Refusing a discussion with them is the smartest thing to do. If you say
"I don't talk about religion" you have started the game and now it is
their turn. I know what they will say to that and so do you. It is a
game, the only way to beat them at it is avoid them and be as nice as
possible about it. I know, I did it the hard way. If I were you and
they came to me and I felt trapped. I would focus the game on them.
Hey, nice to see you! How have you been? How is your family? Everything
all right? How is sister so and so? Me? I'm doing great, I just can't
keep up sometimes, you know how it is. Try not to give them a turn
focusing on you. Thank them for being concerned about you and then stare
them in the face and say, I am doing just fine. Hey, I got to go, nice
seeing you! Always stare them in the eyes when you talk and do not look
away. Make them look away, watch their eyes. Its a game you can win if
you play it right. You be the one in control of the situation.
The unfortunate, and tricky thing is, my wife's dad is an elder. In my hall (and im sure every hall) there's social cliques. the "who's who" of witnesses. Her dad is very much in that clique of elders families all getting together doing things, going on holidays together etc. I cant escape contact with him all my life. I dont dislike him although we've had some major run in's with eachother since i've been married to my wife (see my very first post). But at the same time he doesn't see the woods for the tree's so to speak. He lives the perfect elders family life. He doesn't question, look into or debate WT doctrine... hell, he even asks ME questions about theology (im very well read in world religions).
So if it comes to it, im gonna use 1914 as my exit card. I guarantee almost all witnesses cant explain it in laymans terms or even with the bible alone. My wife doesn't even understand it, she just rolls with it because it's too complicated to look into.
I'll become "the brother who is stumbled and researching his beliefs" then never look back.
Interesting update guys, only this morning i told my wife the real reason we don't do birthdays. Because Bro Rutherford banned them because he, personally, didn't like them. In the same breath he also banned singing in the meetings, handshakes (they were effeminate apparently) and tipping your hat to women (they shown subservience to women). She was surprised and laughed and said:
HER: I wish we celebrated birthdays
ME: OK, from now on we will
And we will.