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Home arrow Bible Based Cults & Isms arrow Jehovah's Witnesses - Dialogue arrow How to and NOT to Dialogue with JW's by David Reed

How to and NOT to Dialogue with JW's by David Reed


by David Reed

UNTRAINED Christians usually want to take the direct approach with Jehovah's Witnesses.  They want to tell them that they are in a cult and need to get saved.  To demonstrate this to the JW they set about trying to prove the Trinity doctrine.  The only problem is that, in most cases, this approach fails miserably! Why? Because the Watchtower Society has learned to anticipate this approach and has trained JWs to close their minds to such arguments.

Christians inexperienced at talking to Witnesses assume that, shown the appropriate Bible verses, the Witness will get the point.  But these Christians fail to realize the extent to which mind control blocks any interpretation other than that supplied by the Watchtower Society.  For example, I have seen JWs read the words "great crowd in heaven" at Revelation 19:1 and respond that the great crowd is on earth - the exact opposite of what the verse plainly says - because the Society has told them authoritatively that the great crowd is not in heaven.  A similar mental block occurs when Witnesses read verses about the deity of Christ.

To overcome such invisible obstacles a Christian needs to take a completely different approach - an approach specially tailored to take advantage of the JW's programming.

  • First, it is necessary to avoid being pushy or confrontational.  JWs are trained to seek out people vvho will listen to them.  They are instructed to terminate discussions with outsiders who try to convince them they are in a cult or who want to disprove Watchtower doctrines.  In order to keep a JW coming back for more discussions, it is usually necessary to let him think that he is teaching you.
  • Progress with a JW usually does NOT begin with Bible discussions.  In most cases you could go on endlessly discussing scriptures and doctrines with a JW, without converting him or causing him to leave the sect.  Logically persuasive arguments do not persuade the JW.  The organization's stranglehold on the individual's mind must first be broken before effective teaching can be done from the Bible.  It usually takes a lot of solid evidence of false prophecies, back-and-forth doctrinal flip-flops, and outright deception on the part of the Watchtower Society before a JW can even begin to think about Scripture and what it really says.  (See, for example, the material photostatically reproduced from JW literature in my book How to Rescue Your Loved Orte from the Watchtower.) But there are only certain ways that this information can be presented without causing the JW to fearfully terminate the discussions immediately.
  • Use questions instead of arguments.  JWs are trained to avoid knowledgeable people arguing for other points of view, but to help humble people who have questions.  If you.say "'This counter-cult book contains photocopies f'rom your own publications that, prove the Watchtower Society is a false prophet," most JWs will refuse to look at, the evidenece.  But most will look very closely at the very same evidence if you present it this way:

"The material you left with me stimulated my interest to learn more.  I went to the library and found some of your other literature there.  In the course of my resarch I photocopied certain statements that I wanted more informatinn on.  Can you help me with my questions?

'To start with, there was an old Watchtower book from the late 1800's, I guess, by some guy named Russell; can you explain to me what he is saying here on this page about measurements in an Egyptian pyramid pointing to the world ending in 1914?"

  • Soft-pedal the conclusions.  Rather than blurt out, "This proves your religion is a cult!" let the weight of evidence force the JW to reach that cnnclusion in his own mind.  Or, express interest in letting the Witness continue to "teach" you, but at the same time say something like this:

"I really want to serve the true God of the Bible, and I know He requires loyalty and faithfulness to Him, so I need to be careful that I don't get deceived into following a cult or false prophet or anything like that.  I assume that you feel the same way and that you've checked out the Watchtower organization.  So I know you'll appreciate my need to check it out for myself, too.  God wouldn't want me to aecept it on blind faith.  These things I've been finding in Watchtower literature make me want to check more carefully before making a commitment."

  • Start with common ground, and help the JW reach conclusions step-by-step.

Using the techniques outlined above, the steps that need to be taken with JWs in most, cases are these:

1.  Let JW literature demonstrate that the Watchtower Society is a false prophet.  Let back and forth doctrinal changes show the organization does not speak for God.  For addtional help with strategy, techniques, and actual evidence, see the book How to Rescue Your Loved One from the Watchtower.

2.  Help the JW see that his or her salvation depends, not, on an organization, but on JESUS CHRIST.  Also, that Christ deserves obedience as our Lord.  An organization claiming we must obey its instructions and depend on it f'or salvation is a counterfeit lord and savior a false Christ.  The JW needs to stop following the organization and must, turn to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

3.  Now that the organization has been taken out of the way as the authoritative interpreter of Scripture, it becomes possible for the JW to read thc Bible with enough understanding to correct his or her theology.  For help see thc book Jehovah's Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse.

In his Sermon to the men of Athens the Apostle Paul used his knowledge of what pagan Greeks believed, and he adapted his presentation to make it easier for them to grasp the message he was bringing them about the God of the Bible.  Instead of starting out attacking them as idolaters and worshipers of false gods, Paul established common ground by praising them for being "very religious" and then spoke of their "altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.  Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you," he began.  (Acts 17:23 NIV)  We imitate Paul when we express appreciation for a JW's devotion to God and the Bible and show ourselves willing to listen, and then we continue to imitate Paul when we adapt our presentaion of the gospel as outlined above to make it, easier for JWs to grasp the message.

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