HOW CAN I SHARE MY FAITH WITH JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES WITHOUT GETTING INTO AN ARGUMENT?
“This past Saturday, Jehovah’s Witnesses came to my door offering a ‘free home bible study’. I told them that I am comfortable in my Christian beliefs, but that I am always interested in a good “Bible study.” So, they asked me if they could come back at a more convenient time. I agreed and we set up an appointment for next week. To be honest, I am nervous. Although I am willing to talk to them, I do not feel strong enough in my faith to go ‘head-to-head’ with them on their beliefs. I am not a very confrontational person and I don’t like debating. Is there anything I can share with these Jehovah’s Witnesses that will not turn into an argument?”
Dear Christian friend,
We are excited to hear of your desire to see these Jehovah’s Witnesses come to know the peace, joy and forgiveness of sins that you have in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As you know, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not have this assurance. They live with the fear that their activities in the Watchtower organization will not be “good enough” for Jehovah God to accept them when they die. It is a burden that each Jehovah’s Witness carries deep inside his heart. If you can learn how to break through their barriers to identify with their fears and struggles, you will begin to connect with them at a deeper level and God will open a door for you to share the true Gospel of salvation in Christ (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 John 1:9; 5:11-13).
Jehovah’s Witnesses are trained to ague against the Christian beliefs of the Trinity, Deity of Jesus Christ, Heaven or Hell after death. If you are not prepared to defend your beliefs on these issues, it is best to focus on the simplicity of the Gospel and avoid lengthy discussion on other doctrines that could easily turn into a debate. They may try to shift the discussion to get you to discuss these other doctrines by asking you if you believe in the Trinity or hell and the immortality of the soul. If they ask you questions like this, say:
“Those are good questions you are asking. I would love to discuss my beliefs in regard to those topics at another time, but today I just have a few questions on what you believe about salvation and the Gospel. Can we stick to this topic and discuss those other questions that you asked on another day?”
A good place to start in a non-confrontational dialogue with Jehovah’s Witnesses is to ask them the questions we have listed in the article entitled, “FIVE SIMPLE QUESTIONS FOR JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES ON FAITH AND WORKS” . These questions will help you identify with the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ struggles of not knowing if they have done enough for God’s approval, and they will plant seeds that subtly challenge the Jehovah’s Witness’ belief system concerning faith and works, without raising debates over whether or not works are needed for salvation. Once you finish discussing these questions, you can move on to other questions like those listed in the “Share What You Have to Offer” section of our article, “HOW TO WITNESS EFFECTIVELY TO JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES – Breaking the Watchtower Barrier”
Although these questions are a great place to start in order to focus strictly on the gospel in an attempt to avoid a confrontational argument over unbiblical Watchtower beliefs, be prepared that at some point, you will need to stand upon the truth of God’s Word in a way that may feel “confrontational.” At Jude 3, the Bible commands us to “contend earnestly for the faith.” ** While it is admirable that you desire to keep debates and arguments to a minimum, there are times when it is unavoidable. In such cases, it is helpful to remember that the dog that yelps the most is the one that got hit. In other words, if your Jehovah’s Witness visitors goes away angry from some point of truth that you presented, even though it was presented in a loving way, this is a good sign that the Holy Spirit is convicting them. We encourage you to stand strong in your faith by not comprising the truth just to avoid a negative response from Jehovah’s Witnesses.
WHAT TO SAY IF THEY INSIST ON DOING A “STUDY” USING THEIR PUBLICATIONS:
Beware that sometime during your first or second meeting with Jehovah’s Witnesses, they will bring one of their “bible study” books or booklets to discuss with you. Our article entitled, “QUESTIONS TO ASK JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES AT THE DOOR” will provide you with the effective questions you can ask if you decide to do this “study” with them. However, if you do not have time to prepare for this type of witnessing encounter, do not agree to do a “bible study” in their publications because their studies are designed with specific doctrines that they will want you to accept after reading each chapter in their book before they will go on to the next chapter. If you refuse to accept the majority of their beliefs, they may decide to stop meeting with you after discussing only a few chapters of their book. So, to avoid this situation, you could say something like this:
“I’m not comfortable reading a book from your organization about the Bible. Would it be alright if we just stick with the Bible by itself instead of using other publications?”
With this statement, most Jehovah’s Witnesses will agree to use only the Bible, and they may even allow you to pick the Bible topics you want to discuss. You can choose to stick to the Gospel presentation above or you may find our Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses helpful in discussing a number of other topics as well:
BREAKING DOWN THE WATCHTOWER AUTHORITY:
Inevitably, as you study the Bible with them, you will run into the Watchtower authority wall. This is the Jehovah’s Witness belief that the Watchtower Society is the only organization that can correctly interpret the Bible. Thus, when you run across Jehovah’s Witness doctrines that are contradicted by the Scriptures, they will believe the twisted arguments of the Watchtower over the Bible. When you sense that your Scriptural discussions are going nowhere, it is time for you to break the Watchtower authority barrier. The following article on our website will teach you how to effectively do this:
When you get to the point where you need to present photocopied documentation of Watchtower publications that expose the false prophetic history of the Watchtower Society, changes in doctrine, lies and cover-ups in the organization’s literature, it may be helpful to preface your presentation of this literature by saying something like to this:
“I was researching some of the things we’ve been talking about on the Internet and I ran across a website that had photocopies of Watchtower literature. As I was reading the photocopies, I was shocked at what I was learning about your organization’s history of lies and cover-ups. These photocopies look like they were taken right out of Watchtower magazines, but I don’t want to believe any lies that somebody might have made up to make you look bad. Would you be willing to help me verify if these photocopies are valid?”
Since they’ll be “helping” you see the so-called “lies” in the photocopies you found, they will be able to see for themselves the lies in Watchtower literature without arguing with you over doctrine. Although the Watchtower Society warns them not to look at “apostate” (anti-Jehovah’s Witness) literature, they will not be violating this rule because they will only be looking at copies of official Watchtower publications. They will be trying to “help” you not be “stumbled” in your studies by this documentation, and in the process of helping you, they will learn the facts that their organization tries to hide from them.
Remember, the goal of the Jehovah’s Witnesses meeting with you is to try to convince you to join their Watchtower organization. They are generally not interested in your arguments against their beliefs, unless they see you as a potential convert and your concerns as something that they can help you overcome. It is not your job to change their minds. Your job is just to plant seeds of truth that the Holy Spirit can use to convict them and drive the truth home into their hearts. If they get angry and respond by personally attacking your character or questioning your “motives” for talking them, always go back to the admonition at 1 Peter 3:15 to give an answer with “gentleness and reverence.” Do not give in to the temptation to attack their character in response, but emphasis the love you have for them. In this case, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” —Proverbs 15:1
OTHER RESOURCES TO HELP YOU WITNESS ARE:
** All Scriptures are quoted from the King James Bible Version.
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