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
What You Need To Know To Reach Your Loved One
- Witnessing Tip: Build Rapport Before Expressing Criticism
- What To Do If Your Loved One Is Studying To Become A Jehovah’s Witness
- What To Do If Your Loved One Is A Convert To The Jehovah’s Witnesses
- What To Do If Your Loved One Was Raised As A Jehovah’s Witness
- What To Do If Your Loved One Wants To “Study” With You Or Invite His Friends From The Kingdom Hall To Join Your Discussions
- What To Do If Your Loved One Will Not Speak To You
- Witnessing Tip: Build Curiosity
If you have a close friend or relative involved in the Jehovah’s Witness religion, you know from experience that the beliefs and practices of the Watchtower organization not only affect the individuals involved, but nearly every other non-Jehovah’s Witness relationship surrounding them. In some form or another, spouses, children, parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors, and co-workers are all affected as conflicts arise over:
- Family, school and employer activities involving birthday and holiday celebrations and extra curricular activities in conflict with Watchtower standards.
- Bible translations and religious beliefs (especially the Trinity, Hell, Cross and Heaven)
- Blood transfusions and blood related treatments
- Patriotic symbols, military service, flag saluting and voting
- Spiritual leadership in the home if one spouse is not a Jehovah’s Witness
- What “religion” the children will be raised under if one spouse is not a Jehovah’s Witness
- Time spent away from family activities in preparation for and attendance at Kingdom Hall meetings, door-to-door preaching, District Conventions and Assemblies, etc.
- The Jehovah’s Witness practice of “shunning” those who leave the organization
- An inactive member’s attendance at the annual Jehovah’s Witness “Memorial” of Jesus’ death
- Jehovah’s Witness children being forced to sit quietly through hours of boring adult meetings and complying with all of the Watchtower study requirements in addition to school homework.
- The Watchtower’s policy of disallowing close “association” with non-Jehovah’s Witness friends and relatives, except to proselytize into the religion
- The Watchtower’s distain for higher education that often leaves Witnesses in lower paying jobs that can cause financial stress
All these potential conflicts place strain upon the relationships on both sides of the equation. Fractured families as a result of these religious conflicts are a common consequence, accounting for perhaps 50% of the child custody battles involving religion. 1. The unequally yoked marriages that are left intact are often divided with arguments over religion, nagging and abusive pressure being applied to the inactive or non-Jehovah’s Witness spouse to force compliance with Watchtower requirements and emotional barriers being erected against the influence of each other’s beliefs.
In addition to the stress that conflicts of faith add to family relationships, the constant pressures to perform to the expectation of respected leaders within the organization have led many Jehovah’s Witnesses to burnout and depression. Many are on Prozac or need to be for mental stability. The rate of suicidal tendencies and schizophrenia are statistically higher among Jehovah’s Witnesses than the general population as a whole. 2. These are just some of the many reasons a concerned friend or relative may seek to reach out in love with the hope of converting a Jehovah’s Witness out of this religion and into a healthier spiritual environment.
It is important to remember that in any spiritual battle, the enemy is not the person who is deceived by the false religion, but rather, the demonic forces of the spiritual realm who hold the person captive to do the will of Satan (2 Timothy 2:24-26; Ephesians 6:12). Thus, the Bible proclaims at Ephesians 6:11-20 that Christians must take up the spiritual armor of God and lay a foundation of prayer before engaging in any battle for the hearts and minds of loved ones. Due to the high level of mind-control exercised by the Watchtower religion, a person should also learn how to engage a Jehovah’s Witness in conversation without triggering their programmed responses. The following guidelines will demonstrate how:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO REACH YOUR LOVED ONE
One of the most effective ways the Watchtower organization establishes its authority over the lives of Jehovah’s Witnesses is by alienating them from their friends and family members outside this religion. Unlike other cults that build physical walls and compounds to keep their members separated from the outside world, Jehovah’s Witnesses do so mentally by instilling “fear” of the “influence” that those outside their religion might have over them. Thus, in addition to being told to avoid religious literature presented from outside sources, they are warned that Satan will use their close friends and relatives to try to convince them to leave the Watchtower. One of the ways they do this is by implanting into the minds of potential converts an expectation of “opposition” from their non-Jehovah’s Witness relatives. As you will see from the following quotes of the Watchtower literature that Jehovah’s Witnesses use to indoctrinate potential converts, this expectation of “opposition” is given within the first few weeks of their initial “study” with the Witnesses:
“Satan may use persecutionor oppositionto get you to leave Jehovah. Some of your loved ones may become very angry because you are studying the Bible. Others may make fun of you. But to whom do you owe your life? Satan wants to frighten you so that you will stop learning about Jehovah. Do not let Satan win! …By resisting the Devil, you can make Jehovah happy and show that you uphold His sovereignty.” —What Does God Require of Us?, 1996, Lesson 4: “Who is the Devil?”, p. 9
“The Bible also teaches that humans can become Jehovah’s friends …As you learn more from the Bible, you may find that some well-meaning people will urge you to stop such studies. They may worry that you will change your beliefs. But do not let anyone stop you from forming the best friendship you can ever have.” —What Does The Bible Really Teach?, 2005, Chapter 1: “What is the Truth About God?”, p. 17
As you can see from the above quotes, the potential convert is told to view these concerns of “well-meaning” “loved ones” as a tactic of Satan to get them to “stop learning about Jehovah.” Thus, almost immediately when a friend or relative attempts to approach the potential convert with warnings about the problems in the Jehovah’s Witness religion, the Watchtower Society gains credibility in the convert’s mind because the Society’s warnings about those who would oppose their religion proved true. This mind-control method often causes many converts to cut-off contact with the friends or relatives who express any type of opposition to their new religion. Prayer is needed to break through these mental barriers, but in addition to prayer, a friendly, non-confrontational demeanor and an attitude that expresses a caring interest in the person involved can go a long way in reaching these loved ones.
Realizing that Jehovah’s Witnesses are programmed to expect opposition from their non-Jehovah’s Witness friends and relatives, extreme caution is needed when you share concerns over what they believe. One way to overcome this suspicion is to play the role of a “student” who is interested in hearing the reasons why they converted to the Jehovah’s Witnesses or why they feel this religion is “the truth.”
If your loved one has recently taken an interest in the Jehovah’s Witness religion, time is of the essence. Considering the Watchtower’s warnings about “opposition” or “persecution” coming from concerned friends and relatives, sensitivity is needed to determine the openness of your love one to reading literature critical of the Watchtower’s history and beliefs before you attempt to present this information. You can use the following hypothetical questions to aid in opening the mind of your loved one to consider what others have to say about the Jehovah’s Witness religion:
“Would you purchase a used car from a salesman who says to you: ‘Don’t listen to what the other dealer across the road tells you about our vehicles. He left our dealership and started his own business because he doesn’t like our policies. All he does now is steal our customers by lying about the quality of our vehicles and services’? If a car salesman told you this, wouldn’t this put a red flag in your mind that something isn’t right about this dealership? Wouldn’t you want to talk to the other dealership across the road to hear his side of what happened between him and this dealer before you make the commitment to purchase a vehicle from him?”
Most people will likely agree with you that if they heard these kinds of statements from a car salesman, it would cause them to investigate the claims of the other dealership before purchasing a vehicle. So, once they agree with you about this, ask:
“Just as you would evaluate a car salesman by considering the claims of his competitors and former employees, don’t you think it would be a good idea to listen to what Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses have to say about the Jehovah’s Witness religion before getting too involved with it?”
If your loved one has not yet been programmed to avoid literature from “apostates” (those who left the Watchtower), you may be able to get him to read the testimonies of Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses on our website. However, if he seems hesitant to do this, there is a good chance he has already been warned against reading critical literature or talking to former Jehovah’s Witnesses. In this case, it would be appropriate to follow-up with these next questions:
“What would you do if Jehovah’s Witnesses told you: ‘Don’t listen to what Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses have to say about our religion because they are bitter about their experiences and all they do is “lie” about us’? Wouldn’t you wonder what they are hiding from you and why they would not want you to hear the experiences of former Jehovah’s Witnesses? After all, if these people are ‘lying’ about the Jehovah’s Witness religion, wouldn’t that be obvious to see? How is this situation any different from the car dealership who would try to get you not to listen to his former employee by claiming that he ‘lies’ about his vehicles?”
These questions are a non-threatening way to convince your loved one to look at literature that is critical about the Jehovah’s Witness religion. You might also remind him that Proverbs 18:17 in the Bible also encourages us to hear the other side of a controversy before making a decision. Then, you can present the following resources from our website as these will go a long way in helping him see the dangers of the Jehovah’s Witness religion:
Once a person has given his heart to a religion, he has given his mind. Until his heart is won, his mind is closed. Therefore, your initial goal in reaching out to a converted relative is to build a relationship that will open the doors for honest conversations about religious beliefs in a non-threatening way that wins his heart. Because your loved one is a convert to the Jehovah’s Witness religion, you can appeal to him on the basis of his previous beliefs or way of life. Ask him what made him interested in changing his beliefs, what beliefs he still holds onto from his previous religion, and what he has rejected and why. Since you will be asking questions about the beliefs he enjoys talking about, this is a good way to build a relationship of understanding and connection with your loved one.
During this process, listen to what he says without expressing disagreements over the reasons he gives for his beliefs. This will give you insight into what led him into this religion and what beliefs will be the most important for you to discuss with him later when it comes time for you to help him leave this religion.
As you ask him questions about his beliefs, he will likely share the Scriptures that he feels support his beliefs. Let him share what he wants to with you, but in this initial conversation with him, be careful not to say anything negative about his interpretations of the Bible or try to rebuttal his verses with your verses. If there is something you can agree to, let him know that, but don’t express disagreement with anything in this first conversation because you need to build a rapport with him before he will be ready to listen and consider your criticism.
Keep in mind there are two types of converts: Those who joined this religion because it met an emotional need and those who converted because it gave them “answers” to the questions they were facing in life. While the second group is easier to reach through logical reasoning about doctrinal inconsistencies, the first group is the most difficult to reach because the emotional support system that drew that person into the Jehovah’s Witness lifestyle is not something that may be easily duplicated outside this religion. As long as this first group’s emotional needs are being met, doctrinal arguments and logical reasoning rarely have an effect upon them.
However, your loving support and interest in them as individuals can go a long way in releasing the emotional bonds they feel toward this religion. Over time, as the love bombing and special attention that a new convert receives begins to wears off, he will feel the weight of the Watchtower’s performance standards. It is then that your loving support as a caring friend outside this religion may be the one thing that will enable an emotionally starved Jehovah’s Witness to leave this controlling religious system for a healthier belief system and lifestyle.
A person who was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness doesn’t know any other way of thinking. Unlike a convert to whom you can appeal to a prior belief system, he has no point of reference to identify with any other lifestyle or belief system. Thus, in your attempt to build rapport, you will need to ask him questions about what he feels proves that the Watchtower religion is the most correct religion on earth. It is here that you will discover what holds him captive to this belief system in spite of the hypocrisy that he has undoubtedly seen and/or experienced within this organization. Just as is the case when talking to a convert, this knowledge about the most important Watchtower doctrines embraced by your friend or relative will give you insight into the specific thinking that needs to be overcome before your loved one will leave this religion. To this end, you will find the Karen and Cindy dialogues in the following resource helpful in both understanding and debunking the faulty thinking within the fundamental teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses:
Remember that your goal in your first conversation with your friend or relative is to help him feel comfortable in talking with you about his beliefs so that you can overcome any guarded feelings he may have against hearing criticism of his religion. Therefore, you must not use this initial conversation as a catalyst to argue or debate his beliefs. This is simply a time for you to listen and build understanding and rapport. If he asks you to agree with a viewpoint that you can’t agree to, pause for a moment and with a serious, contemplative look on your face simply reply with something like this:
“That’s an interesting way of viewing this verse (or that’s an interesting viewpoint). I’ll need to think about this before I decide.”
This response will help you avoid the temptation to argue, and it will help him feel that you are genuinely interested in understanding him and his religion.
As your loved one begins to feel comfortable with you, he may ask if you would be interested in a “Bible study” with him and his friends from the Kingdom Hall. We do not recommend that you agree to a formal “study” with him or his friends because these studies are designed to force agreement with their basic beliefs before you will be allowed to “progress” to discussions on deeper points of doctrine. So, if you agree to a “study” but refuse to accept their fundamental beliefs (such as living on paradise on earth after death instead of going to heaven and rejecting the Trinity doctrine), they will abandon their religious discussions with you before you would be allowed to discuss deeper and more controversial aspects of their faith.
Furthermore, the more Jehovah’s Witnesses you allow into the discussions between you and your loved one, the more likely it will be that his friends from the Kingdom Hall will “warn” him against your “influence” because you would be refusing to allow them to pressure you into accepting their belief system. So, if he offers to bring his friends into your discussions, simply say:
“Right now I am comfortable in my belief system so I’m not ready for something like this. But the reason I’m asking you these questions is because I want to better understand you as your friend [or relative]. Would it be ok with you if we just talk about our beliefs among ourselves without involving anyone else into our discussions at this point?”
Usually, if you are low-key enough in expressing concerns or criticism, your Jehovah’s Witness loved one will agree to continue to talk to you without involving his friends. However, later as you continue talking with him, there may be an occasion when he may invite his Jehovah’s Witness friends to accompany him without letting you know ahead of time what is going on. This is particularly common when you begin to ask difficult questions to which he feels unprepared to answer. If this happens, be as congenial and non-confrontational as possible. Do your best to avoid asking difficult or critical questions as long as his friends are with him, and unless your loved one brings up for discussion one of the difficult questions you may have asked him in a previous session, do your best to avoid these types questions during this time.
Keep in mind that the main reason a Jehovah’s Witness would call his friends into his discussions with you would be to have them evaluate your motives and what kind of a threat your influence may be to him. If his friends sense that you know too much about their religion and are discussing the type of information they think would threaten his commitment to the Watchtower organization, you can be sure that your loved one will receive advice and pressure from his friends to cut off all communication with you. So, do your best to keep the conversation light-hearted, even discussing non-religious topics such and family and work experiences when they are in your presence. Then, the next time you and your loved one are alone together, express to him that you felt uncomfortable around his friends and ask if he can just keep future religious discussions private between you and him. Of course, if your loved one is surrounded by Jehovah’s Witness family members who live within his home (such as a spouse, children or siblings), you do not need to be as concerned over their presence during your discussions as you would a leader from the Kingdom Hall.
In an effort to control the information that an active Jehovah’s Witness is exposed to, the Watchtower Society has implemented a strict shunning policy against baptized Jehovah’s Witnesses who formally leave the religion — either by sending a letter of “disassociation” to the elders of the congregation or by breaking the Watchtower’s rules and being officially “disfellowshipped” (expelled). 3. As a result, all friends and relatives in the Jehovah’s Witnesses are required to avoid all unnecessary communication with their loved ones who have become Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses. While some families may attempt to bend the Watchtower rules by maintaining some contact with their loved one who left the religion, many strictly follow these rules even to the point where a simple “hello” to the former Jehovah’s Witness is not even given and personal letters written by the Ex-Jehovah’s Witness have been returned unopened. For the former Jehovah’s Witness, this shunning policy makes outreach to friends and family very difficult, but we offer a few suggestions to help:
Pray consistently for your Jehovah’s Witness loved ones. Ask God to open the doors of their hearts to the Gospel (Colossians 4:2-3; Acts 16:14). Pray that the Holy Spirit will reach them where humans cannot by convicting their minds with the truth of God’s Word to see the deception in the Watchtower Society’s doctrines (2 Corinthians 3:14-16; 4:3-6) and the lack of love in the Jehovah’s Witness religion (John 13:34-35).
Reach out in love even if they do not respond. Send flowers and other small gifts and postcards that are harder to return unopened. You might also include short notes about how you are thinking of them and praying for them. So when they have doubts, you will become a “safe” person that they can confide in.
Ask them for their thoughts about the Watchtower Society’s Awake! article of July 2009 entitled “Is it Wrong to Change Your Religion?” Although this article is written to convince a potential convert from another religion that the “Bible’s Viewpoint” encourages them to examine the evidence for and against their beliefs “even if this means changing our religion,” it goes on to make the bold statement that: “No one should be forced… to choose between his beliefs and his family.” You can use this article as a catalyst to open a discussion about the Watchtower’s shunning policy against family members who have left the Jehovah’s Witness religion over differences in spiritual beliefs. The pertinent portions of this Watchtower article that you will want to discuss are as follows:
“THE BIBLE’S VIEWPOINT Is It Wrong to Change Your Religion? …Since our Creator wants us to search for truth, it cannot be wrong to act on the evidence that we find—even if this means changing our religion. …Thus, at times, loyalty to God may result in your making a decision that is unpopular with some family members. Although the Bible makes a clear distinction between true and false teachings, God allows each person the freedom to choose how he or she will respond. (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20) No one should be forced to worship in a way that he finds unacceptable or be made to choose between his beliefs and his family. Does study of the Bible lead to family breakup? No.” —Awake!, July 2009, pp. 28-29
When a person presents an argument that is designed to get a Jehovah’s Witness to question the credibility of the Watchtower’s doctrines or policies, he is trained to examine the “motives” of the person asking the questions before deciding whether to engage that person in conversation on the issues raised. This is a “stop thinking” technique used by cults to control the information that a person under the cult’s influence is exposed to. Thus, if a Jehovah’s Witness determines that your “motive” in asking your questions is “not sincere,” but rather an attempt to undermine his religion, he would feel justified in refusing to answer your questions. Here is how the Watchtower Society explains this technique:
“But suppose we are preaching the good news and people raise questions or objections similar to those raised by opposers? Of course, if a person is not sincere and merely wishes to argue, usually it is best to excuse ourselves and go to the next door. But if someone sincerely asks about certain claims of apostates, what can be done? First, we can ask what, exactly has caused the concern. It may be only one or two points. Then we can stick to these and answer from the Scriptures, from the Society’s publications, and from what we truthfully know about the subject. …What is often the motive of those who criticize the Society or those taking the lead? It is not often that some application of Scripture affects them personally? Rather than conform to sound doctrine and direction, they want the organization to change. …Some opposers claim that Jehovah’s Witnesses are false prophets. …Again we ask, What is the motive of these critics? Are they encouraging wakefulness on the part of God’s people, or are they, rather, trying to justify themselves for falling back into sleepy inactivity? …More importantly, what will you do if you hear such criticism?” —The Watchtower, March 15, 1986, p. 13, 18-19
You can see from the above Watchtower quote how a Jehovah’s Witness friend or relative who perceives your motives as “argumentative” would not be interested in listening to anything you have to say about his religion. Thus, in order to be effective in reaching out to your Jehovah’s Witness loved one, you must tactfully present your concerns in a way that demonstrates a sincere interest in truth and a willingness to listen to his ideas without misleading him into thinking you want to convert to his religion. This is a difficult balance to maintain, but it can be done by prefacing your first conversation with a few words about your motives. We suggest that you start by asking your loved one if he would be willing to “help” you with some of your Bible “questions” and be willing to teach you about his beliefs even if you aren’t interested in becoming a Jehovah’s Witness. You can say something like this:
“I admire the conviction you have in believing you have found the ultimate, true religion. I too believe that truth exists, and I, as a truth lover, am always interested in why people in different religions believe what they do. I would like to know more about your beliefs even though at this point in my life I am not interested in joining your faith. Would you be willing to teach me more about your religion, even if I just have questions about your beliefs and am not interested in converting?”
If you present your motives in this way, most of the time your Jehovah’s Witness loved one will agree to talk with you. Your hope is that in the process of trying to answer your questions, he will discover problems to which he will not be able to find answers, and as he researches the Society’s publications and the Bible, the Holy Spirit will be able to use this evidence to help him discover the truth that he isn’t being told about his religion. Thus, you will be instrumental in helping him question his faith without causing him to doubt the “sincerity” of your motives.
Jehovah’s Witnesses use verses such as 1 John 5:19, John 14:30 and 2 Corinthians 4:4 that speak of Satan’s rule over this world as evidence that everything outside the Watchtower religion is controlled and influenced by Satan. Claiming to be the “only true religion,” 4. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that all other religions comprise the system of “Babylon the Great” that Jehovah God will destroy at the end of the world. 5. Thus, Witnesses are specifically warned against the influence of other religious beliefs—especially those of Christianity that they refer to in a derogatory term called “Christendom.”
Since they believe that all religions, including the many denominations of Christianity, are under Satan’s demonic inspiration, Jehovah’s Witnesses are told to avoid religious radio, TV, music and literature that is not produced or authorized by the Watchtower organization. 6. Believing that they alone have “the truth,” Jehovah’s Witnesses are even warned against taking information that is offered to them by the religious people they meet at the door for fear of “exposing themselves” to false religious beliefs that are “designed to deceive.” 7. Thus, in order to effectively reach out to your loved one, you must understand that he is not interested in hearing about your beliefs or the arguments that support your religion.
Knowing that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not think you have any spiritual insights to offer them, your goal in talking to them is to encourage them to “teach” you about their beliefs while making them curious about your faith so that they will want to learn more and ask you questions. Only when they start asking you about your beliefs should you attempt to give them any idea about what you believe. But even then, do not reply to their initial questions with arguments for your belief system. Instead, continue to build curiosity about your beliefs by answering their questions in a way that doesn’t fit their preconceived ideas so that you create doubt in their minds.
This can be done by replying to their questions with short simple statements and follow-up questions to make them think about the logical implications about what they are sharing with you. For example, when they discuss a certain Watchtower belief, you can use the questions given in our business card tracts to stimulate thinking, but don’t allow them to see the cards as they will immediately run from this type of printed material. Just memorize the questions on the cards or write them down on pieces of paper in your own handwriting so that these become your questions, not some type of anti-Jehovah’s Witness questions from another source:
A good subject to talk about is what it would be like to survive the end of the world. The question card link on this subject listed below demonstrates just how illogical it is to believe that being involved in the Watchtower religion guarantees Jehovah’s Witnesses protection during God’s wrath described in Revelation. As you go through the specific elements of God’s judgments, you can ask them what survival plan they plan to use to protect themselves. Since no Jehovah’s Witness has a “survival plan” and since the Bible states that only the 144,000 are supernaturally protected during God’s wrath (Revelation 7:1-8), you can ask them why they think that they will be protected since the Watchtower Society teaches that most Jehovah’s Witnesses of today are not part of this 144,000 group of people who are the only ones guaranteed any type of protection during this period.
These types of questions will make them curious about your beliefs so that they will want to know if your belief system has better answers for these issues than their belief system. In the specific example given above about surviving the end of the world, you can share the Christian belief that those who are in Christ will not be on earth when Armageddon occurs and you will be able to demonstrate this with the Scriptures given in the following article:
As you ask and answer these questions without arguing or telling Jehovah’s Witnesses that they are “wrong,” you will be able to lead them in a process of discovering the truth for themselves.
It is important to keep in mind that while Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that they have researched other religions, often the information presented by the Watchtower Society has been skewed and distorted. This is especially true when it comes to the fundamental doctrines of the Christian religion. In addition to reinterpreting the simple meaning of many Biblical passages, the Watchtower Society has published its own version of the Bible (The New World Translation) where they have distorted texts that relate to the Deity of Jesus Christ and other Christian doctrines. Thus, your goal in waiting for your Jehovah’s Witness loved one to ask you about your faith is to answer his questions with just enough information to raise curiosity and cause him to want to ask you not just what you believe but why. This will give you the opportunity to clarify what you actually believe while helping him see the plausibility of certain beliefs that he has been programmed to reject.
Another topic that Jehovah’s Witnesses like to talk about is their hope of living forever in a Paradise on earth that will be ruled by God’s Kingdom. Often, they will start by discussing the paradise that Adam and Eve lost when they sinned and were kicked out of the Garden of Eden. They will tell you that God’s purpose for the earth has not changed and that He still desires to turn it back into a paradise. They believe that Jehovah God will do this by eventually ending worldly governments through a battle called “Armageddon” and bringing His Kingdom rule upon the earth through Jesus Christ.
During this 1,000-year reign of Christ, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that faithful humans will work to transform this present earth back into a Garden of Eden type paradise. Here they believe the majority of faithful humans of past ages will be resurrected back to life to enjoy this paradise forever. Thus, Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that only 144,000 faithful humans will be resurrected to life in heaven to rule with Christ over the earth while the rest of God’s people will be resurrected to life on earth.
They will tell you that one of their goals as Jehovah’s Witnesses is to spread this “good news” of Jehovah’s future Kingdom to all the inhabitants of the earth so that everyone will have a chance to respond to Jehovah’s requirements to be saved before this present worldly system comes to an end. After sharing this with you, they will likely ask you what your thoughts are about God’s Kingdom and living forever on earth. This is a perfect opportunity to build curiosity about your beliefs by saying something like this:
“The idea of living forever on a paradise earth sounds wonderful, but I’m concerned that if I were to become a Jehovah’s Witness, I would never be able to ‘see’ God’s Kingdom come.”
At this point, your Jehovah’s Witness loved one will respond to you with a shocked and puzzled look on his face. He will most certainly want to know why you think that if you were to become a Jehovah’s Witness, you would never be able to “see” God’s Kingdom. To this you can respond by asking,
“I’ve heard that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe they can be born again. Is this true?”
When he says, “yes” to this question, ask him to read John 3:3 in his Bible which states:
“In answer Jesus said to him: ‘Most truly I say to you, Unless anyone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ ” 8.
He will likely agree with you that this verse says one cannot “see” the Kingdom without being “born again” but if he knows Jehovah’s Witness doctrine well enough, he will present several arguments that a person will be able to enjoy the Kingdom even if he is not able to “see” it. He will explain that a person who is “born again” (Watchtower definition = has a non-physical, spirit body) will not be able to live on earth but will be required to live in heaven so that is why that person is able to “see” the Kingdom as it will be in heaven while those who are not “born again” (do not have a spirit body because they will live on paradise earth) cannot see it but will be able to enjoy it. When he makes these claims, instead of arguing against his viewpoint, simply ask him these questions:
“If Jesus was able to travel back and forth between heaven and earth with his resurrected body, why won’t all of God’s people be able to do the same? Can you show me a verse in the Bible that says that ONLY 144,000 will be “born again” and be in God’s Kingdom of Heaven?”
The thought that Jesus’ human followers will be able to go back and forth between heaven and earth just like Jesus did in His resurrected body will be something your Jehovah’s Witness loved one has never thought of before. While he may say that he doesn’t think this is possible, he will not have a good answer for why.
Likewise, most Jehovah’s Witnesses have never looked for a verse in the Bible that strictly says that ONLY 144,000 people are in heaven. He will be able to show you plenty of verses that speak of people living on earth and certain groups of people who will “rule” over other groups of people here on earth, but none of these verses explicitly state that only 144,000 are in heaven. In fact, as you explore Revelation with him, you will be able to point out that not only are the 144,000 mentioned as being in heaven (Revelation 14:2-3), but the 24 elders (Revelation 4:10) and the “great crowd” are also mentioned as being “in heaven” (Revelation 19:1; 7:9, 15 c.f., Revelation 11:19).
Finally, your Jehovah’s Witness loved one will ask you what you believe about the fact that all of God’s people will be in heaven. He will want to know how it will be possible for all of God’s people to be able to rule over the earth when there will be none left on earth to govern. In response, you can remind him that the people who survived God’s battle of Armageddon will still be living on earth and will be having their own families during the 1,000-year reign of Christ. Thus, the earth will not be empty, but will have plenty of people for God’s resurrected servants to rule over. Indeed, your Jehovah’s Witness loved one will not leave this conversation without his thoughts being challenged and seeds of truth being planted.
The doctrine of the Trinity—the idea that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one God can be a difficult doctrine to defend and discuss with Jehovah’s Witnesses. This doctrine is one of the most hated doctrines that Jehovah’s Witnesses like to use to scoff at Christianity, so we don’t recommend that you start your conversations with this topic, but if the Jehovah’s Witness brings it up in conversation and wants to discuss it with you, there is a way you can handle this situation to turn the discussion around in a way that builds curiosity. Here is how.
As you begin to engage on the subject of religion, sooner or later your Jehovah’s Witness loved one will want to tell you about the Watchtower belief that there is only “one” true God (the Father) and that Jesus (God’s Son) is merely a created little “god” who works under the supreme authority of the Almighty “Jehovah God.” At this point, he will ask you if you believe that Jesus is God.
An easy mistake to make when this question comes up is to respond immediately with a bunch of verses to support your belief in Jesus being God. Resist this temptation because in asking this initial question, your Jehovah’s Witness loved one is not yet interested in your arguments. Rather, he wants to belittle your beliefs by scoffing at what he thinks is a “confusing” doctrine of God. So, we suggest that you respond by answering his question this way:
“Yes, I believe Jesus is God, but I DO NOT believe Jesus is the same person as the Father.”
You will notice that this answer will cause curiosity in his mind because it goes against what he has been taught concerning the Trinity. Watchtower literature is full of arguments that Jesus cannot be God because the Father and the Son are not the same “Person.” So, when you respond to his initial question by explaining that you believe Jesus is God without being the same Person as the Father, this will catch his attention and cause him to ask you how you can believe Jesus is the same “God” as the Father without being the same Person.
Then, instead of simply discounting and ignoring any argument you might have given in your initial response, he will be more open to hearing how you reconcile this perceived inconsistency within your belief system. In this way, you will build curiosity to bring him to the point of wanting to know what you believe and why. For more information on how to lead Jehovah’s Witnesses in the discovery process of accepting the Deity of Jesus Christ, see the following article:
These are just some examples of the most common topics that Jehovah’s Witness bring up for discussion. By answering with questions or short statements to build curiosity, you will be able to turn any spiritual discussion with a closed minded Jehovah’s Witness into a productive opportunity to present truth in a non-confrontational way. In so doing, your Jehovah’s Witness friend or relative will drop his guard against your religious ideas because by asking you questions, he will feel he is in control of the spiritual dialogue. Because your statements about your beliefs are merely given in response to the questions being asked, this will also prevent your Jehovah’s Witness loved one from feeling that you are trying to coerce him into accepting your beliefs.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are trained to follow the dictates and teachings of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society without question. By misapplying the Scripture about the “faithful and discreet slave” at Matthew 24:45, the Watchtower Society teaches Jehovah’s Witnesses to view its organization as Jehovah God’s sole “channel of communication” to mankind in the last days. Consequently, any Jehovah’s Witness who questions or criticizes any of the beliefs or policies of the Watchtower organization is seen as questioning Jehovah God Himself! He is called “proud” and “arrogant”—someone who thinks he “knows better” than Jehovah because he is supposedly “running ahead” of the guidance provided by God’s “visible organization.” The Society states:
“Avoid Independent Thinking …Satan called into question God’s way of doing things. He promoted independent thinking. …How is such independent thinking manifested? A common way is by questioning the counsel that is provided by God’s visible organization. …Fight Against Independent Thinking …Yet there are some who point out that the organization has had to make adjustments before, and so they argue: ‘This shows that we have to make up our own mind on what to believe.’ This is independent thinking. Why is it so dangerous? Such thinking is an evidence of pride. …If we get to thinking that we know better than the organization, we should ask ourselves: ‘Where did we learn Bible truth in the first place? Would we know the way of the truth if it had not been for guidance from the organization? Really, can we get along without the direction of God’s organization?’ No we cannot!” —The Watchtower, January 15, 1983, pp. 22, 27
“So important is it never to raise the voice in bitter criticism of the Lord’s organization or its appointed representatives. …Those who despise Jehovah’s teaching include individuals who criticize and complain about Jehovah’s clean organization and its rules for maintaining peace and good order. …They would allow each one to be guided by his own private reading and interpretation of the Bible instead of being brought into a unity of people trained to live and act according to the lofty principles and reminders of God’s Word.” —The Watchtower, May 15, 1984, pp. 17-18
To avoid criticism over doctrine, Jehovah’s Witnesses are often told to follow the advice of 1 Corinthians 1:10 to: “all speak in agreement, and that there should not be divisions… but that YOU may be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought.” They assert that if, after “praying” about and “studying” the Watchtower’s material, any uncertainty or “doubts” continue to plague one’s mind on spiritual matters, one must put these thoughts aside and wait for spiritual “food at the proper time” from the “faithful and discreet slave” Watchtower organization. It is in this way that the Watchtower Society misuses Scripture to force all Jehovah’s Witnesses into unquestioning agreement with the “unified” thought and practice of the Jehovah’s Witness religion.
“Another sly tactic of the Devil is the sowing of doubts in the mind. …If some tinge of doubt about Jehovah, his Word, or his organization has begun to linger in your heart, take quick steps to eliminate it before it festers into something that could destroy your faith. …Then, do not hesitate to ask for help from loving overseers in the congregation. …They will help you trace the source of your doubts, which may be due to pride or some wrong thinking. Has the reading or listening to apostate ideas or worldly philosophy introduced poisonous doubts? …Cut off anything that feeds such doubts.—Mark 9:43 Stick closely to Jehovah and his organization.” —The Watchtower, February 1, 1996, pp. 23-24
Thus, when you witness to your Jehovah’s Witness loved one, you must not expect him to express any “doubts” about the Watchtower’s doctrine, nor admit that your view of a particular Bible passage makes more sense than the Watchtower Society’s interpretation.
Because Jehovah’s Witnesses are trained not to doubt or criticize their religion, they are not allowed to agree with any argument you present from the Bible that contradicts the official position of the Watchtower Society. For this reason when possible, we suggest that you phrase your questions from the standpoint of a third party. By referencing a hypothetical third party, your Jehovah’s Witness loved one could agree to the idea that a third party who reads a certain passage in the Bible could come to the conclusions you stated, without your loved one having to agree to those conclusions as applying to himself.
For example, consider a discussion where your loved one states that he does not believe in the traditional doctrine of “hell” where unbelieving human “souls” are tormented with fire forever. He may argue that when the Bible uses the words “Hell” or “Hades,” it is referring to the common grave of mankind where he believes human souls will be unconscious after death. To rebuttal his claims, you might choose to present Jesus’ words at Luke 16:22-31 that in the Jehovah’s Witness New World Translation Bible reads as follows:
“22 Now in course of time the beggar died and he was carried off by the angels to the bosom [position] of Abraham. Also, the rich man died and was buried. 23 And in Ha´des he lifted up his eyes, he existing in torments, and he saw Abraham afar off and Laz´a·rus in the bosom [position] with him. 24 So he called and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Laz´a·rus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in anguish in this blazing fire.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you received in full your good things in your lifetime, but Laz´a·rus correspondingly the injurious things. Now, however, he is having comfort here but you are in anguish. 26 And besides all these things, a great chasm has been fixed between us and YOU people, so that those wanting to go over from here to YOU people cannot, neither may people cross over from there to us.’ 27 Then he said, ‘In that event I ask you, father, to send him to the house of my father, 28 for I have five brothers, in order that he may give them a thorough witness, that they also should not get into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to these.’ 30 Then he said, ‘No, indeed, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.’”
Since Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught to excuse away the literal meaning of these verses by claiming that the language used in this passage is symbolic of a spiritual torment rather than physical pain, your loved one will not be allowed to agree with you that Jesus spoke of hell as a literal place of torment. So, in response to his arguments, you can use a third party question to help your Jehovah’s Witness loved agree to the simple meaning of this passage. Ask him:
“By reading this Scripture, could a person who has not read Watchtower literature come to the conclusion that hell is a fiery place of torment?”
If he is honest with you, he will have to admit that a person could reach this conclusion by reading this passage, even though he will not be allowed to accept a literal interpretation of this Scripture for himself. For more information on the subject of Hell and the immortality of the human soul, see the following articles:
Never underestimate the effect that third party questions can have on your loved one. When your questions begin to break through, it is not uncommon to hear a Jehovah’s Witness say:
“Everything you’ve shown me just confirms my beliefs and proves that I’m in the truth.”
When you hear this, be encouraged because he wouldn’t have to make this type of a statement if he was not truly being convicted by the things you have been sharing with him. So, despite his attempt to discount the simple truths of Scripture and present an a façade of impenetrable conviction, you can rest assured that the seeds of God’s Word will not return void without accomplishing the purpose for which God sends them (Isaiah 55:11; Hebrews 4:12).
Just as Jehovah’s Witnesses are warned against being influenced by anyone who would disagree with their religion, they are taught to distrust their own ability to understand and interpret the Bible for themselves. The Watchtower Society teaches that the Scripture in Matthew 24:45 that speaks of a “faithful and discreet slave” whom Jesus would appoint over all his belongings in the last days to dispense spiritual “food at the proper time” is a reference to the Governing Body (ruling entity) of Watchtower Society. In this way, the Watchtower Society gains authority over the thinking of Jehovah’s Witnesses by claiming that it alone has been given the authority by God to interpret the Bible. Thus, any Jehovah’s Witness who espouses a different interpretation of the Bible than what is officially sanctioned by the Watchtower organization, is viewed as an “apostate” from the Jehovah’s Witness religion. They are told:
“We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ organization.” —The Watchtower, February 15, 1981, p. 19
“Thus, the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible. For this reason the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah’s visible organization in mind.” —The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, p. 587
So, to be effective in witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses, you must understand that they do not trust your interpretation of the Bible or their own ability to interpret the meaning of a particular Bible passage that you may seek to discuss with them. Through questions about what a Jehovah’s Witness is allowed to believe, you will reveal their true spiritual authority and help them overcome the Watchtower Society’s control over their lives.
While Jehovah’s Witnesses have been programmed to accept the Watchtower Society’s interpretation of the Bible over their own personal viewpoints, most have never considered the implications of this policy until they have been forced to try to reconcile a difficult Biblical passage with one of their false beliefs. You can set them up to experience this in a non-threatening way by asking your loved one the following question:
“If a person were to become a Jehovah’s Witness and he were to come across a verse in the Bible that teaches something different than what the Watchtower Society teaches, would that person be required to believe and teach the Watchtower’s teachings over the Bible?”
Most Jehovah’s Witnesses will adamantly respond by saying that they believe the Bible over the Watchtower, but when pressed with a verse that contracts a Watchtower teaching, they will rationalize away the irreconcilability by claiming that with prayer, study and waiting upon Jehovah, the truth will be made clear and that if the Watchtower organization is wrong, Jehovah will send “new light” to clarify any incorrect teaching in His due time. 9. In conversations on this subject, we have even had some Jehovah’s Witnesses honestly admit:
“I cannot go against my faith. If the Watchtower is wrong, I will be wrong with it.”
Thus, if your Jehovah’s Witness loved one is honest with you and has come to realize this requirement of the Watchtower Society, he will tell you that a baptized Jehovah’s Witness would not be allowed to believe anything that is contrary to what the Watchtower Society teaches and that Jehovah will judge that person based upon his “loyalty” to God’s “channel of communication,” rather than allowing himself to be “stumbled” at any incorrect doctrine he perceives within it. 10.
While this would be an honest statement to make, many Jehovah’s Witnesses (especially recent converts) are not consciously aware of this policy and may need help to recognize this before you can discuss the authority the Watchtower organization has over them. At this point, a few examples of clear contradictions between the Bible and the Watchtower may be helpful to present. Again, when you ask these questions, keep the focus upon a third party so that your loved one will not feel pressured to accept for himself the doctrinal position presented:
“At John 2:18-22, what ‘body’ did Jesus promise to resurrect from the dead?” (Have your loved one read it from his New World Translation Bible that states as follows:)
“18 Therefore, in answer, the Jews said to him: ‘What sign have you to show us, since you are doing these things?’ 19 In answer Jesus said to them: ‘Break down this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ 20 Therefore the Jews said: ‘This temple was built in forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?’ 21 But he was talking about the temple of his body. 22 When, though, he was raised up from the dead, his disciples called to mind that he used to say this; and they believed the Scripture and the saying that Jesus said.”
“Did the Jews destroy the physical, human body of Jesus or the spirit body of Michael the Archangel?”
Your Jehovah’s Witness loved one will likely attempt to argue that Jesus could not have been talking about His physical, human “body” because “flesh and blood” cannot inherit the Kingdom of Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:50). He may also try to argue with other verses to prove that Jesus rose in a “spirit” body. When he brings these arguments up, do not let him distract you from your main point by diverting you from your discussion of these verses at John 2:18-22. Instead, keep to your main point by simply saying something like this:
“I would be happy to discuss these other verses you are talking about at a another time as I have a way of viewing them that does not contradict this passage of Scripture, but right now, I just want to know your answer to my question: ‘If a person were to become a Jehovah’s Witness, would he be allowed to believe Jesus’ clear promise to raise the same physical, human body that the Jews destroyed? Or would he be required to believe the Watchtower’s interpretation of these verses over what the Bible plainly says?’ ”
By forcing your Jehovah’s Witness loved one to address your question, rather than allowing him to divert to a discussion of other Scriptures, you will avoid a game of Bible ping-pong and get to the root of the issue which is the fact that a person who is a Jehovah’s Witness is not allowed to believe the Bible over the Watchtower. Once he admits this, you can ask him the questions under the “Remove the Watchtower Foundation” section of the following article on our website. These questions will help him overcome the Watchtower’s authority over his spiritual life.
As a follow-up, once he has come to realize that he should trust the Bible over the Watchtower, you can use the answers given in the following article on our website to discuss each of the verses he tried to bring up to disprove the physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Although this doctrinal topic may not seem as important to you, it is extremely important for a Jehovah’s Witness because many of their false doctrines (such as the idea of that Jesus is Michael the Archangel and that Jesus’ returned to earth in an “invisible” presence in 1914) hinge upon this false teaching concerning the physical, bodily resurrection of Christ.
Every Jehovah’s Witness who has been in the Watchtower organization any length of time has seen his share of hypocritical behavior within the congregations and has likely encountered inconsistencies within doctrine. Yet, when it comes to abuses and inconsistencies, Witnesses have been taught to ignore these problems and excuse them away as “human imperfections” or “immature misunderstandings” of spiritual matters that Jehovah will correct in His own due time. This is why someone who has been inactive from the Jehovah’s Witness religion for several years is still able to defend the Watchtower organization as “the truth” and refuses to listen to criticism of the organization’s beliefs in spite of all that he has experienced.
In essence, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been programmed to protect the organization’s reputation and hide personal feelings of doubt and unresolved hurts and abuses that they have witnessed or experienced within the congregations so as not to “bring reproach” upon Jehovah or His organization by speaking of these problems to the outside public. Thus, until your Jehovah’s Witness friend or relative is ready to reevaluate his loyalty to the organization, expect him to excuse away or rationalize any of the hurts or abuses he has seen in an effort to uphold the concept that the Jehovah’s Witness religion is “the truth.”
As discussed in the previous section, the Watchtower’s authority over the spiritual life of a Jehovah’s Witness must be removed before he will be free to reconsider his beliefs on the basis of the pure, simple reading of the Bible. This can be done by destroying the fundamental authority concept that the Governing Body of the Watchtower Society of Jehovah’s Witnesses constitutes Jehovah God’s “faithful and discreet slave” channel of communication to mankind and proving that these authority claims are impossible to reconcile with the documented evidence found in the history of the organization. Questions to use to dispel this myth can be found in the following article that was also referenced in the previous section:
Due to the mental programming that Jehovah’s Witnesses have against viewing literature that is critical of their religion, it is also helpful to present photocopies of Watchtower literature that document the many false prophecies and historical lies and cover-ups within the organization’s history. You can download these PDF photocopies at the following website link:
Since you will be presenting nothing but photocopies of his own literature, he cannot call your information “apostate.” However, unless you are careful in the way that you present this photocopied documentation, you risk coming across as a “threat” to your loved one’s spiritual condition by being an avid expert who opposes his religion. Thus, we suggest that you use the third party approach by saying something like this:
“As I was reading some literature about Jehovah’s Witnesses on the Internet, I ran across a few PDFs that the website claims are photocopies of official Watchtower literature. I know that not all information on the Internet is accurate, so I am wondering if you can help me verify whether these photocopies are legitimate because I don’t want to believe lies about your religion. Do you have access to a library of Watchtower books that we can use to compare these copies to the original publications?”
Jehovah’s Witnesses are constantly told to avoid the Internet for fear of exposing themselves to “apostate” information. Yet, since you honestly explained that you “ran across” these PDFs from this third party source (i.e., the Internet) and that you felt that these photocopies looked like they were taken from official Watchtower literature, you will not appear to be an expert on his religion. Rather, you will present yourself as an interested person who simply desires to verify the accuracy of the information you are researching by comparing these photocopies to the original publications.
Since your loved one will be “helping” you in your research, he will be able to verify these photocopies for you at any Kingdom Hall library or the personal home library collection of a lifelong Jehovah’s Witness family member he may know. In so doing, he will discover the documented evidence that disproves the Watchtower’s claims. When he sees that this organization cannot be Jehovah God’s “true religion,” your Jehovah’s Witness loved one will have two choices. Either he will deny and ignore this evidence by continuing to blindly follow the Watchtower Society or he will abandon his trust in the organization altogether and reevaluate his spiritual condition. When this situation arises and you sense that your loved one is wrestling with these issues, be prepared for him to ask you what your religion has to offer. This would be a perfect opportunity to present the true Gospel of grace and the assurance of eternal life that the forgiveness of Christ guarantees. The following articles on our website will help you present these concepts to him:
However, if your loved one refuses to consider the implications of the evidence you have presented and chooses to blindly following the organization, it may be appropriate to leave him with this thought:
“Jehovah God is the God of truth. Truth does not fear examination. If an organization cannot stand up under examination, it is not ‘the truth’ but rather a counterfeit and loyalty to a counterfeit is disloyalty to Jehovah God.”
We have studied the spiritual control that the Watchtower organization exercises over the hearts and minds of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In summation, the following is a simple list of “do’s” and “don’ts” to keep in mind when witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses:
- Don’t engage in spiritual battle without putting on the spiritual armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-17).
- Pray for God to open the closed mind and heart of your Jehovah’s Witness loved one (Eph. 6:18).
- Don’t give your Jehovah’s Witness friend or relative literature that criticizes the beliefs, history or policies of the Watchtower organization until you know he is ready to critically examine his faith.
- Build rapport by approaching the Jehovah’s Witness from the standpoint of a student interested in hearing his reasons for following this religion.
- Don’t come across as an insincere opposer who merely wishes to argue and criticize the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
- Express your motives for talking with your Jehovah’s Witness loved one and get a commitment up front. Present yourself in a way that will help them feel you are genuinely interested in him.
- Don’t come across like you are trying to “teach” a Jehovah’s Witness anything. Don’t tell him what you believe and why until he is asking you questions about your beliefs.
- In response to his questions, make him curious about what you believe by keeping your statements about your beliefs as short and simple as possible, with a few teaser questions thrown in.
- Don’t expect a Jehovah’s Witness to express any sign of “doubt” about his religion.
- Ask third party questions that allow a Jehovah’s Witness to agree with your point of view without applying it to himself.
- Don’t expect a Jehovah’s Witness to agree with your interpretation of the Bible.
- Address the Watchtower Society’s control by helping the Jehovah’s Witness admit that he cannot go against his faith. Then present questions to break the Watchtower’s authority over his mind.
- Don’t expect a Jehovah’s Witness to admit to the abuses he has seen in the Watchtower organization until he is ready to leave.
- Present photocopied documentation of official Watchtower literature from a third party source that demonstrates the fallacy of the Watchtower Society’s claims. Be prepared to lead a Jehovah’s Witness to Jesus if he asks you what you have to offer him.
FOR MORE INFORMATION SEE:
1. Jeff Atkinson who is the former chairman of the American Bar Association’s Child Custody Case Committee is quoted at http://www.jehovahswitnessesexperts.com as saying: “Jehovah’s Witnesses are probably responsible for half of the contested custody cases involving religious issues.”
2. See chapter 2 of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Problem of Mental Illness, by Jerry R. Bergman, Ph.D.
3. For more information on the Jehovah’s Witness shunning policy, see the article entitled: DO JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES SHUN FAMILY MEMBERS WHO LEAVE? — Does the Bible Support the Jehovah’s Witness practice of shunning?, The Watchtower of April 15, 1988, pp. 26-28 and The Watchtower of September 15, 1981, pp. 20-31.
4. See The Watchtower, January 15, 1976, p. 47
5. See Revelation—It’s Grand Climax at Hand!, 1988, pp. 244, 270
6. See The Watchtower, November 1, 1987, pp. 19-20; The Watchtower, June 1, 2000, p. 27, and The Watchtower, May 1, 1984, p. 31
7. The Watchtower, May 1, 1984, p. 31
8. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are quoted from the New World Translation Bible.
9. See The Watchtower, November 15, 1992, p. 20: “But what if it is hard for us to accept or fully appreciate some Scriptural point presented by the faithful slave? Then let us humbly acknowledge where we learned the truth and pray for wisdom to deal with this trial until it comes to an end with some published clarification of matters.”
10. See The Watchtower, February 1, 1952, p. 80: “We should meekly go along with the Lord’s theocratic organization and wait for further clarification, rather than balk at the first mention of a thought unpalatable to us and proceed to quibble and mouth our criticisms and opinions as though they were worth more than the slave’s provision of spiritual food. Theocratic ones will appreciate the Lord’s visible organization and not be so foolish as to pit against Jehovah’s channel their own human reasoning and sentiment and personal feelings.”