It is too easy to get sucked in to the wrong argument at the wrong time.
Asking the wrong question leads to the wrong answer. A wrong answer does nobody any real good.
I once had a heated discussion with an old friend who is still an active Jehovah's Witness.
He came back at me with this:
"Okay, then--if Jehovah's Organization is a false religion, where is the True one? Where do I go now? Point me to the church that
doesn't believe in the Trinity, Hellfire, immortality of the soul, and all that other pagan crap. I challenge you."
Is this the right question to ask? Is it the one you want to answer in order to be effective?
This is merely an opportunity to GET SUCKED IN to a quicksand of unproductive nonsense.
The reason it is quicksand is this:
a FALSE PREMISE always leads to FALSE CONCLUSIONS.
Once you Buy-IN to a false premise you are dead on arrival in advance of any discussion.
The number one cause of a time wasting argument that leads nowhere is the acceptance of the FALSE PREMISE.
Think about it this way for a minute.....
An argument links core ideas together by connecting them the way a cook adds ingredients for a meal to make it tasty.
An odorless and tasteless poison would not prevent the enjoyment of a meal you are about to die from would it?
No. It would taste great and you'd push back from the table with a big fat smile on your satisfied face just before you collapsed into a coma and perished.
False Premise at work: if it tastes great and smells wonderful it must be good!
The poison at work in any argument with Jehovah's Witnesses has nothing to do with the beauty of their logic or the tasty morsels of reasoning.
Those are dandy.
The poison is contained in their core premise: Scripture Interpretation.
If you BUY the premise that somebody somewhere has possession of a message from the true God written down in a book which CAN be interpreted by just the right people-----you are already dead in the water.
That is THE deal breaker.
Stop right there.
The core misrepresentation by Christianity is the message from the True God contained in that book: The Bible.
This is planted in your head practically from birth. It is inescapable. You find it everywhere like Santa Claus at Christmas.
THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD.
But--hey--is it worth asking the right question about this????
What is the right question?
IF the True God has communicated with humanity through a book, then, WHY DIDN'T HE PRESERVE the original??
The original manuscripts. The Paul-sat-down-and-wrote-these-words-on-this-animal skin.
Because---IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANY ORIGINALS AT ALL---then, all you have is somebody's assurance it was copied accurately.
Note the sleight-of-hand! You now are having to trust the assurance rather than the word of God itself
Neat trick, eh?
If GOD did not see fit to preserve the ORIGINAL---and He didn't! Why should we trust the assurance of those who stand to gain by interpreting it for us?
You cannot get past this foundational PREMISE.
The original bible "books" do not exist anywhere at all on Earth because neither the apostles nor the church thought enough of them to preserve them!! That should be a staggering fact to you!
Jesus never wrote a word of scripture. His teaching was oral.
We are told (by others) those who heard his teachings wrote down what they knew.
Well---DID THEY REALLY?
How do you KNOW it?
This is a core premise!
You can't pass Go and collect anything if this one premise is false!
Consider this: IF THIS PREMISE IS FALSE......then what??
1.The Catholic Church would have to develop its religious doctrines based on the authority of men.
2.The authority of church officials would be considered equal to that of God.
3.The activities of the church would indicate how "divine" their connection was with the True God.
4.All the early Christian believers would simply be groups of OPIONMAKERS who interpreted opinons of leaders they found worth listening to.
5.Nobody could prove the superiority of one opinion ove another's without something source authority to point to for refutation.
6.The Church would have to try and contain all the fights, arguments, disagreements and clashing orthodoxies with an OFFICIAL canon and pronouncement of right belief.
7.The Church would have to use this official status to destroy all opposition by declaring heresey punishable by death. Counter opinion would have to be eliminated by burning documents and destroying naysayers in the harshest possible manner.
Well--isn't this EXACTLY what history shows happened????????
The 73 books approved and canonized by the official Christian Church did not prevent that same organization from committing foul deeds throughout the millennia. The fruits of their core premise were dastardly.
When Martin Luther challenged Church authority and inadvertantly split Christianity yet again---the Bible was the first thing to be challenged as to authenticity!!
Where are those 73 canonized books purported to be the true word of God?
7 of those books were simply tossed out because they did not match Luther's ideas! So much for the message from the True God.
For a millennia the church would kill anybody who asserted against their majesterium and tried to place Scripture ahead of official pronouncement.
Luther put his thumb in the eye of Mother Church by asserting a NEW PREMISE.
What was his PREMISE?
1. God doesn't rule men through an Organization.
2.Each christian uses his own bible to discover the truth of God. Sola Scriptura (the bible alone).
Since the 16th Century the BIBLE was the new PREMISE.
You and I--if we grew up in a non-Catholic household of Christian faith had some form of this PREMISE on our plate.
WHAT IF THIS PREMISE IS ERROR as well??
The right question to ask is this:
1.Does there exist a True God who communicates with humanity through a book with no pristine original with which to compare the doctrines of men?
2.If not--why does Christianity so much consist of opinions pretending to be revelations???
3.Why should any of us be bound by these opinions parading as Divine "Truth?
4. Why would any of us waste time arguing a scriptural interpretation when no scripture of any kind is provably DIVINE?
Maybe the false premise is RELIGION.
If we are bound into groups of opinions at war with other groups of opinions----how can humanity prosper?
Doesn't freedom to produce a life consonant with reality begin by liberation from the false premise of interpretation of counterfeit ideas purported to be Divine?
The Watchtower Society embraces BOTH false premises:
1.They are an organization of men with all authority to interpret Truth and enforcement of orthodoxy
2.They assert a non-original book to possess all the divine communication between God and man with them as the channel of interpretation.
The WORST of both lies embodied in one false premise.
IF there can be no True Religion from a non-preserved non-divine book interpreted at whim by fallible men with delusions of grandeur----shouldn't we be developing a core belief based on a practical understanding of the world really works??
Food for thought.