be funny–so many strange ideas and interpretations of Scripture.

    I’ve been praying very hard for this guy, but he’s not really a young man. He’s been in the organization since 1949, but God can save anyone.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  5. Jim says:

    I had a JW lady knock on my pastor’s door on Sunday. The main thing I came away from in the conversation was this: she flat out refused to admit that humans are rebels against God. We have made mistakes, done ‘sins’ etc. – but rebels – oh no!

    Until you admit the disease you won’t take the cure….

  6. billphillips says:

    Jim,

    I was intending to go through the Ten Commandments with the guy, but I didn’t get a chance. He took my tract that goes through some of them, so hopefully he’ll get it. He admitted to being spiritually dead, but he’s not spiritually dead anymore, but he’s not born again, so I guess he’s undead or a zomby or something. I hope he comes back with some sort of explanation. I’d love to hear it.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  7. Jim says:

    That’s interesting because this lady said she wasn’t born again- this rings a bit of a bell – I think that’s only the 144,000 (?) who will presumably see the kingdom of heaven (whereas she’ll see the new heavens and earth?). It’s a dog’s breakfast of a theological system, but that’s what you get when you reject the Biblical system and foist an alien one upon it.
    Romanists and Mormons do the same – the Bible is an authority, but not the authority. The devil is subtle. Blessings,

  8. Jim says:

    Another thing – I’m impresed he too the tract – are JWs differently taught over with you? They’ll never take anything from me because it is ‘opposing’ them… Have yours got nicer pictures on them?

  9. billphillips says:

    Jim,

    I took his booklet, and I asked if he would take something from me. At first he said he couldn’t, and admitted that would be hypocritical. I told him it was just a half sheet with some verses on it, and he finally agreed. There are no pictures on it, but there is an “Awake” article. I posted it 3 or 4 posts ago if you want to take a look at it.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  10. Pilgrim says:

    Jim said: “she flat out refused to admit that humans are rebels against God. We have made mistakes, done ’sins’ etc. – but rebels – oh no!”

    Sounds like the exact view most “Christians” have of their own sinfulness.

    – The Pilgrim

  11. Jim says:

    Good point Pilgrim! I notice on your site about swimming a mile wide and an inch (or was it hlaf an inch) deep. Try an inch wide and a inch deep (Europe!) – I’ve downloaded the johnny Mac mp3 on Romanism and look forward to hearing it this weekend

    Bill – I’ll have a look at that post you mention. I’m really interested in something that uses their material almost entirely.

    HAPPY EASTER! and I know you know it has nothing to do with bunnies etc. May you meditate long on what Christ did for us where the punishment for our sin was paid in full. He is such a gracious saviour!

  12. billphillips says:

    Jim,

    I don’t know of any particular tract that uses much of their own literature, but that sounds like a good idea. This might be a good place to start: http://www.carm.org/jw/contradictions.htm

    Bill

  13. Pilgrim says:

    Jim: Thanks for checking out Reformation Nation and I am sure you will love the MacArthur sermon on RCC.

    Bill:
    Your CD-ROM is getting mailed today.

    Never Compromise!

    – The Pilgrim

  14. mudandsun says:

    Mary graciously allowed me to interview her and post her story of her journey to faith in Christ at my blog, http://www.talkingreligion.wordpress.com. Check it out sometime!

    Mudandsun

  15. Paul says:

    Do you have any of the materials you mentioned available to the public, like the printed half sheet you were talking about or the tract that you gave him.

  16. billphillips says:

    Anyone can download the tract I gave the guy at:
    billphillips.wordpress.com/2008/03/07/jehovahs-witness-tract/

    Thanks,
    Bill

  17. neilrobbie says:

    I’ve just been looking at Matthew 12 wrt mercy/healing trumping sacrifice as an argument for blood transfusion. I used the NWT and discovered that Matthew 12:8 “For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” has been omitted from the NWT! The context makes no sense to a JW if NWT translation policy is followed consistently, “kurios” is always translated “Jehovah”.

    Thought this might help, if you hadn’t already come across it.

    Neil

  18. Bill says:

    Neil,

    Thanks for pointing that out. I’ll have to look at it.

    Bill

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