Well, that would be no fun now would it. I need to sharpen my debate skills and knowledge of scripture ":) I am sure that you are correct, however, I am going in for the kill
Need Help Witnessing to JWs
Just repeat everything they say as a question with a sarcastic tone, eventually they will go away, you cannot have a reasonable conversation with them
Welcome to the board, Husker!
I agree with VictorianSky. I think taking up the blood issue would be a very good start. Tell them you're concerned about your wife getting involved with them because of this policy of the JWs.
Before you meet with them, go to www.ajwrb.org and read up on what fractions of blood are now allowed (as opposed to the "NO blood" doctrine of years ago).
Since you don't have any experience with the hypocrisy of this yourself, let me be your new friend. You can tell the JWs your "friend's" story:
(excerpted from a previous post about what happened to me when I was still a "study") SIDEBAR: Before my baptism, while pregnant with my son, I find out
from my ob/gyn that the Rhogam I have taken with each of my previous pregnancies is a blood product (I am Rh negative and my husband is O positive, so all my babies are at risk for hemolytic disease which this immunoglobulin can prevent). Now I have to decide whether or not to take said product. I do research. Must've missed the footnote that mentioned that taking Rhogam was a conscience matter, because all I find is "NO!" and suggestions as to how eating the pith of an orange can help prevent a jaundiced baby. Jaundice is the mildest problem for a baby with hemolytic disease, for those of you unfamiliar. Most severe? Stillbirth. Middling to high? Mental retardation. 'Nough said!
I am a balanced, thinking person, however. So my decision was to take the Rhogam shots during this pregnancy. After all, my husband did not know that my new religion would put THIS baby at risk, when I had taken preventive measures with the others. However, once this baby was born (we had decided we wanted no others), I would decline the post-partum shot that would have protected future children from being attacked by my immune system. I would have to be VIGILANT about birth control.
Dontcha know that two years later blood fractions such as Rhogam were now a "conscience matter"?! I was HOT! I couldn't understand how something that was WRONG two years before, over which I had STRUGGLED so badly, was now ok. I waited for the CO's visit to ask him how this could be? His [very unsatisfactory] attitude was, So what? It's now a matter of conscience. (My first taste of "new light" and I wasn't AWAKE enough -- lol -- to realize that I was experiencing my first dissonance.) I then wrote to the Society -- "abstain from blood" doesn't mean "abstain from blood?" -- but an elder to whom I showed my letter convinced me not to send it. He was an HLC member*, and he sweet-talked me by suggesting that I had done what I thought was right according to my Bible-trained conscience when pregnant with my son, others were now going to do the same thing if the issue came up on these other blood fractions. Wasn't that ok? Well, I still was mad, and did understand on some level that I had felt free to make the decision I had because I WASN'T YET one of Jehovah's Witnesses -- if I had been, I'd have declined the Rhogam and boy, then I'd REALLY have been ANGRY at the New Light. But, I let it go. (Obviously, not completely ... there's still residual bitterness!)
* HLC = Hospital Liaison Coordinator
Educate yourself on the awjrb site and then ask the Witnesses how this can be? How can something "BIBLE-BASED" (Acts 15:28,29), from GOD, have changed? Suppose I HAD been a JW and had a mentally retarded child and then the Society changed its mind? How would they think I would feel? How would they feel if this had happened to them.
Bringing up Jesus' identity is a mistake unless you never want to see them again. I am out and I'd still debate the divinity of Jesus Christ with anyone, anytime -- it's what got me INTO the JWs -- that I could disbelieve the Trinity and still be considered "Christian." You must leave Jesus for later, much later, if you want to chip away at their walls, in my opinion.
Go for a topic that you can sincerely get emotional about. After all, you DON'T want you wife involved with them do you? She may need to see how they reason (or don't) in order to be JW-proofed.
Good luck, my friend.
oh, I am not worried about my wife. She is the women's ministry leader of our church. She is not considering JW, she feels "sorry" for the youngster who knocked on the door. She wants to befriend him (and his mom) so as to "convert" them. My wife has a loving heart. As for me, I am less emotional, less "feeling" and I want to show them their doctrinal errors. My wife has placed limits on me, such as "you will play nice", "you will listen to them WITHOUT jumping in or forming opinions", etc. I don't know how I will restrain myself actually.
If you want to win them to Christ, share your testimony and a loving witness. Debate will usually drive them away from you and deeper into the Watchtower. You may win the battle (the "debate"), but loose the war (the persons soul).
Hooberus, that is right-on! Years before I became informed of the WTBTS, my daughter befriended a teenage girl studying with the JW's. My daughter went to our church and received reams of material for her to research and question this JW girl's beliefs.
I suggested a different tack. "Just love her", I said. "Actions speak louder than words." My daughter was ultimately successful in pulling this girl out of the WTBTS. But it was not with superior debating power. She took this girl to a youth meeting, where she was immediately accepted in to the group. Immediately. Before the night was out, this girl was exchanging phone numbers with my daughter's best friends.
My daughter was soooo ticked. Take this girl to one church meeting, and she was horning in on all her friends.
They remain buddies to this day.
Something active Christians can do that the Witnesses rarely see, is do small kindnesses with no expectation of return.
To even think about cracking the shell, you have to know what type of JW you are dealing with. If you have two JW's that makes it 200% harder. You need to get it down to one. Here are the general types.
There is the:
1. Religious Witness. These are usually converts and seldom stay.
2. Religious addict Witness. They are running from something, fear of death, mourning a loss, something that needs medicating. They usually switch addictions and many get disfellowshipped.
3. Social Witness. They are usually second generation and most do not understand doctrine and changes do not affect them. They are sensitive to social treatment and if they are mistreated, they usually eventually leave after an internal struggle.
4. Hostage Witness. They are trapped by circumstance, financial, marital, or commitment to a real Witness. They are not believers and would exit if not for the shunning doctrine.
5. Reformer Witness. They see the error and the abuses and stay and work for reform from within, seeing some value in the group.
6. Power Witness. They have recognition, position, power and prestige. All their personal ego needs are met by the group. They work for the corporation in a position, as a worker or as an elder or pioneer. They work to keep the status quo because that is where their security is. Many of this class are not religious or very honest and their business dealings are not ethical.
7. Reinstated Witness. These are in a class by themselves. They have burn scars and they usually stay on the fringe. Few seek positions of responsibility.
8. Children of Witnesses. They are counted by the corporation as full members but they are treated as property and often they are abused and their wants and needs are neglected. They secretly plan their next life.
9. Old Witnesses. They have been faithful through it all. Many see they will not be immortal after all and they mourn in silence, often ignored and usually forgotten.
10. Real Witness. They believe in the Society as writing for God. They believe everything always, and gladly sacrifice security and comfort for the group. They shun their parents and their children without even thinking. Few of this class ever leave the group.
They jump types and stay Witnesses. I was a Real Witness until the disconfirmation of 1974. But I did not quit the group. I switched types. I went to a Social Witness combined with a Hostage Witness. I stayed until I had a social setback and that left me with no more types to step down to. Many do not understand this type system and how it works. There are sub types as well. A Witness like me will step from one to another in an attempt to stay in the group. Our goal type is always to be a Real Witness. Few of us are. Most apologists wrongly assume we all are Real Witnesses. Only a fool thinks there is one type of Witness and that there is a way to "help" them with facts and information designed to make them aware that they are in a high control group. We were aware of that fact, and we tried to find ways to stay in, usually in spite of the best efforts of the Watch Tower Corporation. It was not any critic or well meaning, if deluded, Christian apologist that helped me to leave, it was the Watch Tower Corporation and their agents.
The types of Witnesses are like mossy stepping stones crossing the creek just above the falls. Witnesses take those very seriously. I don't think any person should try to "witness" to a Jehovah's Witness until they have accepted a challenge to their own faith and conquered those with objectively and rationalism. I would much rather challenge a Christian apologist than a JW. The JW knows when she is beat and leaves.
The Way I See it http://www.freeminds.org/buss/buss.htm
Doctrine brought me in, and doctrine will probably lead me out. What got me to thinking, just this year, was when I was with a Sister who made a return visit on an Evangelical. We thought this would be an easy call. Then the lady asked a question that blew me away:
"Do you have the holy spirit within you?"
An innocent question, true. But Witnesses are taught to believe that only the "anointed," the remnant of the 144,000 still on earth, have the holy spirit "within" them. But if we answered "No," the lady would then question why we were even there preaching to her! We couldn't say "Yes," because we were taught to believe that we were not among the "anointed."
So, for a while both of us were speechless.
Then the lady, discerning our distress, said simply but pointedly: "If you don't believe that the holy spirit is within you, I just feel so sad and sorry for you."
That ended the return visit. And began my active questioning of Watchtower doctrine.
Hello Mike, I came to this forum for exactly the same reasons you did. Im a non denom. Christian.
I have a strong desire to help these people. I work with 4 JWs who found out my interest in God & have not let up on me ever since. Ive pointed out several things to these folks regarding the cross thing & the John 1:1 thing among others & have gotten some interesting reactions.
Try asking them why every other English translation of John 1:1 exept the NWT states that "The Word was God", then theyll say something about original greek & hebrew. Then you can tell them that many Greek scholars or experts agree that the NWT contains "a gross mistranslation of John 1:1" or "its impossible to translate John 1:1 in this way"
Theyve said things like: "hmmm....interesting." or "Ill have to see that in context" or "I never looked at it that way" My approach is never to direct anything at thier religion, I always direct it at my own former religion...catholicism. You can rip catholics all day long & the JW will admire you for it but you must always, without them knowing, play up the very close similarities in both groups. Say things like: "Ya know that the catholics think theyre the only ones who will live forever(dont say: go to heaven), Then say "I cant believe that, I believe the bible was written to all people." What happens is they will agree with you, then unknowingly they begin to see the parallels between both religions. I cant say things will work for you but I seem to be making at least a little progress.
Just some thoughts, MJ
Regarding JWs making all their excuses about Greek and Hebrew translations, I found an interesting article from the CARIS (I think it is some kind of Christian Apologetics) site from Dr. Julius Mantey. I believe Dr. Mantey, a Greek or Hebrew scholar, was once much quoted by the WTS.
There is a letter there from Dr. Mantey telling them the translation of John 1:1 in the NWT is wrong. He says he and other scholars never said that the letter "a" inserted into the verse was correct and he asks for a retraction from the WTS and an apology.
If you can't find the website, I have a copy of this particular letter saved and will be glad to email a copy to you if you would want it.