HOW CAN I REACH MY JEHOVAH’S WITNESS SISTER?
“My sister converted to the Jehovah’s Witnesses years ago. I’ve tried to witness to her by sending letters and emails about the problems I’ve found with the Watchtower and why their beliefs will not lead her into eternal life.
However, she has not answered any of my correspondence and I wonder if she is even reading the letters. Now, I just found out that she is planning to attend a wedding with all of our other relatives. My hope is that when she is here, I will be able to have a talk with her about her faith. I am not sure how this will be accepted, but I’m thinking of showing her my New American Standard Bible and giving her examples of how her Bible has been changed. I have also studied Ron Rhodes, Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah’s Witnesses that provides questions to challenge Jehovah’s Witness’ thinking. Do you have any other suggestions?”
It is encouraging that you will get a chance to see your sister at the wedding. Will it be in a Christian church? If so, it is surprising that she will be there since Jehovah’s Witnesses are warned that churches are under the control of demons; so many are afraid that demons will jump on them if they enter a church. If indeed the ceremony is held in a church, you will need to be extra careful in the way that you approach her since she will automatically be on “guard” against what she would view as an “attack” on her beliefs from Satan.
Another thing you need to be aware of as you approach your sister is that Jehovah’s Witnesses are constantly told to be on guard against non-Jehovah’s Witness relatives telling them that they are in a “cult.” As soon as a new convert enters the Watchtower organization, he or she is told that Satan will use the people they love the most (especially family members) to try to get them away from “God’s organization.” So, when a relative says, “The Bible your organization prints is wrong… or the Watchtower organization cannot be trusted because it is a false prophet… or Jehovah’s Witnesses do not accurately interpret the Bible…” Immediately, they think, “Wow! The Watchtower Society was right. My family is being used of Satan to try to get me to leave!” In their minds, you have become the “enemy” and the information you present must be avoided at all costs to protect against Satan’s “lies.”
This is why you must not approach your sister with the idea that you are going to “prove” to her the errors of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. By doing this, you would only build walls in your relationship with her. Instead, we would suggest that you plant just one seed by asking a question to get her to think instead of trying to tell her that she is wrong. The questions in Ron Rhodes’ book are a good place to start. Another tool you might also consider using with her is our Christian Witnessing Business Cards for Jehovah’s Witnesses that we have posted on our website under our Preaching God’s Kingdom Link. These cards will give you simple questions and Bible verses you can present in a non-threatening way. They are small enough to fit in your Bible or pocket, so you can have them anywhere at any time to refer to when you’re talking with your sister, or if you do not have time to talk with her, you can always give one to your sister when you both are in the parking lot getting ready to return home. It is usually more effective to ask the questions on the card directly, rather than just to give the card. But if the situation doesn’t allow for dialogue, handing her a card can be a good way to plant a seed.
IF YOU HAND HER A CARD…
Don’t try to preface your handing of the card by telling her what it is about. Just say something like, “Here is something I’d like to get your opinion on.” Hand it to her with no other explanation, because Jehovah’s Witnesses are told not to accept literature critical of the Watchtower organization. So, if your sister knew what you were about to give to her, she might not take it. The beauty of these small cards is the fact that before she even knows what you’ve given her, she’s read the question and the verses on the back of the card and these have been planted in her mind which the Holy Spirit can use to convict her of the truth (Isaiah 55:11).
IF YOU ASK HER THE QUESTION ON THE CARD…
It’s important to keep in mind that the goal of the questions on the cards is to make Jehovah’s Witnesses think—not necessarily to convince them that they are wrong. Let the Holy Spirit and your sister’s conscience do that for her.
One of the subjects that we have found to be effective in talking with Jehovah’s Witnesses is the question of why their organization teaches that Jesus is not their personal Mediator. Many Jehovah’s Witnesses secretly have trouble accepting this belief, and some are not even aware that the Watchtower teaches this doctrine. So, we’ve designed a card on this subject as well as other cards with similar subjects that will help the Jehovah’s Witnesses think critically about their faith.
If you decide to discuss the card about Jesus being our Mediator, you might ask your sister, “I’ve heard that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe that Jesus is their Mediator. Is this true?” If she denies this doctrine, you can refer to the quotes on the back of the card from the Watchtower’s publications which clearly state that Jesus is not the Mediator for people who are not part of their special 144,000 group. Since most Jehovah’s Witnesses today do not consider themselves to be part of that group, your sister will likely agree with you that the Watchtower does teach that Jesus is not her personal Mediator. But if your sister has never heard of this doctrine, she may need to see a photocopy of the quotes mentioned on the card so can see that we are not twisting what the Watchtower Society said. To be prepared for this possible objection, you can print the following photocopied documentation of the quotes in their original context at the following links below:
Once she agrees that this is what the Watchtower is teaching, ask her to explain to you how she can believe that Jesus pays for her sins, but is not her Mediator. To justify its reasoning, The August 15, 1989 issue of The Watchtower reasons that the arrangement is like a court case in which Jesus serves as a mediating “attorney” between Jehovah God and the 144,000. The Society claims that the results of this court case decision (being Jesus’ death to cover sin) applies to all mankind, even though they teach that most Jehovah’s Witnesses are excluded from the group of 144,000 in the court case and therefore do not have Jesus serving as their Mediator/Attorney.
There are several things wrong with this reasoning. First, we point out that in the Watchtower publication, Insight on the Scriptures, volume 2, p. 230, the Society gives the definition of a Mediator as “One who interposes between two parties at variance to reconcile them.” The Bible says that because of sin, each human being is at “enmity” (i.e., variance) with God and must be “reconciled” to Him (See 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Ephesians 2:14-16). So, the Watchtower argument that only 144,000 are in the court case with God does not fit Scripture that proclaims that all humankind will stand in court with God (Revelation 20:11-15). The second point is that just as the Society correctly notes that a mediator’s job is to “reconcile,” so accepting Jesus’ blood as payment for sin to “reconcile” your sin-debt with Jehovah God is by definition accepting Jesus as one’s “Mediator.” Finally, we note that the August 15, 1989 issue of The Watchtower admits that Jesus is our means of “approaching” Jehovah God, even though they claim that Jesus is not our “attorney.” We conclude by asking the Jehovah’s Witness, “If you don’t hire the ‘attorney,’ how can you ‘approach’ him for his services? If Jesus isn’t your ‘attorney’ (i.e., mediator), how can He serve as a mediating agent between you and Jehovah God?”
We hope these ideas are helpful to you as you reach out to your sister. A few other resources on our website that you might want to study are as follows:
HOW TO WITNESS EFFECTIVELY TO JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES — Breaking the Watchtower Barrier
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO RESCUE YOUR LOVED ONE FROM JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES —How to Open the Closed Mind of a Jehovah’s Witness Friend or Relative
For more information see:
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