I’M DATING A JEHOVAH’S WITNESS. HOW CAN I HELP HIM FIND THE TRUTH?
“I am a Christian but my boyfriend was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. He was disfellowshipped from the Jehovah’s Witnesses several years ago and was not a part of this religion when we met and started dating a year ago.
For the past year, he has been attending a small group Bible study with me and my friends from church. However, he still holds onto many of the beliefs he was raised with and in the last six weeks, his friends and family have influenced him to go back to the meetings at the Kingdom Hall. He is now trying to get reinstated and has even asked me to “study” with his mom. I am scared about what this religion will do to our relationship and I feel like I am losing the man I love. It is truly a spiritual battle. He is no longer attending my church’s small group Bible studies and our religious discussions have become more intense. How can I witness to him about my faith and help him find the truth in Christ without arguing and destroying our relationship?”
We appreciate the love you express for your Jehovah’s Witness boyfriend and your desire to help him find freedom in Christ. You are in a very difficult situation because your battle is not only with the beliefs he was raised under but the influence and pressure that his friends and family put on your relationship.
Do not underestimate the control his family had over his decision to go back to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. When a baptized Jehovah’s Witness is disfellowshipped (expelled) from this religion, his friends and family are required to “shun” him by cutting off all unnecessary contact with him. 1. Since Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to have close friends outside of the Watchtower, your boyfriend literally lost everyone close to him when he was kicked out. In spite of the doubts he may have about this religion, you can be certain that the desire to have his relationship with his family restored was a strong motivating factor in his decision to seek reinstatement back into this religious organization.
You must also understand that the Jehovah’s Witness religion is a very strict religious structure. Interfaith (compromise between religious faiths) is strongly discouraged and condemned. So, if your boyfriend hopes to have his family back by getting reinstated, he is not allowed to attend non-Jehovah’s Witness Bible studies with you or your friends from church. He must attend ALL of the meetings at the Kingdom Hall and if he misses one meeting, he must have a good reason. To be reinstated, he is also required to go late to the meetings and leave early and sit by himself to avoid communication with any Jehovah’s Witness there.
This also affects his ability to continue to date you. As long as you are not “studying” to become a Jehovah’s Witness and are not attending meetings at the Kingdom Hall with him, his relationship with you is looked upon with suspicion. Even if he does everything right to be reinstated, if he continues to date you while you refuse to show interest in converting, there is a good possibility that his reinstatement will be delayed and he may even be pressured into cutting off his relationship with you if he hopes to have his friends and family back.
So, no matter how much evidence you present to counter his Jehovah’s Witness beliefs, the real decision your boyfriend will have to make is between his relationship with you and his relationship with his Jehovah’s Witness family. There is simply no honorable way out of this religion.
You must also realize that the mind control and mental programming that occurred in his childhood is very hard to shake. If he leaves this religion and deprogramming does not take place, thoughts and questions like: “What will happen to me and my family if Jehovah’s Witnesses are right and I am destroyed when God’s battle of Armageddon 2. comes?” will continue to plague his mind for years. Thus, it is essential for your boyfriend to go through the process of deprogramming his mind by replacing false Jehovah’s Witness beliefs with the truth of God’s Word before he can get free from its indoctrination and influence. If he leaves this religion to marry you, but is unwilling to reconsider his beliefs, there is always the risk that he will run back into the Watchtower organization when some crisis occurs in his life or marriage.
WHY DID HE WAIT SO LONG TO SEEK REINSTATEMENT?
When we consider how quickly the spiritual changes in your relationship have occurred in just a few weeks after a year of dating, we have to ask why your boyfriend waited so long to seek reinstatement into the Watchtower organization. Why didn’t he go back right away when he was first disfellowshipped or when he first met you? Did he have doubts about this religion? Or did he wait this long to see how committed you were in hopes that your love for him would lead you into following him right into the Jehovah’s Witnesses?
While we would like to believe that his reluctance to go back earlier is due to doubts about his religion, we need to be honest about the fact that this is not often the case. Rather, it is more common to find the inactive Jehovah’s Witness boyfriend holding off just long enough to groom his girlfriend into accepting his religion.
You made an important observation when you stated that even after a year of attending “Bible studies” with you and your church friends, he still holds onto his Watchtower beliefs. Indeed, this is a strong indication that the later is true—that he simply held off pursuing reinstatement in hopes that you would join him. He has likely been scheming about how he is going to convince you, no doubt discussing with friends and family about ways he can encourage you to join him in attending meetings and studying to become a Jehovah’s Witness.
As his own family is not allowed to discuss spiritual matters with him until he is reinstated, it is quite possible that his mom has offered to do this “study” with you in hopes of determining how likely you are to convert to this religion. His parents know that if you do not convert, your boyfriend runs the risk of choosing his relationship with you over his relationship with them and this religion. They have a lot at stake! Not only is their reputation and the reputation of their son on the line with your decision about whether to convert, but they believe that any outside influence on their family from someone who is not a Jehovah’s Witness can adversely affect their chances of survival when Armageddon breaks out.
YOUR DECISION ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT TO “STUDY” WITH HIS MOM
The decision you are about to make concerning his mom’s offer to “study” with you may very well be a life-altering decision. If you accept, you run the risk of being deceived, not only by the way Jehovah’s Witnesses twist Bible verses to support their views, but also by your own heart’s emotional desires to be with this man. This is why the Bible warns at Proverbs 4:23:
“Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”—New King James Version
It is also important to consider that if you accept this “study” with his mom, you will be giving a false impression that you are interested in converting and that you are not really strong in your faith. Would this be an honest impression to give? Is this what you want them to think about you?
Remember his parents want to be involved in your studies because they want to protect their son from your influence. Undoubtedly, a “study” with your boyfriend’s mom will become a religious debate between you and her, leaving your boyfriend completely out of the picture. Is this what you want? Is your goal to win him or his mom to the truth of Christ?
His parents will be watching you as you study and they will want to see you accept each of the concepts they give you as you go through their “study” book. If you refuse, even on just a few points at the beginning, they will become alert to your rejection of their so-called “truth” and accuse you of “not progressing” in their faith. Then, the red flag will be waving in their minds and they will warn their son that you are not a good influence on him.
Also, their studies are designed to keep a potential convert from learning about deeper concepts of their religion until that person has accepted the basic premises upon which their so-called “deeper truths” are based. So, if you agree to do a “study” with them in their books, they will not allow you to discuss incriminating aspects of their beliefs, such as the fact that they teach Jesus “is not the Mediator between Jehovah God and all mankind” but only for the 144,000 3. or their belief that Jesus is Michael the Archangel 4. , until you get to those sections in their “study” book. Since you will not be able to “progress” by accepting the basic premises at the beginning of their “study” plan, they will not allow you to discuss these deeper doctrines with them. Thus, a “study” would essentially inhibit your ability to witness to them about the most critical aspects of their faith.
These are the main reasons that we do not suggest that you agree to “study” with his mom. Rather, it would be better to communicate to your boyfriend up front that you are strong in your Christian faith and that you are not interested in converting to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. If he wants you to read one of their books to understand his beliefs, let him know that you would be willing to do this on your own, but that you have no intentions of doing a formal “study” with his mom or anyone else from the Kingdom Hall.
Taking a strong stand against doing a formal “study” will test your boyfriend’s love for you. Does he love you for who you are? Or does he hope to make you into the women he wants you to be? How pure is his love for you? Will he only love you if you convert to the Jehovah’s Witnesses? These are the questions you need to get answered before you go further in your dating relationship. Always keep in mind the Bible’s admonition:
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” —2 Corinthians 6:14
He needs to leave the Jehovah’s Witness religion for the truth in Christ so that you can build your marriage relationship upon the strong foundation of faith in Christ that can weather the storms of life. Otherwise, an un-equally yoked marriage will chafe at your spirituality and it may even destroy your faith altogether!
We have several resources on our website that will equip you with effective questions you can ask your boyfriend to challenge his trust in the Watchtower religion. Because he loves you and feels torn between the love he feels for you and the guilt he feels for turning his back on his family’s beliefs, the questions you ask to counter the Watchtower’s truth criteria can be one of the most liberating tools you can use to break him out of the mind control of the Jehovah’s Witness religion. But first, it will be important for you to gain a deeper understanding of the cult mind control he is under by reading the following article on our website:
Next, you can read the “IF YOU WANT TO DIALOGUE EFFECTIVELY” section of our “QUESTIONS TO ASK JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES WHEN THEY KNOCK ON YOUR DOOR” article as this section of the article covers the most basic beliefs that Jehovah’s Witness love to discuss with potential converts. It will give you questions you can ask when these topics arise in your conversations and these questions will also guide you through the specific doctrines discussed in the Watchtower “study” books that your boyfriend may ask you to read. Remember, if you agree to read their books on your own instead of committing to a formal “study,” you will be able to keep yourself from coming under the close scrutiny of his parents and the elders from the Kingdom Hall. The topics discussed in the books will also provide an excellent platform to bring these doctrines up in discussions with your boyfriend.
A couple of additional resources on our website that will guide you in asking appropriate questions are:
CHRISTIAN CONVERSATIONS WITH JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES—Biblical Answers To Questions Jehovah’s Witnesses Ask – A Series of Dialogues Between a Christian (Karen) and a Jehovah’s Witness (Cindy) discussing fundamental Jehovah’s Witness beliefs (www.4jehovah.org)
Finally, the core fundamental belief you will need to overcome before your boyfriend will be able to break free is the idea that Jehovah God speaks to His people through the Watchtower organization. Thus, doctrinal errors and compromises are excused away because Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jehovah God is responsible for what is taught in this religion and that He will fix any problems within it when He is ready to do so. This is one reason your boyfriend hasn’t changed any of his beliefs in spite of the many Bible studies he attended with you. As long as he believes that the Watchtower is God’s “channel” of truth to mankind, he doesn’t feel the need to make sure that everything he believes is accurate according to the Bible. In fact, the Watchtower Society goes so far as to convince Jehovah’s Witnesses that they cannot accurately interpret the Bible without their literature! 5. This is the fundamental belief that keeps many Jehovah’s Witnesses trapped in this religious system. Thus, you will need to present photocopied documentation that will undermine the authority this organization exerts over your boyfriend’s mind. There are several ways to do this.
- You can present Scripture that proves that God has not always used an organization to communicate truth to His people.
- You can present documentation that proves that the Watchtower Society has not been honest about its history and doctrines, and when you do this, you can ask how Jehovah God who is the God of “truth” would support an organization that lies in its literature.
- You can demonstrate that the criteria that Jehovah’s Witnesses present to try to prove that they are the “only true religion” is not unique to their religion alone.
When Jehovah’s Witnesses discover that their religion is NOT the only religion that teaches the doctrines they claim constitute “the truth,” this opens the possibility in their mind that Jehovah God many not be using their religion ALONE to “channel” so-called “truth” to His people. When you present this documentation, you can ask you boyfriend how he knows that Jehovah God hasn’t appointed one of these other groups to represent Him. How does he know that the Watchtower Society is God’s appointed “channel of communication” to mankind? These articles will equip you with the necessary documentation you need to challenge him in these ways:
Once your boyfriend’s trust in the Watchtower Society has been broken, he will be open to learning about your faith and understanding why you believe what you believe. Be prepared to lead him to Christ by presenting the simple Gospel of grace and helping him understand the true identity of Jesus Christ as Lord and God. The “SHARE WHAT YOU HAVE TO OFFER” section of the “HOW TO WITNESS EFFECTIVELY” article listed above will guide you in this process as well as the simple Gospel outline and our article on the Deity of Christ at the following links:
SALVATION – What is required to have eternal life? (4witness.org)
1. See DO JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES SHUN FAMILY MEMBERS WHO LEAVE?
2. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that God will one day test the loyalty of His people by destroying all earthly governments and killing the wicked people of the earth who do not acknowledge His sovereignty. They believe that any Jehovah’s Witness who has not proved loyal enough in following the dictates of the Watchtower organization will also run the risk of being destroyed with the wicked during Armageddon.
3. See Worldwide Security Under the “Prince of Peace”, p. 10
4. See Reasoning from the Scriptures, p. 218
5. See ARE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES ALLOWED TO STUDY THE BIBLE BY ITSELF?
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