Well had a really good weekend away from home, but I guess I knew that the respite from the WTS would end. Tuesdays are the day my wife has her ‘personal bible study’ with the sister and she has also had the husband come over on Tuesday afternoons so the son can have the pleasure of a bible study (which he loathes, he is a high school junior and has no interest in this stuff).
I get home from work late, after a fairly long day and the guy is still there. He has always wanted to talk to me and answer any questions I may have, I was in no mood to talk to him but he sort of pushed a bit….so…..
He gladly stated that since the JWs so closely follow the bible, in fact more so than any other religion, that he could answer my questions from the bible, not from WTS literature…..so first question I asked….1) Show me from the bible where the JWs were selected as the one true religion in 1918/1919, he seemed surprised like he did not know that the selection was made…….but he started talking about the teachings being so close to the bible so I asked him if he knew what sort of things they were teaching at that time….of course the new light/new understanding answer came into play…but all in all he seemed a bit clueless on this…..
He seemed to try to get off this topic onto something in his comfort zone…..before that could happen I asked him about blood fractions and asked him to read 1 Sam 14:32-35……he did and I think he was a bit surprised. I went back to fractions and asked him to show me where the bible shows fractions of blood are allowed when the scriptures, at least to the JWs are so stern against any sort of a whole blood transfusion…..the JW tried to answer about when blood gets broken down, it eventually gets to the point that it no longer ‘contains the life’, well I asked him if the blood fraction is acceptable since it no longer contains life, what is the value of receiving that fraction. Asked him where the fractions come from and he sort of paused for a while and finally admitted from the blood supply, but I could not get him to state from stored blood, and when I stated that he looked quite uncomfortable……….and then I asked if he were free to contribute blood to the blood supply so other JWs could receive the allowed fractions. He was really squirmy on the issue of blood and I can understand why, this is such a heinous and unsupportable doctrine. Since we were on this topic I did talk about the wonderful advances made in medicine and bloodless surgery, much due to the JWs policy, using that as a segue to the many hospitals who are in the forefront of these techniques being associated with churches and how I thought it strange that a JW would be able to accept services from these hospitals….he looked a bit perplexed, so I said I find that really no different than not being able to go to a YMCA due to its support of churches….more silence.
We chatted for a bit more and I told him that I find most of the folks I have met who are JWs to be very nice and moral people, but I find the policies associated with blood and disfellowshipping to be just plain wrong…..he did not say anything more on blood but tried to defend the df policy as keeping the congregation clean and followed up that the JWs must be the true faith because of the love that they only show……I asked him how loving the df procedure was….if one really needs help and has sinned, isn’t that when he or she will most need the love of their peers….love the sinner, hate the sin…..
When we further talked about some of the good things about the JWs he again brought up just how wonderful the JWs are with respect to families, I said that they seem to be pretty good this way, but once again brought up the disfellowshipping and shunning, how could casting out a family member in need be considered good for the family……and brought up how my wife if she were to become a JW would no longer be able to talk to her mother who has been disfellowshipped…….he tried to tell me that is not a true situation, I asked him to show me in their literature where one can talk to a disfellowshipped family member not living under the same roof.
We talked about a few other things, he asked me about the Trinity and how the bible does not at all teach that. I let him know one of the previous folks who studied with my wife gave me a copy of the Trinity Brochure so I asked if they could provide me a list of references….they said yes…never did. He asked why I would need to see references so I mentioned how when I started to read the book there were some really interesting statements made by folks who I thought to be very Trinitarian in their thinking and I would like to see the context in which their statements were made……for example there is even a quote from a Catholic reference which seems to down play the Trinity – he stated that the folks in the Catholic church high up in the ranks know that the Trinity is false, but they can not lead on to that…..rolled my eyes.
It was getting late now and I was starting to realize I was most likely doing more harm than good, but I asked him one question (suggested somewhere on this great board) in closing. If I were to become on of Jehovah’s Witnesses and a few years down the road, decide it was not for me and decide to join another church, could we still be friends. He really squirmed and first asked what the reason would be, I said merely a hypothetical situation and he finally stated that if I were to disassociate myself, he could no longer maintain a friendship, since we would no longer have a common belief, he asked if I would have friends outside of my belief structure and I told him I already do and if someone is a real friend, it makes no difference to me what their beliefs are and that my belief is strong enough to stay firm……..
OK, how much damage did I do to myself????? What should my next steps be with the guy, with my wife……?