Don't hide next time the Jehovah's Witnesses come knocking. Invite them in for a conversation instead! Barry Amor from Reachout Trust suggests 10 ways to engage
You may have seen them out with their carts on the street or had a visit from them at home. Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) have been well trained in what their governing body teaches, they can quote scripture verbatim, and yet they have completely missed the point about Jesus.
They are taught to be the teacher, never the pupil, they won’t accept literature from you despite their aim of convincing you to take one of their books or magazines. How is it possible then to get through to them? The easiest way is to ask them questions, like a pupil asking of a teacher. Having a question in mind also helps ‘break the ice’ when you speak with them.
Introduce your question with something like “I read an article in your literature which I found confusing and I would be very grateful if you could explain it for me…” At suitable points ask them where in the Bible it says what they’re saying – check to see if it does!
Remember you’re not trying to win the argument you’re trying to sow a seed that will one day bear fruit.
1. If you found the Watchtower contradicted the Bible which would you believe?
This is a really just a preparatory question which should have an obvious answer, but it is designed to introduce the idea that there may be a disparity between the Watchtower and the Bible.
2. How can I gain eternal life?
The route to eternal life for a JW is long and tortuous, passing through various stages with a big final exam at the end that the Bible tells them most will fail! Their religion is through works, not faith! Be ready to show them scripture which actually tells us how to gain eternal life.
3. Do you know if you have eternal life?
A JW cannot know they have eternal life until the end of the 1000 year reign when they must pass the final ‘test’ set out in Revelation 20:8. Ask them if they be surprised to find that the Bible tells us we definitely can know we have eternal life then show them 1 John 5:13: "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." You can ask them: "wouldn’t it be great to know you have eternal life?"
4. Do I have to be JW to be resurrected onto paradise earth?
JWs are taught the vast majority of people (the "great crowd" of Revelation 7:9) will live out eternity on a paradise earth, not in heaven, initially including those who are not presently JWs. This begs the question of what being a JW achieves in this life, or in fact any action or belief, as we are all resurrected irrespective of our affiliation!
5. If the unrighteous are resurrected to the paradise earth anyway what did Jesus achieve?
The implication is that whether I follow Christ or not I will be resurrected, so what was the point of Jesus dying? They may try and say his death allowed us all to be resurrected, if so ask them where it says that in the Bible and even where it says so in their literature – it doesn’t!
6. The Watchtower Society teaches that Jesus’ death was only a sacrifice for Adam’s sin so why does the Bible tell us Jesus died for all our sins?
You can ask them to explain any of the many verses which tell us all our sins are forgiven.
7. Where in the Bible does it say that God’s kingdom is not a kingdom but a government?
The Watchtower Society teaches God’s kingdom is not "that over which God rules", but a "government" made up of the 144,000 from Revelation 7:4 who are the only ones who are "born again".
They may point you to Daniel 2:44 and Isaiah 9:6; neither of which show a kingdom is a government. You can link this to John 3 in a warning to remind them that if they’re not born again they will never even see the kingdom let alone enter it!
8. How many ‘hopes’ does the governing body teach for Christians?
The JW's governing body teaches there are two; one in heaven for the 144,000 and the other on earth for everyone else. Ask them how this matches up with Ephesians 4:4 which says: "There is one body and one Spirit just as you were called to one hope when you were called."
9. Why did the Watchtower Society become an associate member of the United Nations in 1992 until 2001?
Before posing this question as an attack on the organisation it is best to prepare the way otherwise the effect can be lost. Start by asking why JWs are not allowed to participate in political affairs. Then move on to asking them why they hate the UN so much. Getting them to confirm first how the UN is so opposed to Jehovah’s kingdom before dropping the bombshell that that the Watchtower Society joined it increases the effect. They may well deny that this actually happened but just ask them to speak with their elders to confirm it or research it themselves. Leave the question to simmer in their minds.
10. Is Jesus your mediator with God?
The Bible is clear that there is only one mediator and that is Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5) but the governing body teaches that he is only the mediator for the 144,000 and that, in effect, the 144,000 are the mediators for the rest.
Barry Amor works for Reachout Trust. For more information visit reachouttrust.org