Two weeks ago I had an opportunity to meet up with a Pioneer whom a friend had accepted a "Bible Study" from.
My Christian friend invited me to come along as support, so my plan was to sit back and listen for the most part. Well, that was the idea anyways. What started as a one hour bible study turned into a 4 hour discussion.
In the course of 4 hours, I saw a hardline JW morph into a questioning JW, it was amazing to behold.
Here is how it all started:
We sat in front of a grocery store waiting for the Publisher to arrive. Out of the car in a full suit came David [name changed for privacy] David shook our hands and he opened in prayer.
I could tell he was nervous, but my friend Richard is such an animated upbeat personality that quickly dispelled any religious pretense. This also allowed David to ease up a bit and not have to wear a religious mask in front of us. I believe the fact that he came alone helped a lot with this as well.
Richard opened up with the subject of the anointed. He was confused as to why there are Jehovah's Witnesses currently taking of the emblems if you had to be born before 1935 to be considered apart of the anointed. [Of course Richard was operating on old light and was unaware of the Overlapping Generation doctrine] I suspected that David was going to respond with explaining this new doctrine, but to my surprise he didn't, he simply said,
"That's not what we believe, in fact those in the GB are in their 50's"
well, that conversation was put on the shelf quickly.
We then went into the subject of the Cross. David raised the objection that the biggest issue he had with Christians is that they "Worship the cross"
This is when I chimed in. I said "David, whenever you have faith involved, there are always symbols representing the object of faith. Take for example the Watchtower. You have a "Symbol" of a Watchtower on that magazine, would it be unfair for me to say that you Worship a watchtower simply because of the symbol?"
...."Well...we don't worship a Watchtower!"
.."I agree, I suspect that this Watchtower Symbol is used to represent keeping on the Watch for Gods Kingdom, in the same way the Cross is for Christians. Its symbolic of Christ Death, burial and resurrection, conquering death and giving salvation to all who believe. Notice that Jesus isn't on the cross, he is absent from it. This is symbolic of his victory over death. So its not the cross we worship at all. Its a symbol of our salvation. Now this is not to say some Christians make a talisman out of an object, to this I would agree that it would be wrong to make this symbol into something its not. But its quite another thing to broad brush every Christian who has a cross as somebody who worships it."
..." Well its still an issue because this was a death instrument, would you wear a symbol of a gun if your best friend was murdered by one?"
.." Ok, the only issue is Christians don't see the cross as a torture device primarily, its a symbol of Atonement, the very place where your sins were paid for. So its a symbol of victory and salvation. Its not murder since Jesus voluntarily went to the cross"
From there the conversation moved fwd into salvation, this would be the point of transformation for David. This would be the point where I would use JW Scripture to dismantle piece by piece his assumptions based on JW dogma. But I will continue that discussion in Part 2.