I feel like they mean well and put a lot of others to shame with their zeal, and I also believe they get singled out and catch a lot of grief from people. I haven’t responded the best or most friendly in the past, and I want this time to be different. My question is; how do I reply?
If you were trying to “evangelize” someone…which is what, I assume, they are trying to do with you (you didn’t say what the email was but I assume it wasn’t an invite for a cocktail party?)…what would work to make you stop trying to evangelize the person, but not have your feelings hurt??
My suggestion would be to always be kind and loving in your reply.s If there are specific questions you need addressed in your exchange with them we would be glad to help.
Depending on the content of the fellowship (email), I may delete, or share my Catholic faith with them.
True that. Share some of God’s real truth with them.
“Thanks, but no.” That ought to do it.
I suppose it would depend on the nature of the email. What s/he has said, why s/he emailed you, etc.
If it’s an email from a coworker or classmate about work or school I’d probably stick to the topic at hand and let his/her religion sit on the sidelines. If it’s a social email of non-religious content, I’d probably do the same thing unless he/she was asking me to do something I considered immoral that he/she did not.
You can also ignore their email if it’s a mass email or just an attempt to proselytize.
If the email is about your faith and hope then “…answer for it, but courteously and with due reverence…” (1 Peter 3:15-16) You want to avoid personal attacks even if you are attacked first (remembering Christ’s teachings to love our enemies, turn the other cheek, etc.) You want to show great love for the person you’re talking to, especially if you criticize his/her beliefs, and in so critically discussing their beliefs you must not neglect to show respect and common courtesy, nor insist that they refrain from offering criticism of Catholicism (you can’t talk about why the Watchtower organization wrong and then refuse to listen to any criticisms of the Church, that’s a lecture not a conversation). Consider: you are representing the Catholic Church to this person, you don’t want to make him or her think the Church in inherently intolerant, ignorant, unfair, or mean-spirited. You want to avoid logical fallacies so the person you’re talking to does not come to the false conclusion that Catholicism is illogical due to the poor apologetics of a defender. You want to be well informed about your Catholic faith and his or her religious beliefs: or put another way, know you’re stuff and have reliable sources to back you up. Finally, pray! Pray for the person your talking to, and for yourself, that God would give you the words you need in order to converse with this person in the way that is pleasing to Him.
I assume that you are speaking of a prosletyzing email. You should reply that you are a devout Catholic and that you wish the JW success in his search for the true God. Do not give him the slightest impression that you would consider conversion to his religion. You can offer to pray for him.
If you are looking for an apologetic responce, I suggest the work of James White (note that he is a Calvinist, however). He brings up John 12:41 (it says that Isaiah “saw His glory” directly after a quote from Isaiah 6 where it is clearly God appearing to Isaiah, and the only person in view in John 12 is Jesus) and Hebrews 1:10 (a direct quote from Psalm 102, which is a praising of God’s timelessness, and in this passage, God the Father is describing Jesus), two passages which you can prove that Jesus is God from the Jehovah’s Witness’ translation!
Yeah, so I met two JW women at my door. We discussed a few things. Their Bible had a nice section in the back which explained common beliefs of various religions. They were unfamiliar with the term “apostolic succession” but looked it up and read it to me, asked me if it was correct. It was surprisingly accurate. We chatted and they left.
A few weeks later they sent a young man to my door. I invited him in and we chatted, only realizing later that this guy was on a reconnaissance mission - sizing me up to see how strong I was in my faith.
A few weeks after that they sent the big guns - admitted converts from Catholicism who knew Catholic doctrine cold and knew scripture even better. These were the special teams, trained specifically to make Catholics doubt their faith. They communicated non-verbally, one giving the other queues on when to move on and when to keep driving home a point. Even the way they sat at my table was rehearsed and on purpose - one faced me across the table and the other sat next to me and turned at a 45 degree angle so he could address me while still able to see his partner across the table.
My point is to be careful what you get yourself into.
These people are very, very good at making people doubt their faith. You are not communicating with just one person. They have a whole support team behind them, coaching them on what to say and how to say it, rehearsing, role playing and training, all with the goal of shaking you to your core about some Catholic doctrine, to get you to doubt that it is really true.
You can share your faith if you want to but they are organized, trained, drilled, persistent and ready to convert you by slowly chipping at your faith and making you doubt it little by little. Do not underestimate them.
Ask them what happens if you decided to convert and then later on realized you had made a mistake.
Shunning, is it real?
It is important to know, though, that if the JWs know that someone knows their faith and is an active non-JW apologist, they will draw a big red “X” on your house; you won’t have any more JWs on your door. Which means you won’t have that opportunity to evangelize them anymore.
This is correct. They never came back to my house.
All things being equal, I count it as a positive.
I agree that proselytizing in general can backfire or be counter productive. Probably for the same reasons this forum prohibits it…? And even though the JW religion is not considered Christian, enough common ground is available to appeal to their conscience by way of expressing our own love for the Lord and His Church.
We must always guard ourselves from desperation and anxiety over convincing someone of The Way. Share what God reveals to us and inspires us in the moment. As has been said many times here, it is the Holy Spirit who converts, not us. We only share about the life we have been given and the Teachings we have been taught and understand.
Always nice to read your posts, Tim