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Old 11-09-2019, 10:34 AM
ronald reagan ronald reagan is offline
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Default Dealing with Jehovah's Witnesses: My experience.
I recently began entertaining a JW at my house. He originally came and was entirely respectful, knowledgeable about his faith, and humble beyond words. I've long been interested and impressed by other sects of faith -- how they seem to take the mission of evangelizing, spreading the gospel, and generally just taking their faith to the edges of the earth. While I disagree with the JW strongly, I find that alone no reason to ask them to leave when they come. In fact, I make coffee and offer a lunch. I believe that Christ himself would entertain them in that regard.

The encounter that I'm about to describe occurred within the last week. This was the gentleman's third visit with me. While I wasn't dishonest with him regarding my faith, I also didn't make it clear to him that I wasn't a likely conversion candidate. I suspected that doing so would have ended our chat prematurely. In fact, it was my goal to convert HIM. But in between him not converting me, and me trying to convert him -- I offered him my hand in friendship. This seems to have created an actual bond between him and I. It was actually kind of nice. I literally looked forward to his next visit. Any excuse to talk about Christ and what faith has done to and for me -- is a good one.

So allow me to set up our final meeting by telling you about the first two.

He began with the typical approach. JW's usually point to the horrible events going on in the world that almost all people would be saddened by -- the state of politics, war in the middle east, horrible natural disasters, etc. This allows them to create a common ground to stand on with you. They then get a feel for where you stand in regards to christianity in general. Sometimes they'll dig deeper and ask about your exact faith/denomination. Keep in mind, these guys are trained not only in scripture, but communication as well. And trust me, they are extremely talented at their 'job'. A poor unsuspecting, or down on his luck chap would likely find their message worthy of learning about.

It also should be pointed out that if you aren't comfortable with your own faith and understanding, and have a firm grasp on scripture... delving into a deep discussion about doctrine is probably not going to end well for you. Although they are horribly off regarding these matters, they are masters of manipulating scripture in a way that will appear as if they are 'on to something.' I liken it to top tier liberals, converting the uneducated millennial. A polished message, even when wrong, is often all that is needed to get some poor cat to be sympathetic to their cause.

After asking the man questions regarding his topics, he would always point to scripture for the answers. The trinity, heaven and ****, pre/post millennial-ism, baptism, etc. You name it, they know how to answer it. I didn't press this guy too much on our first visit. I was genuinely interested in the conversation, and had spent little time until now, brushing up on the JW doctrine. I'm a bit disappointed that I hadn't done so already, because I firmly believe that a successful debate requires that the winner know and understand the opposing views. Its extremely difficult in the political game to debate a liberal, as a conservative, if I don't actually know what the liberal believes and why. The quickest way to lose a debate with anyone, is to misstate what it is that the other side actually believes. For instance, when someone debates my catholic faith -- and they say that I worship the pope, they lose by forfeit. So before I began to debate the man, I wanted to know what it is that I was up against. I listened closely to every word he said, taking notes, highlighting passages, asking questions. When he left, I truly believe he was hopeful that he may have met the newest member of the "Kingdom." However, also when he left, I felt that I may have met a guy that I'll crush the soul of the next time he visits.

Moving on.

When he was wrapping up, a full hour and 15 minutes later, he asked if I'd be interested in reading some literature between then and the next time he visited. Of course I will! I'll read anything I can get my hands on, and especially regarding matters of faith. Plus, I assumed it would be a cheat sheet for JW ideology. And that it was. A small pocket sized book called, "What does the Bible really teach?"

I read the book that afternoon. Its highly informative, and *appears* accurate. However, being a catholic and christian scholar, I know full well that if you use single verses, you can probably prove just about anything you desire!

I waited for the man to come back, and sure enough he did. We spent another 30 minutes together the following week. Again, I continued to ask questions, but this time they were a bit more pointed. I would sometimes ask him to justify certain ideas, without really hammering the point that I disagreed of course. This forced him to be on a mild defense, and was setting him up for the devestating defeat that surely lay ahead.

This time, he left me with more literature. And I waited for his next visit in the mean time -- which came last week. This would be his last, I'm nearly positive.

The whole JW philosophy centers around the idea that the bible is the only source of truth in this world. If the bible says it, then it must be taken quite literally. If the bible is silent on it, then it mustn't be true or used. They pride themselve in the idea that because they can find a single verse to back up their answer, that they are 100% correct. Again, any biblical scholar would know -- in a book as large as the bible, written by dozens of individuals of the course of a couple thousand years, and with hundreds of translations available -- you can literally prove just about anything you want using a single verse. Especially if you use a purposely maniuplated version of the bible like the New World Translation. (it has dozens of small written changes, that cause huge doctrinal changes!).

For this visit, I had prepared a few simple points to hit him with. He began with polite and humble conversation, and it morphed into a scripture debate. He was putting the finishing touches on making me 'one of his own'. After about 20 minutes, he asked me if i had any more questions for him -- and if not, he'd love to take me to the 'kingdom' and show me the way to a new life! My thinking was, "if they can cook as good as they can express their doctrines", this might not be the worst idea in the world! haha.

So questions.... Yes, I have just a few.

(I'll highlight them, and his response in the next post.)
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:48 AM
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:27 AM
ronald reagan ronald reagan is offline
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I asked the gentleman this question to begin with:

With every topic we have brought up thus far, you always say the same thing, "Alright, so what does the scripture actually say?" He responded, "well, thats the best approach to finding the answer, don't you agree?" to which I said, "maybe, but for the purpose of this conversation, I'll go along with the idea..."

He then asked what my question was.

I asked him, where does the bible come from? The book in your hand, who was it that assembled/picked those books? Obviously the JW's didn't put it together, as you had it available the day that JW was started. So where did it come from?

Any student of christian history will be able to quickly answer this: The catholic church gave us the bible, through multiple councils and church leadership gatherings. I believe the councils of carthage, hippo, and later the council of flores/trent.

He then said, "Why is it important who assembled the collection of books that became the bible? Whats important, is whats written inside of it, right?"

This led me to respond, "So... you reject nearly every single catholic doctrine, correct? But yet, you 100% trust them when they tell you, 'use these books'? Don't you find that a bit hypocritical? Why on earth would you trust them to tell you what books are divine, but not trust them to tell you anything else? It all seems a bit too convenient -- don't ya think? Shouldn't the JW's start a deep investigation into those books, and make sure the catholics got it right?"

He was stunned. Apparently no one had ever brought up this point before. He began to stumble for the first time in our 4-5 hours together. He finally responded, "the church believes that jesus guides the faithful, even when they are wrong. if he wouldn't have allowed the catholics to get it right regarding the correct books, then it would have punished all christians from that point forward."

Right. lol.

Next, I asked him about the idea of the bible being the backbone of 'truth'. If all exisiting truth was contained in the bible? nothing more exists outside of it?

He responds, "that is correct. the bible is the only source of truth. everything that is true regarding christianity is found within these two covers."

So using his preferred method of discerning truth from fiction, "the bible alone" -- known as "Sola Scriptura". I asked him what paul says in his epistles... "Keep my teachings, whether passed to you by writings or word of mouth." Clearly, it was possible and plausible that he and others didn't actually write everything they taught. The JW then pointed me to scripture that "proves" that the bible is the source of truth -- "all scripture is divine and worthy of teaching". However, when Paul wrote this, the New Testament wasn't even in existence. Much of it hadn't even been written. Furthermore, Paul's own writings weren't even meant to be 'books'. They were simple letters written to specific churches foretelling of his coming visit, answering some questions they had, correcting some behaviors, and asking for prayers and various forms of support (financial, food, clothing, shelter.) The New Testament was assembled not because it was the full truth and nothing but the truth, and only truth -- but even the councils that decided upon its content expressed this point. The NT was to be a supplement to faith... not the faith itself.

I then pointed him to what 'his bible' says about truth, and where the responsibility lies in protecting that truth. No where in the bible does it say that the bible is the source of truth... In fact, in Timothy it tells us where truth is. The Church is the pillar and foundation of truth. So the doctrine of 'the bible alone'... is actually not 'in the bible alone'. haha.

He attempted to answer, but stumbled badly and then accused me of rejecting the word of god. I made clear to him, how am I rejecting words that no one ever said? And why am I to ignore the words that were actually said?

The point of the previous few points was to set up a foundation for rejecting the doctrines which he professed. And it appeared to be shaking his own foundation.

So then, for the first time, I questioned doctrines of the JW. Not 'questioned for more information', but questioned the accuracy and validity. I asked him a simple question, "when jesus taught his followers, or potential converts, a lesson or a doctrine -- and they misunderstood him, did he clarify his point? or did he allow them to go off believing a lie, and let it lead them to their spiritual ruin?" He said, "without fail, jesus corrects false assumptions in the new testament." He's correct. And he even pointed out the same verse I was going to point to out: John 3:5. When Jesus tells Nicodemus that a man must be 'born again'.. Nicodemus understands him to mean that he must go back into his mothers womb and once again be given birth to. But Jesus quickly tells him, "no dude... born of water and spirit.. not a vaginal birth" (granted, he probably said it a bit more eloquently haha). So now the JW and I were in complete agreement that Jesus would want us to know the truth. Which led to my crushing blow: John 6. This is where Jesus commands his followers to 'eat his body' and 'drink his blood'. JW's, like most all non-catholic/orthodox churches, believes that communion of the 'body and blood' is nothing more than a symbolic and metaphorical suggestion. I confirmed his belief in this principle, just to be sure. He confirms it. So again, I asked him his go-to question, "what does the bible actually say?"

In the closing verses of John 6, Jesus tells his disciples to 'eat his body and drink his blood'. And what occurs because of this? Many are in a state of disbelief, and likely disgust. It says that many of his disciples left him that day and walked away, unable to accept this teaching. Now, assuming that Jesus was speaking symbolically and figuratively as JW's profess... What did Jesus do immediately, as soon as his followers walked away and followed him no more? He didn't yell for them to come back, saying, "Nah bruh.. you got it wrong. Its just bread and juice. I was sayin it represents my body and blood...we cool? good. moving on." Thats NOT what occurs. Jesus looks at those who remain with him and says, "Does this shock you?" Then, "are yall gonna leave me too?". And then, he doubles down with a more definitive take. "MY BODY IS MEAT INDEED! MY BLOOD IS DRINK INDEED."

So if the JW view is right... why on earth would Jesus let a multitude of followers leave and go on to die a spiritual death without him... over a simple misunderstanding?

His response, you ask?

"I think this probably should wrap up our visit for the day. I'm running out of time and this subject may be a bit too advanced for you to understand at this point. May I leave some literature for you to read? And would you like to set up a visit to the local Kingdom so that we may get you started on the path to God?"

My response?

"Like you said Jesus would do for his followers that misunderstood him. He would clear up any misunderstandings they had before he allowed them to journey down a road of false assumptions. So, verily I say unto thee... I will not be attending your kingdom, or starting on a path to Jehovah....

...I'm good bruh."

He then ended the visit with this:

"May I have back the literature that I previously gave you? So that someone who might actually use, can have it instead?"

I'm leaving. I want my ball.
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