Ok so I read in Walter Martin's The Kingdom of the Cults how he claims to use the following method to give a testimony to Jehovah's Witnesses who come to his door periodically, and frankly I find it a bit dubious, despite his claims that he has successfully done it many times.
He calls this method "Subliminal Seeding" (pg. 487-8) [a dubious title already]:
Ok so this is his method in a nutshell:
First, he invites them in. Then before they have a chance to say anything or offer any literature he states that "he never discusses the bible or religion without beginning with a prayer"
THEN HE IMMEDIATELY bows his head and starts praying. He does use the name Jehovah in his prayer.. Like he begins it "Dear Jehovah God or whatever..." but really his prayer is all about his orthodox beliefs. He goes on for about 3 minutes (a heck of a long prayer if you ask me).
Then after the prayer he says "Now what do you want to discuss?" (He says that he insists on only letting them use or refer to an accepted translation of the bible and sticks to cardinal doctrines of orthoxy -but really these points are moot.)
After he has had enough of the JW discussion that he can stomach for the day. He says, he quickly reminds the Witnesses of the lateness of the day (or whatever) and then quickly bows his head and gives a closing prayer along the lines of the first one. And then sends them out the door.
Ok so this is his point. He says that the whole discussion is irrelevant. He says the point is in the two prayers. For six minutes he says, the JWs have to listen to HIM as he gives a testimony about Christ Jesus, his divinity, etc. etc. during his prayers. (thus the "subliminal seeding" name)
Martin says that every time he has done this (and he says he has done it many times) that the JWs allways bow their heads and don't dare interrupt him during the prayers. And that he has noted that on a few occassions the Witnesses were genuinely touched "to hear the real truth."
When I was an active Witness and when growing up one, I had always understood, that generally speaking, we do not permit others to pray for us like this. (At a ball game or public event, we would be respectful but not say "Amen" whenever a public prayer was offered) - but in a private setting like this - I am not sure what the response would be from the average JW. No doubt that is why he doesn't give any warning and just launches into prayer.
I suppose that if I were in the situation that I would not interrupt someone praying either - even if they were saying a lot of things that I disagreed with. I would just bring them up, you mentioned in your prayer that Jesus is God.....blah, blah, blah....
So anyway I was wondering:
- have any of you ever tried this method? and if so what was the response from the JWs?
- As JWs (for those who were) did you ever encounter this when you were in the ministry?
- What do you think of the overall effectiveness of such a method
- How far do you think that you could push this method? For example, do you think that you could get a Witness (once you have them in a settng like this) to listen to a prayer in which you discussed things like the blood doctrine, disfellowshipping, 1914, etc. or would that carry things so far that some Wtinesses would actually excuse themselves?
anyone? anyone? Bueller? anyone?
(PS: the Dr. Martin died in 1989)