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Knock on the Door:
Dare we Answer it?
By Jeff Bartleson
Imagine yourself at home busily working on that long-awaited project, or cooking dinner, or just relaxing in an easy chair. You really don't want to be bothered. When you hear the knock on the door you peek through the curtain and see two well-dressed people holding Watchtower Society materials.
You know that the sole reason for their visit is to try to draw you closer to "Jehovah God" through their Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. You also know you will be putting yourself in a delicate situation if you invite them into your home.
What you choose to do about it could move the people standing outside your door closer to God's truth or push them further from it. I hope that you will invite them into your home and that you will work to bring them closer to Christ. The people you Invite into your home could be my mother or father-in-law. You may be one more link in their chain to Christ.
When speaking to Jehovah's Witnesses it is important to remember that love shown will erase many barriers. You must pray for yourself as well as the people you are speaking with. It will save much time if you can both agree to discuss one doctrine at a time. The issue should be what the Bible says.
Patience is a great virtue and you should not try to do all the talking. Be specific when talking about a subject and make sure you understand clearly what they are trying to say. It is very important to get them to define their terms and beliefs so the differences are clearly drawn.
It is likely that the JWs will try to prove a point by convincing you that they are right about other things; but you have already made them agree to hash out one topic only - stick with it!
There are many points in which we can agree with the JWs in the area of moral absolutes, i.e.: stealing is wrong; lying is wrong, etc. Seeing their exemplary and dedicated lives causes many people to accept them as "Christians." However, when you talk to them about basic Bible doctrine you will soon discover that their belief system bears little resemblance to Christianity in light of what the Bible teaches.
The most important and surely the most talked about difference is in their view of who Jesus Christ is. The importance of knowing who Jesus is can be seen in John 8:24, "For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins" (MKJV; compare Exod 3:14; Deut 32:39; Isa 43:10).
The JWs in your living room probably do not understand what we believe about the Trinity. Make sure they understand that there is one God who is three Persons all at one and the same time. Usually they think our Trinity either consists of three different gods or one God who manifests himself in one of three ways at a time.
The Trinity, and more specifically, the Deity of Jesus Christ is a doctrine that all Christians should be able to defend. The JWs will emphasize the Scriptures that show Jesus in His humanity voluntarily laying aside His attributes of deity (Phil 2:7,8), and explain away passages that reveal Christ's true identity, a fundamental ingredient in the forgiving of our sins.
John 10:30-33 reveals to us who Jesus himself claimed to be. The Jews understood this claim and most rejected it.
Other differences in the JWs beliefs and historic Christianity include: the Holy Spirit is a force, not a Person of the Godhead; Jesus did not bodily resurrect; blood transfusions are forbidden in Scripture; there is no literal place of eternal conscious suffering called Hell; the predictions of Christ's return and of Armageddon in 1914, 1925, and 1975; and that only 144,000 believers (these are the only ones who need to be "born again") will go to Heaven while those remaining will either go to "Paradise earth" or be annihilated.
It is my sincere hope that you will understand the importance of learning how to defend your faith. A list of good reading materials is provided below so that you may learn to be a better witness to JWs.
JWs devote many hours a month going door to door to witness to people. Your door is one that may be knocked on and every Christian should be prepared to talk to not only JWs but others as well.
Gordon Lewis, Confronting the Cults.
David Reed, Jehovah's Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse..
Answering Jehovah's Witnesses Subject by Subject
Ray Franz, (Former member of the JW governing body) Crisis of Conscience.
Walter P. Martin, Kingdom of the Cults.
Duane Magnani & Arthur Barret, Dialogue with Jehovah's Witnesses.
Duane Magnani, The Watchtower Files.
The above article originally appeared in The
Shield newsletter in November 1988.
It was posted on this website February 1998.
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