Help wanted with talks with Jehovah's Witnesses


#1

Hi there,

I had a second visit at my home with a JW, (twice before this JW came at my door, first two women and later a man came a long and I had one ‘back call’ by this JW-friend but now this man came with another brother. I guess I am a hard nut for them to crack)
I decided to debate a little with the Witness at my door. So I had a second visit by this man. I used a lot of information fromJeffery Schwehm 's website and also of Catholic Answers and I bought the book by Jason Evert called, Answering Jehova’s Witnesses.
I didn’t think I made a good defence, we went back and forward in Scripture and I felt I was leading these man nowere, but I believe in faith that I planted some seeds. We were discussing the Trinity, their favorate topic to refute.

I understand from Jeffery and Jason that it’s more inportant to be charitble, pray for them and so plant seeds of faith in them. By being a Catholic Witness to the JW’s.
But I do need some help here, I don’t want to have a Bible-ping pong match.
How should I aproach the meetings now? (specialists please give me some tips)
I already send a few e-mails to ex-JW apologists but it’s been weeks now and I didn’t get a reply.

Please join with me to pray for these JW’s, their names are Athos and Edsel. (they are Dutch-Antilleans). I myself am Aruban but our islands speak the same language. Here in Holland the Antillean JW’s target Antilleans and Arubans and also South Americans (because we are mostly Catholic)

Shalom!

André


#2

BS’D

Shalom Chaver,

What are your motives and hoping to accomplish?


#3

I don’t really give them the time of day.
When they come to my door I smile and remind them that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. They always act surprised to hear this and they walk away hopefully with much to think about.


#4

Andre -
Just a a few observations:

  • While being firm, always treat the Witnesses with kindness and respect (it sounds like you are already doing this). They will take any deflection from true Christian behavior as reinforcment that they are “right”. Remember, they beleive they are doing the right thing.
  • They are trained in “proof texting” and other argument techniques. For this reason, scriptural debating sometimes goes nowhere.
  • To the degree possible that you are able to sincerely express your own personal hope and love for Christ, perhaps backed by a few simple scriptures, it may stand to make the most powerful impression. They may be very impressed by a Catholic who quotes scripture.
  • If scripture discussions do take place, it may be well to emphasize points in which the Church takes scriptures more literally than others do, kindly pointing out that you are taking these scriptures literally - the passages in John 6 and elsewhere having to do with the Eucharist, for example. Or regarding the Deity of Christ, Thomas’ “my Lord and my God” statement in John 20:28.

Some of the above observations are merely a reitiration of points you will find on Jeffery Schwehm’s website, and elswhere. My best to you.


#5

As a former JW, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for wanting to pray for them. They are so lost - not knowing the truth about Jesus and His love for them. Do not argue the Bible with them. They are much more experienced in debating (we’d practice every week at a meeting - taking turns being the “householder” ) If you play Bible ping pong, they will win every time. Instead, focus on the love you have for Christ, what He’s done in your life, your prayer life (don’t mention Saints or Mary - that will just fuel their fire) stay focused on Jesus. I’ve always found that people can’t argue with MY story. If this is what God’s done in MY life and I testify to that - there goes the debate.

God Bless you,
CM

(And yes, if they are bringing others to your door, it’s no doubt the reinforcements. You’ve been “handed off” so to speak to someone they think can win you over.)


#6

Thanks for your tips.

I will use it in the talk today. But I’ve desided to end the talks. A friend of mine told me that it’s no use to talk to them anymore.
Today I will talk of God’s Love and my personal relationship with Jesus. I will plant a seed. (hopefully), and I will continue to pray for them.

They wanted to pray today and talk about the booklet, “what does God require from us”. about the Trinity, but I will tell them I want to talk about something else.
I will keep the talk short, just say what I want to say. Hear their objections and then tell them (gently that I want to stop). Hopefully they don’t come back. I’m being challenged for a Bible ping-pong, but I won’t go in to that.

What doe you think of my idea? (I will have the meeting with the JW’s in halve an hour)

Anyway, God Bless!

And I do want to know what you think of my approach (Carol Marie of Jeffrey?)

Andre


#7

[quote=carol marie]As a former JW, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for wanting to pray for them. They are so lost - not knowing the truth about Jesus and His love for them. Do not argue the Bible with them. They are much more experienced in debating (we’d practice every week at a meeting - taking turns being the “householder” ) If you play Bible ping pong, they will win every time. Instead, focus on the love you have for Christ, what He’s done in your life, your prayer life (don’t mention Saints or Mary - that will just fuel their fire) stay focused on Jesus. I’ve always found that people can’t argue with MY story. If this is what God’s done in MY life and I testify to that - there goes the debate.

God Bless you,
CM

(And yes, if they are bringing others to your door, it’s no doubt the reinforcements. You’ve been “handed off” so to speak to someone they think can win you over.)
[/quote]

Carol Marie, this is the greatest piece of advice I’ve seen concerning Jehovah’s Witnesses. I work with a community of them and they are constantly challenging. Some have given up, knowing that I will not believe them or change my beliefs.

I know that these people are searching for God, as we all are. It is only right to give them the truth.

Thanks again,
Subrosa


#8

Hi there, I had the talk with the JW.
I must say it went well, I think I planted a seed of faith. Now I just have to pray and let God work in his live. I said what I wanted to say, so I feel relieved.(I said what I wanted to convey and let him give his story, while I prayed for him). At the end of the talk he said a prayer; it sounded sincere, but I prayed in silence for him and also for me. For God to use the words I said and touch his heart.

But he does want to meet again. I guess he wants to continue to try to win me over, maybe he is frustrated and wants to keep on trying to convert me. (well I am going to take the challenge). I have Jason Everts book, plus the articles of Jeffrey and articles on the Catholic Answers website. I bought the whole “beginning apologetic’s” books from Catholic Answers. Now I just have to do my homework. I will not try to convert him(eventhough I hope that this will happen, but God will do that)

I will communicate with Jeffrey also, and I hope to get more tips from you guys.
I’m going to prepare myself for this challenge, I believe God put this challenge on my path. I was a lay-missionary and am now retired(eventhough I’m just 34), but I discovered that the work of Evangelisation God put on my heart many years ago is still there. Just on another terrain. (I think God is trying to say that eventhough I don’t do direct Evangelisation any more in the streets, He still wants to use me as an evangeliser). I thought that talking to atheists or agnostics on the street is hard. But I discovered that talking to JW’s is more difficult but satisfying. (as an Evangelist). Actually I feel more prepared now to talk to Agnostics, Atheists and New Agers, but it helps that JW use the Bible.

Pray for me as I continue my talks with this JW. (I told him that I only wanted talk to one person, so he is comming to “talk” to me).
We are going to talk about who God is, from the “what does God require of us” booklet.

I would want to get tips from ex-JW’s or people who are familiar with this literature. (the “What God Require Of Us” booklet)

God Bless!

André


#9

[quote=carol marie]As a former JW, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for wanting to pray for them. They are so lost - not knowing the truth about Jesus and His love for them. Do not argue the Bible with them. They are much more experienced in debating (we’d practice every week at a meeting - taking turns being the “householder” ) If you play Bible ping pong, they will win every time. Instead, focus on the love you have for Christ, what He’s done in your life, your prayer life (don’t mention Saints or Mary - that will just fuel their fire) stay focused on Jesus. I’ve always found that people can’t argue with MY story. If this is what God’s done in MY life and I testify to that - there goes the debate.

God Bless you,
CM

(And yes, if they are bringing others to your door, it’s no doubt the reinforcements. You’ve been “handed off” so to speak to someone they think can win you over.)
[/quote]

I agree with this, Carol Marie. I have been talking to a JW friend for some time now, and we have not been making any headway by discussing scripture or Watchtower literature. I tried to show him how the booklet “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” quotes many Trinitarian sources out of context. Some misquotations were so blatant that it made me angry to read them in their actual context, but he simply could not or would not see that they were doing this.

It’s really scary to see how powerful a grip the Watchtower has on him. I was so frustrated after that session, and I feel that all I can do is pray for him and ask God to open his mind and heart.

Andre - I will be praying for you as well. Good luck!


#10

[quote=carol marie]As a former JW, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for wanting to pray for them. They are so lost - not knowing the truth about Jesus and His love for them. Do not argue the Bible with them. They are much more experienced in debating (we’d practice every week at a meeting - taking turns being the “householder” ) If you play Bible ping pong, they will win every time. Instead, focus on the love you have for Christ, what He’s done in your life, your prayer life (don’t mention Saints or Mary - that will just fuel their fire) stay focused on Jesus. I’ve always found that people can’t argue with MY story. If this is what God’s done in MY life and I testify to that - there goes the debate.

God Bless you,
CM

(And yes, if they are bringing others to your door, it’s no doubt the reinforcements. You’ve been “handed off” so to speak to someone they think can win you over.)
[/quote]

Dear carol marie,

     Do they practice being "householders" to non-Jehovah Witnesses but are studying to be one? because my older sister goes to meetings i think tuesdays, thursdays,and definately sundays. She may go other days but she goes out with them almost everyday so i don't know what exact days are her meetings. But everytime we talk to her she knows a lot of scripture and that's only with like 8 to 9 months of studying.

#11

[quote=Cntrystr42]Dear carol marie,

Do they practice being “householders” to non-Jehovah Witnesses but are studying to be one? because my older sister goes to meetings i think tuesdays, thursdays,and definately sundays. She may go other days but she goes out with them almost everyday so i don’t know what exact days are her meetings. But everytime we talk to her she knows a lot of scripture and that’s only with like 8 to 9 months of studying.
[/quote]

Before you can even be “baptized” into the JW organization you have to have been attending 3 meetings per week (a total of 5 1/2 hours), going out in service knocking on doors and having a seperate “Bible study” with whoever’s helping you to become a JW. This goes on for a period of 6 months to a year so I’m not suprised that you’re sister has been busy. It’s the Thursday meeting where your sister watches people, up on the stage area, practicing. One of the JW’s will take the role of the JW, the other one will pretend to be the householder. They will discuss things back & forth so everyone in the congregation can learn how to give good “comebacks” - like when someone says they aren’t interested. And yes, your sister is learning TONS of scripture from the New World Translation Bible (which is printed by the Watchtower to support their wacky views) Scriptures are twisted & words are added or taken out as need be. The witnesses are great at picking out a scripture and applying it how they want - they NEVER read entire passages. You know how during mass we’ll read like an entire chapter of the gospels? They NEVER do that - it’s always a verse here, a verse there taken out of context.
It may seem like your sister is learing all about the Bible - I’m sure she thinks she is, but she ISN’T. She’s being brainwashed by the Watchtower Society into beleiving, NOT the truth about the Bible or the Father, Son & Holy Spirit, but about their very warped version of Jehovah. I feel so sorry for her - I’m sure she is sincere but she’s being terribly deceived. And get this… have you ever heard it said that Catholics are “allowed” to read the Bible? (not true) Anyhow, when I was a witness I decided I wanted to read the gospels without any of the Witness Books to help me. I just picked up a Bible and decided I was going to read them. Well I came across all kinds of stuff I didn’t understand (Like John chapter 6 - the eucharist) and when I told my elder what I was doing and how I was getting confused he said, “DON’T read the Bible EVER by yourself!!! It makes no sense - only read the Watchtower literature and look up the scriptures THEY tell you to look up.” Print this out - see if your sister will read it. Tell her that I know the witness are nice people but that doesn’t make what they are teaching her true!! It’s all a pack of lies.

My heart aches for her and I will pray for her daily.
CM


#12

Carol marie, I am curious as to what changes they made in the Bible. I would assume John 6 is very much edited as you imply it to be on your last post. It would be confusing for a JW to read John 6 unedited and compare it with their edited version. I would think that would be true as well for other books or passages they’ve edited.


#13

[quote=Milliardo]Carol marie, I am curious as to what changes they made in the Bible. I would assume John 6 is very much edited as you imply it to be on your last post. It would be confusing for a JW to read John 6 unedited and compare it with their edited version. I would think that would be true as well for other books or passages they’ve edited.
[/quote]

It’s not as if they take out verses - it’s much more subtle that that. The most common verse they’ve changed is John 1:1 - we read “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” We know that means that Jesus, the WORD was both with God and WAS God - it’s an example of the trinity. In their Bible they wrote: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the word was a god.” Jesus - being another god but always with a small “g” - he’s not the ALMIGHTY God - (the trinity). They add the a article which changes the meaning. They say that Jesus is a “god” just like Satan is a “god.” - no different in power. (This is an excellent way to corner the witnesses because the Bible states that there is only ONE true God - we know this to be the Father, Son, Holy Spirit - yet in their theology, Jehovah is the one true God and Jesus is another “god.” But if there is only one TRUE God, all other gods must be false gods, right? So aren’t they saying that Jesus is a “false god?”)

We know that Jesus is part of the Trinity - like God the Father, he has no beginning. They believe that Jesus was a created being - an angel, created by God. So if we keep reading in John 1, verse 3 we read how Jesus (the Word) created ALL things… “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” Opps. There’s a problem with the witness theology… they believe that Jesus was made and yet here it clearly states that “without him, nothing was made” JESUS made everything. So how do they fix this? They add the word “other” to the verse. In the witness Bible it says “Through him all other things were made…” See how subtle - it totally changes the meaning. They now have Jesus creating all OTHER things - so they can hold onto their lie that he was a “created being.”

As far as the Lord’s Supper - we really didn’t read much of the gospels. Never all at once - maybe a verse here or there. The witness are big into the OT books - Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah and also the Book of Revelation. Those books are filled with prophecy and the witness give their own version of how the prophecies were fufilled. They always point eventually to the Watchtower Society being God’s means of communication today. Whatever Jehovah God wants people to know he does so through the Watchtower - so they say.


#14

Scroll down about a third of the way down this site:

scripturecatholic.com/

It has a couple good sites for JW’s and its just a good Catholic site in general.


#15

[quote=Milliardo]Carol marie, I am curious as to what changes they made in the Bible. I would assume John 6 is very much edited as you imply it to be on your last post. It would be confusing for a JW to read John 6 unedited and compare it with their edited version. I would think that would be true as well for other books or passages they’ve edited.
[/quote]

My wife and I had a pair of JW’s over leading Bible studies in our house once a week for three months back in 1989. They showed up the day we left the Episcopal Church … so we were looking.

If you do get into Bible studies with JW’s, please do make sure to use your own translation rather than theirs. As Carol Marie said, they have changed it to suit their own doctrines.

One change that I remember that the JW’s have made in their bible is that at the Last Supper, they have Jesus saying “This means My Body” and “This means My Blood” instead of “This is My Body” and “This is My Blood.” My wife has a degree in classical languages and we went over the Greek with them. The Greek is definitely “is” and not “means.”

After about three months, I told them one evening that I wanted to lead the Bible study that night. I started with Matthew 2, in which the Magi worship Jesus, and tried to go through every instance in the New Testament in which people worship Him. I didn’t finish before our time ran out. The next week they came for the Bible study and informed us that the studies with us were not a productive use of their time and that they weren’t going to do it any more.

They had several explanations about people worshipping Jesus. The Magi, they said, were pagans and didn’t know any better. When Thomas said “My Lord and my God,” it was a very emotional moment and Jesus did not see fit to correct him then. We did not get to Revelation 1:17 (“I fell at his feet as one dead”) versus Revelation 19:10 (in which John starts to worship an angel and is told not to).

I hope this helps.

  • Liberian

#16

CM mentions the Thursday night meetings w/skits, demonstrations, etc., but know also that many of the other meetings are conducted in a group question and answer format. going over their publications, in which everyone is expected to participate, giving “correct” answers in front of other people. A person’s “spirituality” is evaluated, in part, by their participation at these meetings, and also from their participation in their door to door work.

The total amount of literature, produced by the WTS, that a Witness is expected to read in the course of a year exceeds the length of the Bible itself. The total amount of questions asked at the meetings (that they are expected to be able to answer) is around 2000 per year.


#17

[quote=Milliardo]Carol marie, I am curious as to what changes they made in the Bible. I would assume John 6 is very much edited as you imply it to be on your last post. It would be confusing for a JW to read John 6 unedited and compare it with their edited version. I would think that would be true as well for other books or passages they’ve edited.
[/quote]

For more answers as to what the JW’s changed in the Bible and their doctrines look at:

www.catholicxjw.com

Look also in the Library section of www.catholic.com , about non-Catholic religions.
But Jeffrey Schwehm is an ex-Jehovah’s Witness so he got some personal things also, many articles about the different doctrines and teachings of the WTS.

God Bless!

Andre


#18

Hi there, I ended the conversations. It was becomming like a study, so I told my JW friend that I wanted to talk about something else. He said that that’s going to be difficult (and he gave me a few arguments why not). But I told him that personal experiences in faith are more important for me.

I’m sure I planted seeds of faith. All I have to do now is to continue to pray for him, and God will do the rest. We talked about many things but he insisted that we continue to talk (study/(my own understanding)), the booklet “what does God require of us”. But I told him I’m not interested about that and gently declined and told him I don’t want to do that anymore.
So I’m sure he is very dissapointed but I think he might think,“oh just a person that wants to remain lost to the world, next person(that I will try to win over)”

But I will leave it up to God now, I’m better prepared for another encounter with another JW. So my “homework” is not finished.

All the best, and if you all still have questions about the JW’s, go to the website of Jeffrey Schwehm:

catholicxjw.com

Shlom ha’Mashiach!

Andre


#19

I find the best way to deal the JW and any other door to door evangelists is to politley decline the offer. And I make a note never to mention that I am a practicing Catholic; because in their eyes that’s worse then worshiping the devil. Of course this method might be difficult if you have a statue of Mary or another Saint out in the front lawn.


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