Engaging a Jehovah’s Witness

According to the 2008 Yearbook of Canadian and American Churches, produced by the New York-based National Council of Churches, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are the fastest-growing church body in America and Canada. The Jehovah’s Witnesses only ranked 24th out of the 25 largest religious bodies, but they boasted the highest growth rate at 2.25 percent.

 

How are they growing so rapidly? Just ask any homeowner and they should be able to answer that question, because along with the children selling cookies, politicians calling for your support and the occasional door-to-door salesman are the evangelical Jehovah’s Witnesses. In 1999 alone this religious group spent 1.1 billion man hours distributing materials promoting their own doctrines and beliefs, and they accomplished this going door-to-door.

 

You may also be thinking of another religious group who attempts to proselytize in this same way only they wear clean white shirts with straight black ties and individual name tags. Perhaps, I will discuss them in another post. In the meantime, I want to ask a few questions of you who are truly regenerate (Born again) in relation to evangelistic fervor shown by this group of people. I also want to propose a few steps to actually sharing the gospel with these traveling missionaries when they do happen to knock on your door.

 

First, why are these people so willing to sacrifice their time and resources to tell you what they believe? It would appear that they do this because they truly believe it.

 

Second, how many of us are willing to make similar sacrifices to share the true Biblical Gospel of Jesus, the Son of God, who died to ransom sinners? Do not make the mistake of thinking that Jehovah’s Witnesses are sharing the same gospel as those who are Biblical Christians. Jehovah’s Witnesses set forth a different gospel, a different God, a different Jesus, a different faith altogether.

 

So what should we do when they come to our front door? Here are a few suggestions…

  1. Invite them in…no really invite them in and be as hospitable as Christ would command you to be. These people have shown a commendable love for you and me by being willing to stand in our front doors to tell us what they believe to be good news. Think how it will not glorify God for you to say, “Well I am a Christian and you need to take your pamphlets elsewhere!” as you slam the door.
  2. Serve them if possible. Imagine the shock on the disciple’s faces when Jesus stripped away his outer garments and girt himself with a towel to wash their feet. We display Christ likeness when we do such service to those who are less then on our side.
  3. Listen to them carefully and respond appropriately to their teachings. This religious group was started on the premise that all other faiths were totally apostate. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that they are the ones who know the true God and have true faith. But, rather than dismissing their ideas as foolish, respond to them with truth. When they tell you that Jesus is a lesser God than the Father, take them to John 1 and discuss the incarnation. Take them to Philippians 2:5-9 or Colossians 1:15-20 and walk through the Word explaining the reality of Christ’s full deity and oneness with the Father.
  4. Share the true gospel of peace to be found in the knowledge of Christ as Savior and Lord. “Faith comes by hearing…the Word of Christ (Rom 10:17”
  5. Ask to pray for them. Pray aloud that God would grant them to “see the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (II Cor 4:6).”
  6. Invite them to your church that preaches and believes the Bible is the all-sufficient revelation of God. And if this is not a good description of your church then either begin a work of reform by the power of God or find a Bible preaching church.

 

This by no means an exhaustive list but I hope it helps to encourage you to be salt and light to a dark and dying world.

 

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About Justin Wheeler

Justin Wheeler is the preaching pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Wylie, TX. He is married to Leigh and has three children.
This entry was posted in The Christians mind and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Engaging a Jehovah’s Witness

  1. Bill says:

    Hello,

    Great advice! I’ve made the mistake of not inviting them in, and just talking to them on the front porch. It’s not comfortable to stand on the porch for an hour, but I think it’s also good to invite them in and show them hospitality like you mentioned.

    A verse I’ve learned recently is Matthew 8:11. They believe that only 144,000 people are going to heaven, and only those 144,000 are born again. They think all good Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Old Testament saints are going to live on earth for eternity. Matthew 8:11 is a powerful verse to disprove that. There are some other verses you can throw in like 1 John 5:1. Both of those work even with the NWT.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  2. Justin Wheeler says:

    Bill,

    I appreciate the encouragement and the strong advice. If we are going to point out the inconsistencies of Jehovah’s Witness doctrine then we must utilize the truth and speak in a loving manner to do so. The Truth in Love never fails to accomplish God’s Intended purpose.

    To be honest I have had little experience with the New World Translation when speaking to a witness. For those unaware of the NWT it is an interpretation of the Bible by and for Jehovah’s Witnesses. I say interpretation and not translation because those who wrote this had no knowledge of the original languages of the Bible (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek). Therefore, their work on the NWT is nothing more than a quasi prophetic interpretation of the Bible.

    Thanks Bill for your advice and encouragement and let us both hope that we will heed our own advice the next opportunity we get to share Christ with someone.

    Justin

  3. Sara says:

    Hi! yesterday I talk with a Jehovah´s witness, now I understand that they have the truth. They completely open my eyes with my own bible. What do you think?

  4. Justin Wheeler says:

    Sara,

    I would first have to know what it was that you were told and how it was that this particular teaching convinced you of their doctrine being truth.

    Justin

  5. Justin Wheeler says:

    Sara,

    Let me clarify my response in the event that you find your way back to comment, as i sincerely hope you do. The Jehovah’s Witness doctrine are built on premises that i, being a believer in the historical accuracy and total sufficiency of the Scripture, cannot accept.

    1. First, Charles Taze Russell (the founder of the JW) operated on the principle of the Great Apostasy. He beleived that all churches were corrupt to the point of not understanding the point of the Bible at all. He would go on to later write a six volume work of Jehovah’s Witness doctrine that he claimed would be the only way a person could understand the Bible. He actually claimed that a person could read the Bible and if they failed to consult his work which explains it, then they would still be in darkness.

    I will not accept the idea that only one particular man in the late 19th Century with no Biblical or Theological training is the one to whom all the world must turn to understand the mind of God revealed in His Word.

    2. In my own personal studies of the Scriptures and their historical context i have found many of their teachings inaccurate. This is why i asked for you to clarify what they taught you that was so convincing.

    Now before i get accused of the same falacy i pointed out in Russell’s lack of education for the purpose of writing doctrine, i have some education toward this end (M. Div).

    3. While much of their interpretations and the doctrines that they derive from them are compelling; they simple do not stand up under the weight of true Biblical Exegesis. Studying the Bible in it’s original languages is the most accurate way to understand God’s Revelation to man. Not only did Russell not have the intellectual ability to do this, but neither did the men who interpreted and published the New World Translation that Jehovah’s Witnesses claim is the most reliable.

    These are just a few of the responses that i would offer against the foundation of their teachings; but in order to accurately tell you what i think, I would have to know what they taught you that was so convincing.

    Justin

  6. The Pilgrim says:

    Hey Justin, I thought you’d be interested in this cult flyer:
    http://defendingcontending.com/2008/05/19/download-your-free-cult-flyer-here/

    Sincerely,
    The Pilgrim of http://www.DefendingContending.com

    P.S.
    I also have more great stuff on JWs in my JW category here:
    http://defendingcontending.com/category/jehovahs-witnesses/

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